Government News

Holcomb's Budget Proposes Modest Education Increase

Jan 10, 2017


The Holcomb administration’s proposed budget, as presented to lawmakers, contains only a modest increase in education spending.

Gov. Eric Holcomb proposes $280 million in new money for K-12 education over the next two years – a 1 percent increase in the budget’s first year, and a 2 percent increase in the second year.

Office of Management and Budget Director Micah Vincent says that the governor’s proposed budget is just the starting point in the budget process. And he notes it also keeps reserve levels of at least $1.8 billion.

Noah Coffey /

Indiana Senate Republicans rolled out their legislative agenda Tuesday.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports, the caucus’ top priorities include a long-term road funding plan, replacing the ISTEP test and addressing vaping liquid regulations.

On road funding, Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says debate will center on the type and level of tax and fee increases necessary to cover current costs.

In education, the Senate GOP wants to replace the state’s ISTEP test, as does every other caucus.

Appeals Court Rules For Pence In Open Records Suit

Jan 9, 2017


The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday that former Gov. Mike Pence did not have to disclose certain documents related to challenging President Obama’s immigration orders.

Pence, using outside counsel, joined in a 2014 Texas lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive orders on immigration. Indianapolis attorney William Groth filed a request under Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act, or APRA, to view communications and documents related to that decision.

Tax Revenues Better After Forecast Changes Targets

Jan 6, 2017

Indiana’s tax collections are just above the most recent forecast through half of the fiscal year.

Indiana’s most recent revenue forecast – which came out mid-December – is already having a positive impact on the state’s overall tax collection picture.

FBI Agents Raid Muncie City Hall

Jan 5, 2017
Tony Sandleben / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents spent three hours Thursday morning in Muncie, searching an office in City Hall. 

Agents searching the city’s Building Commissioner’s office were part of the Bureau's public corruption unit. 

Muncie city attorney Megan Quirk says city officials did not receive an official copy of the federal search warrant when agents arrived around 9:00 a.m., despite asking for the document. 

Quirk was given an envelope of documents when the FBI finished its search and left the building.

House GOP Rolls Out Road Funding Plan

Jan 4, 2017


House Republicans unveiled their road funding proposal and the proposed first steps would cover less than half of the state’s needs.

House Speaker Brian Bosma says Indiana needs an average of about $1.2 billion a year over the next 20 years for its roads. His caucus’ plan would immediately raise all fuel taxes by 10 cents to begin working toward that goal. Bosma says the House GOP plan would also create a new $15 annual fee on all vehicles.

“So, adding the registration fee and the gas tax – for the average Hoosier, $5 per month,” Bosma says.

Lisa Ryan / WBOI

Allen County Auditor Tera Klutz was named the next state auditor by Gov.-elect Eric Holcomb Monday.

The newly appointed statewide officer was announced at a press conference in Fort Wayne.

Klutz was named Indiana’s next chief financial officer because of a vacancy left by the state’s current auditor. Suzanne Crouch, who currently holds the position, was named the next lieutenant governor.

Holcomb says he chose Klutz to replace Crouch because they have both worked to increase government transparency in their respective offices.

Courtesy City of West Lafayette

Business owners along West Lafayette’s State Street are bracing for a complete shut-off of vehicle access while contractors rebuild the road next year.

City Development Director Erik Carlson on Wednesday updated the redevelopment commission on the project timeline and road closures.

He says pedestrians and delivery trucks will have access to local businesses during prime construction season.

But State Street will be closed to vehicles between Salisbury Street and McCormick Road from mid-May until early August, while many Purdue students are away from campus.

Bette Carson/WBAA

Tippecanoe County’s American Suburban Utilities, or ASU, will get most of the rate hike it requested, but not all.

Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, or IURC, has approved a three-phase price hike that increases fees more than 60 percent. When it’s complete, residential bills will go from $47.50 a month to more than $77.24.

The privately-owned waste water utility wanted to charge $85.18 per month.

The Office of Utility Consumer Counselor countered with a recommendation of $60.80 per month.

Pictures of Money /

Indiana collected about $4.3 million more than expected in taxes last month. The state has still brought in far fewer dollars than projected through the first five months of the fiscal year.

November marks the first time this fiscal Indiana’s tax collections have met or exceeded projected levels. But despite November’s gains, the state’s collections are still off by $71 million  for the year. And the state brought in $56 million fewer this November than it did a year ago—essentially erasing October’s year-over-year growth.