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Nearly 10,000 people in Indiana are approved for benefits through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program – also called DACA – which protects undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, and thousands more could be eligible, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

The Trump administration confirmed Tuesday it will end DACA in six months, but Hoosier enrollees and advocates hope Congress will intervene before then.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Recent years have been both the best of pines and the worst of pines for Greater Lafayette. Both cities have been named a Tree City USA, but bugs have decimated some species. But, not wanting to rest on those laurels, Lafayette’s Urban Forester Tim Detzner came up with the Dickens-named project.

“We should probably apologize to him for that,” Detzner says.

State lawmakers are discussing whether to a change a 2011 law that prohibits young people brought into the country illegally from accessing in-state tuition at public colleges.

Indiana is one of only three states in the country that specifically makes immigrant students who can not prove state residency or who don’t qualify for a federal program to pay the more expensive out-of-state tuition rate.

Study Committee Considers Automatic Voter Registration

Aug 30, 2017

Members of a legislative study committee Wednesday debated the merits of automatic voter registration. The discussion was part of an examination of election laws’ impact on voter participation.

Ten states in the country have some form of automatic voter registration. In most of them, citizens are registered to vote while doing other business at the BMV.

Advocates say the system could increase voter turnout.

Lawmakers Recommend Delay On New Guardianship Program

Aug 30, 2017

Indiana lawmakers Tuesday recommended a delay in implementation of a new program that would serve as an alternative to guardianships.

When someone is deemed incapable of making certain legal decisions, a guardian is chosen or appointed to help.

The General Assembly is weighing a program called supportive decision-making, in which guardianship becomes less of a binary decision. It’s designed primarily for young adults with intellectual development disabilities, many of whom advocates say should have more control than traditional guardianship allows.

Ag Study Committee Talks CAFOs

Aug 29, 2017

In a meeting of the agriculture and natural resources study committee that featured very little new information, state lawmakers Tuesday heard from experts and state regulators on animal agriculture and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

Committee members heard an overview of the state’s CAFO permitting process from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

And CAFO legislation expert Carolyn Orr told legislators big farm operations aren’t necessarily bad ones.

The state of Indiana filed a lawsuit Monday to allow it to collect sales tax from online sellers who don’t have a presence in Indiana.

New state legislation that prompted the lawsuit means the state could collect those taxes if the courts rule in its favor.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that online retailers don’t have to collect and remit sales tax if they have no physical connection to the state.

 

The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday it can’t force the Department of Child Services to comply with caseload requirements in state law.

Lawsuit Challenges Indiana Voter Roll Cleanup Law

Aug 24, 2017

A lawsuit from Indiana voter advocacy groups alleges a new state law that allows counties to purge inactive voters from their rolls violates federal law. The legal action was brought on behalf of Indiana’s NAACP and the League of Women Voters.

For years, Indiana’s used what’s called the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck to look for voters who moved to another state. Legislation that took effect July 1makes it easier for counties to remove voters found in that system.

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly pushed back Wednesday against criticism that his family’s company outsourced jobs to Mexico.

At a campaign event Donnelly held with Rexnord and Carrier union workers on outsourcing, Donnelly says his involvement in his brother’s company ended more than 20 years ago.

And he says when it comes to his 2018 re-election campaign, voters should look at what he’s done in Washington D.C.

“Look, I’ve voted against every single bad trade deal that ever came along. I’ve been fighting this battle for years and years and years,” Donnelly says.

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