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Former Senator Tapped To Lead Alcohol Law Study Panel

Jul 11, 2017

 

Indiana Senate GOP Leader David Long chose a familiar face to lead a new commission studying the state’s alcohol laws – former Republican Sen. Beverly Gard.

Gard served 24 years in the Indiana Senate. Her time there included committee leadership on regulatory and environmental issues.

Indiana’s Connie Lawson will lead the National Association of Secretaries of State for the next year.

The Hoosier Secretary of State was officially installed as president Monday as the group wrapped up its annual conference, held this weekend in Indianapolis.

Lawson says her new role in the organization is an extension of her commitment to Hoosiers.

“I mean, it’s important, obviously, for Indiana to have a seat at the table. If you don’t have a seat, you don’t have a voice, so it’s important for us to have that voice on the commission,” Lawson says.

Senate Budget Architect Kenley To Retire This Fall

Jul 5, 2017

Indiana State Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville), one of the most influential lawmakers at the Statehouse, will retire later this year after 25 years in office. His service includes the last nine sessions as the chamber’s budget architect, chairing the Appropriations Committee.

Kenley was re-elected to another four-year term just last November. But he says he told people on the campaign trail he had two final goals: passing another balanced budget and creating a long term road funding plan.

A federally-funded program that helps Indiana homeowners avoid foreclosures stopped taking applications at the end of June.

The Indiana Hardest Hit Fund provides mortgage assistance to people in danger of losing their homes.

It stopped taking new applications at the close of business Friday, after learning in the spring that it would need remaining funds for current participants.

About 45 tax and fee increases take effect in Indiana July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

Most of the tax and fee hikes the legislature passed this year are pretty routine, says John Ketzenberger, president of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute. The exceptions are tied to road funding – chiefly, a 10 cent-per-gallon gas tax hike.

“Gosh,” says Ketzenberger, “It’d been almost 20 years since we raised the fuel taxes, so it is unusual, and we talked about it for a couple of years before we did it.”

Gov. Eric Holcomb says a range of state agencies will no longer ask job applicants if they have been arrested or convicted of a crime.

The executive order, issued Thursday, aims to give Hoosiers with criminal records more chances to become state employees.

Right now, applicants for state job openings have to self-report any criminal history.

Holcomb’s order says this can make it hard for people with records to “have productive lives because of the stigma of their past.”

Disability Rights Advocate Taken To Hospital After Protest At Senator's Office

Jun 27, 2017
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National ADAPT / https://twitter.com/NationalADAPT

A woman was taken to the hospital Monday afternoon after she says U.S. marshals dragged her out of a protest at Senator Todd Young’s Indianapolis office.

Northwest Indiana resident Lorrell Kilpatrick had traveled to Indianapolis with members of the grassroots disability rights advocacy group ADAPT to protest Medicaid cuts under the Senate’s prospective Affordable Care Act replacement bill.

courtesy City of Crawfordsville

The Crawfordsville City Council has approved the consolidation of several properties into a single clearinghouse which will also play home to emergency management services.

Currently, the city’s EMA department operates out of an office in the basement of Crawfordsville’s city hall.

Mayor Todd Barton says when it is, the city will move some large pieces of equipment there, including a backup fire truck and a couple incident command trailers used in emergencies.

U.S. Senate Republicans released their version of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act Thursday and there was reaction from both sides of the aisle in Indiana.

The Senate’s health care bill is similar to the House version in that it would get rid of the ACA individual mandate to receive health care coverage, cut back on Medicaid spending, allow states to waive services, and defund Planned Parenthood.

Indiana tax collections surged above expectations in May as the state heads into the final month of the fiscal year.

A new revenue forecast delivered in April put a damper on Indiana’s tax revenue performance. The state was $34 million behind expectations after last month’s poor collections.

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