Government News

Jarret Callahan /

West Lafayette is now a so-called “safe haven” for immigrants – even though that declaration is likely to mean very little where the law is concerned.

The West Lafayette City Council Monday evening approved the resolution before overflowing crowd at the Morton Center. It asserts no city department will investigate a person’s immigration status unless it’s party to a criminal investigation or required by law or court order.

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) / Facebook

Indiana-based religious groups joined a nationwide effort Friday aimed at fighting immigration policies being pushed by the Trump administration. The campaign includes 37 Christian denominations representing 30-million Americans.

“We will invite all our constituents and all other people of faith to join us in espousing a future that evokes the spirit of love…not fear,” says Sharon Watkins, president of The Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, which is headquartered in Indianapolis.


Indiana House lawmakers passed a bill Monday requiring doctors to inform women their drug-induced abortions could be reversed – and also to say there’s no scientific study to support that claim.

The vote for the measure, authored by Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Boonville), came over bipartisan opposition.


House lawmakers rejected an attempt to get rid of the state’s moratorium on new nursing home construction.

The legislature put a moratorium on the construction of new nursing homes in 2015. It’s set to expire next summer and this session’s budget bill would extend the moratorium through 2023.


A Senate committee approved a bill that requires parents and guardians to be notified if their child tries to seek an abortion – without exceptions, even in cases of rape and incest.

Indiana abortion law requires a child under age 18 to receive parental consent for an abortion. If the child doesn’t want to inform her parents, she can go to court to receive a judicial waiver.

Felony Arrestee DNA Bill Clears House

Feb 22, 2017

House lawmakers sent a bill to the Senate that allows law enforcement to collect DNA samples from anyone arrested for a felony.

Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Danville), the measure’s author, says the bill “identifies the guilty” and “exonerates the innocent.”

The samples would be compared to others in a national database, helping, Steuerwald says, link people to past crimes.

“It can only be used for criminal identification. That is it. It is not online; it is not open to the public,” Steuerwald says.

House Approves Changes To Indiana's Gaming Tax System

Feb 22, 2017


The House approved legislation that its author says “modernizes” Indiana’s gaming tax structure.

Rep. Todd Huston’s (R-Fishers) legislation would impose a new tax on casinos – a 3 percent levy on their gaming revenue. It would replace the admissions tax, which Huston’s bill would eliminate.

“As you step on a riverboat casino you are charged $3. This antiquated way of charging that tax has stood in the way of progress for much too long,” Huston says.

Redistricting Reform Likely Dead This Session

Feb 20, 2017


An effort to reform Indiana’s redistricting process is likely dead this session.

Despite overwhelming support from those who attended a House Elections Committee hearing, committee chair Rep. Milo Smith (R-Columbus) wouldn’t take a vote on the redistricting reform bill.

Airbnb Bill Passes House On Second Attempt

Feb 14, 2017

Lawmakers approved the so-called “Airbnb bill,” which bars local governments from banning short-term rentals, on its second attempt at passage in the House.

Some Indiana communities have sought to ban residents from renting out their homes, like through the website Airbnb. Rep. Matt Lehman’s (R-Berne) bill would prevent that, with some guidelines: for instance, people couldn’t rent out their homes for more than 180 days total in a year.

Carissa Rogers /

The Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission is slated to vote Wednesday on a significantly scaled-back proposal to regulate short-term home rentals, such as those offered on websites including Airbnb.

The original proposal would have restricted the number of days a property could be rented, regardless of whether the owner lives in the residence.