Governor Mike Pence

Carrier Corporation

Governor Pence says Carrier and United Technologies will keep 400 executive and research jobs in Indiana, but says the state is still trying to save 2,100 jobs from moving to Mexico.

Pence emerged from a meeting with executives from Carrier and its parent company UTEC to say the companies have agreed to repay local tax abatements and $400,000 in state job training grants.

Maycomb Paynes / https://www.flickr.com/photos/24730945@N03/

House lawmakers approved a bill Monday that regulates Indiana’s high-fenced deer hunting preserves, sending the measure to the governor. That comes more than a decade after the legislature first began working on the issue.

The state tried to shut down high-fenced hunting preserves more than 10 years ago.  A court battle finally ended last year with a ruling that said the state couldn’t regulate the facilities at all, under current law. 

Indiana Economic Development Corporation / http://indianaregionalcities.com/

Legislators last year budgeted $84 million for Regional Cities grants, with the money to come from the state’s tax amnesty program.

The amnesty raised more money than predicted, and Pence announced three $42 million grants in December instead of two.

But House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) warned last week the votes aren't there to get the extra money out of committee.

Several committee members say they resent being put on the spot to back up the administration's promises without first being consulted.

State of Indiana / http://www.in.gov/lg/

The governor’s office confirmed Thursday that Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann will officially step down March 2.  The House and Senate will vote to confirm her replacement, Eric Holcomb, the next day.

Governor Mike Pence announced last week that Ellspermann would leave his administration in pursuit of the top job at Ivy Tech.  After discussions with legislative leaders, the administration targeted Wednesday, March 2 as her final day in office. 

Brandon Smith / IPBS

Former Indiana Republican Party Chair Eric Holcomb will soon have the number two job in Indiana state government. Governor Mike Pence announced Tuesday that Holcomb will take Sue Ellspermann’s seat as the state’s lieutenant governor.

Current Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann told Governor Pence of her interest in seeking the open presidency position at Ivy Tech last December. Pence began the search for her replacement soon after and says Holcomb’s background makes him a perfect fit.

Holcomb Expected To Replace Ellspermann As Lt. Gov

Feb 9, 2016
Brandon Smith / IPBS

Governor Mike Pence is expected to name former State Republican Party chair Eric Holcomb as the state’s new Lieutenant Governor. 

Holcomb will replace Sue Ellspermann, who is under consideration to become the President of Ivy Tech Community College.

Pence scheduled a Tuesday afternoon news conference to make an announcement regarding his administration.

Holcomb, a former advisor to Governor Mitch Daniels, just yesterday dropped out of the GOP primary race for U-S Senate.

Chris / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cgram/3711136176

Indiana’s longest-living governor, Edgar Whitcomb, passed away Thursday at the age of 98.

Born in 1917 in southern Indiana, Edgar Whitcomb served in World War Two as a B-17 navigator.  He twice escaped from a Japanese prisoner of war camp, detailing his account in his 1958 book “Escape from Corregidor.” 

Nic McPhee / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee

A bill to fully fund all three winners of the Regional Cities Initiative breezed through the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday.

The Regional Cities Initiative money comes from the 2015 tax amnesty program, and all $84 million was originally meant to be split between two regions.  This economic development program aims to encourage cooperation across city and county lines. 

NYC Department of Education / http://schools.nyc.gov/default.htm

Governor Pence signed two education bills into law Thursday aimed at curbing negative consequences for teachers and schools as a result of the 2015 ISTEP test.

House Bill 1003 prohibits low ISTEP grades from being used to calculate teacher evaluations this year– ensuring teachers won’t lose bonuses or be graded in affective because of low scores.

Senate Bill 200 does essentially the same thing for schools, allowing them to take the higher of this year or last year’s A-F grade.  

Jim Grey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/

The road funding plans moving through the House and Senate would mark a first: they'd reduce the amount of money the state considers an adequate reserve.

Three decades ago, House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) recalls, the state thought a six-and-a-half-percent surplus was enough, only to discover in the 1991 recession that it wasn't.

“That was clear that that was not the case in the recessions of the 90s. We moved ourselves up to about nine-or-10-percent,” Bosma says. “It was clear that that was not sufficient for the recession of 2007 and '08.”

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