Governor Mike Pence

Tom Sugar Facebook

Former Evan Bayh chief of staff Tom Sugar will not run for governor.

Sugar had been flirting with a bid for the Democratic nomination, to be centered on the issue of redistricting reform. Sugar founded the nonprofit Lead or Leave to campaign for independently drawn districts, and is serving on a legislative study committee reviewing the issue.

Subaru of Indiana Automotive

Subaru of Indiana Automotive announced today the Lafayette plant will be increasing its workforce and production by nearly a third -- and adding 1,200 new jobs -- as part of its plan to increase its production output.

SIA is investing $140 million dollars to up production by nearly 100,000 thousand vehicles a year.  SIA currently produces about 300,000 cars each year.

The expansion will take place over the next two years, and most of the jobs will be on the production line.

SIA Vice President Tom Easterday expects the new hires will come from within Indiana:

Indianapolis International Airport / https://www.facebook.com/IndianapolisInternationalAirport/photos/

Indianapolis International Airport fell silent this morning to mark the 14th anniversary of 9/11.

Gov. Mike Pence stood silently facing the tarmac for five minutes, alongside four police officers bearing two memorial wreaths, a fire helmet and a police officer's cap, symbols of the first responders who died at the World Trade Center.

Pence told the crowd the anniversary is a time to remember not only September 11's victims and their families, but the police, firefighters and armed forces responsible for keeping the country safe from future attacks.

State, INDOT Exploring How To Fund 2016 Road Projects

Sep 8, 2015
Lee Cannon / https://www.flickr.com/photos/leecannon/8630689052/

Legislators and Gov. Pence have said they expect an "infrastructure session" next year. But they're still working out how to pay for those projects.

INDOT officials and legislators have warned for years that increased fuel efficiency is reducing the gas tax revenue that has traditionally paid for road maintenance.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) says he doesn't think increasing the tax is the way to make up for it -- he notes electric vehicles don't pay fuel tax at all, and says a funding solution should involve contributions from all vehicles.

Office of the Governor

Governor Mike Pence, along with 14 other governors, has sent a letter to President Obama expressing opposition to the nation’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran, adding he won’t lift state sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation in support of the agreement.

Lee Cannon / https://www.flickr.com/photos/leecannon/6962094774/

Governor Mike Pence wants federal aid for 19 counties affected by flooding that swept through Indiana earlier this summer. 

If granted, the governor’s request would provide FEMA grants to governments and some non-profit organizations in the 19 counties – most of which are in northeast and southeast parts of the state.

The grants would pay up to 75-percent of expenses to, for example, repair damage to roads, bridges and utilities.  It could also be used for debris removal and traffic control. 

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The Department of Child Services’ caseload is up a quarter over last year.  So the state is responding by hiring more than a hundred new caseworkers.

State law sets a standard for the average number of cases each DCS employee should be handling at one time.  The vast majority of the department’s regions have been out of compliance for years. 

The state responded earlier this year by hiring 100 new caseworkers and 17 supervisors -- but DCS Director Mary Beth Bonaventura says since then, there’s been a spike in demand.

Slogan Signs Cost Taxpayers Almost $300,000

Jul 27, 2015
Indiana Public Media

It’s an often-heard phrase in the Statehouse: “Indiana’s a state that works.”

Governor Pence has made the catchphrase a cornerstone of his economic policies.

Now, that slogan is embedded on the Indiana Government Center North and the One North Capitol buildings that surround the Statehouse.

The materials and installation of the signs, which were added in 2014 and 2015, cost just shy of $300,000 . 

Indiana Democratic Party Spokesperson Drew Anderson calls it a waste of taxpayer funds.

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

Significant tax relief for Hoosier employers could be on the horizon if the state’s revenues do well the next few months.

Indiana took out a more than $2 billion loan from the federal government at the height of the recession to pay unemployment benefits.  It’s been paying it back ever since. 

And as long as the state owes money on the loan, employers have to pay a penalty. 

This year, that penalty is $105 per employee; next year, it rises to $126. 

Pence Inks Pair Of Broadband Access Bills

Jul 23, 2015
Payne Horning / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence ceremonially signed two bills into law Wednesday that aim to expand broadband Internet access across the state. 

The new Broadband Ready Communities Development Center will team with local governments to encourage and approve communications projects that expand Internet access.

A related law prohibits local and state governments from imposing taxes on the use or access of Internet service. That ban will only go into effect if the federal law that currently prohibits access taxes expires later this year.

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