Indiana 2016 General Assembly

 

Indiana’s roads task force may recommend the state begin tolling interstate highways.

Previous debates over how to pay for Indiana’s infrastructure needs focused on fuel taxes, alternative fuel vehicle levies, and fees based on the number of miles someone drives. The discussion broadened at the second-to-last roads task force meeting. Engineer Steven Davidson recommends Indiana should explore tolling every interstate highway.

“Now that would be implemented over a number of years as the interstate is either expanded, upgraded, rehabilitated,” Davidson says.

Chris Morisse Vizza

For a second time in 17 years, students from Tippecanoe County have traveled to the statehouse to advocate for a bill designating Say's Firefly as the state insect.

And, for a second time in as many years, the General Assembly elected to not take action on the bill.

The firefly activists, second- and third-graders at West Lafayette's Cumberland Elementary School, plan to shine a light on the topic until state lawmakers see things their way.

Chris Morisse Vizza

The Tippecanoe County Commissioners say they want input from the mayors of Lafayette and West Lafayette before establishing a new bridge tax.

The commissioners on Monday had planned to schedule a meeting so taxpayers could comment on creation of a major bridge fund. It would pay for large bridges scheduled for replacement in the next 50 years.

But Auditor Bob Plantenga says the property tax increase may trigger state-mandated tax caps that would slightly decrease the amount of revenue for the cities of Lafayette, West Lafayette and Otterbein.

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

Governor Mike Pence Thursday signed into law a bill banning abortions performed solely because of a fetus’ gender, race or potential disability. 

The measure also imposes new guidelines for handling aborted and miscarried fetal remains.

The bill drew criticism from doctors, and even some Republican lawmakers, including a few who’ve sponsored anti-abortion bills in the past. 

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

There have been plenty of complaints against ISTEP, the state’s standardized education assessment.

The legislature addressed these complaints by saying ISTEP will be gone by 2018, and a group of educators, politicians and other stakeholders will decide what’s next.

StateImpact Indiana’s Claire McInerny reports this committee could address one of the biggest criticisms of the ISTEP: the high stakes.

Drew Daudelin

Several bills pending in the 2016 General Assembly aim to put an end to meth labs in the state.

One proposal classifies drugs containing pseudoephedrine – a key ingredient of meth - prescription-only.

Another empowers pharmacists to turn away suspicious customers.

Both bills are based on rules that have seen some success in reducing meth production, like Harry Webb’s Family Pharmacy in Rochester, Indiana.