Indiana General Assembly

Indiana’s battle to collect online sales tax from businesses that don’t have a physical presence in the state will more likely play out in Congress than in the courts, says one economist.

Indiana does collect sales tax from companies such as Amazon, which has seven distribution centers across five counties.

But the state also wants to tax online retailers including Wayfair and Overstock, which don’t – but still earn more than $100,000 a year from Hoosiers.

State lawmakers are discussing whether to a change a 2011 law that prohibits young people brought into the country illegally from accessing in-state tuition at public colleges.

Indiana is one of only three states in the country that specifically makes immigrant students who can not prove state residency or who don’t qualify for a federal program to pay the more expensive out-of-state tuition rate.

Lawmakers Recommend Delay On New Guardianship Program

Aug 30, 2017

Indiana lawmakers Tuesday recommended a delay in implementation of a new program that would serve as an alternative to guardianships.

When someone is deemed incapable of making certain legal decisions, a guardian is chosen or appointed to help.

The General Assembly is weighing a program called supportive decision-making, in which guardianship becomes less of a binary decision. It’s designed primarily for young adults with intellectual development disabilities, many of whom advocates say should have more control than traditional guardianship allows.

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.

courtesy Indiana Black Legislative Caucus

Members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus will kick off a series of meetings later this month aimed, in part, at convincing Hoosiers that similar issues affect rural and urban areas of the state.

And, says caucus member Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis), the meetings are a way to work across the aisle, too.

“We’re talking about things that would benefit everyone – that are good for everyone – that the conservative side actually authored a lot of this legislation,” Shackleford says.

www.flickr.com/danebrian/15706134598

Today, on WBAA’s Wake-Up Call, Tippecanoe County Area Plan Executive Director Sallie Fahey talks about developing new local zoning rules to regulate short-term guest rentals in private homes or property. 

Earlier this year, local planners postponed adoption of rules governing so-called transient rentals because state lawmakers were debating legislation that would have limited local governments’ ability to restrict so-called transient housing.

Top House Committee Leadership Jobs Open

Nov 21, 2016

 

Two significant House committees will have new leadership after their chairs left the chamber this year.

The House Public Policy Committee chair retired this year and the Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications chair moved to the Senate. Those two high profile positions now up for grabs in the House GOP caucus.

But political analyst Ed Feigenbaum says not to expect too much change in the direction of either committee.

Interiorrain / https://www.flickr.com/photos/photomemoriesflopes/

A group of Indiana lawmakers is recommending the General Assembly take up a draft bill that would offer addiction treatment to certain misdemeanor offenders.

The state currently offers such treatment to select low-level felons as part of the newly-formed Recovery Works program, which allows justice officials to decide whether to offer vouchers for services such as addiction counseling and detox programs.

Lee Coursey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/leeco/

A debate over a specific way to generate transportation funding dollars resurfaced during the third meeting of the state roads task on Thursday.

The discussion focused on funding sources. And an idea promoted by a Purdue expert testifying before the panel provoked debate among its members: specifically, the value of vehicle miles traveled, or VMT, fees.

In a VMT system, people pay for how many miles they drive.

Republican Sen. Brandt Hershman, (R-Buck Creek), says he has issues with using that type of fee to pay for roads.

New Coalition Pushes To Expand State-Funded Pre-K

Aug 15, 2016
Jeanne Christine / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeannechristine/4677059470

A coalition of business, government, education and philanthropic leaders say they are determined to push state lawmakers to expand state-funded preschool in the upcoming legislative session.

“All IN 4 Pre-K” is a new advocacy group that includes Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, outgoing Eli Lilly CEO John Lechleiter, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Early Learning Indiana

Lechleiter says the state's pre-k pilot program is not enough to meet demand.

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