Indiana General Assembly

Representative Milo Smith (R-Columbus) has been trying without luck for three sessions to pass legislation changing how mopeds are licensed and regulated in Indiana.  He thinks an increase in attention to the issue gives him reason to believe the fourth time’s the charm.

The past three sessions, Smith’s moped legislation has passed the House but died in the Senate.  He says its failure is due in large part to a philosophy in the General Assembly of less, not more regulation.  But he says leaving mopeds unregulated affects all drivers.

State lawmakers from the Lafayette area have a better idea of problems facing small business owners.

They held a town hall meeting Thursday to get input on issues entrepreneurs are facing and feedback on current laws and regulations. Several business owners say the unemployment insurance system is stacked against them.

Representative Sharon Negele (R-Attica) says she’s realized the same thing with the small business she and her husband run.

Lawmakers in the Indiana General Assembly have formed a small business caucus they say will help connect with the state’s small business owners on a more personal level. 

Senator Carlin Yoder (R-Middlebury) is the owner of a small business and the co-chair of the newly-formed Small Business Caucus in the General Assembly.  He says he helped start the caucus because he thought lawmakers take for granted that small businesses would be well-represented in the Statehouse, considering many legislators are small business owners themselves.

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday it should not get involved in a lawsuit challenging the collection of fines handed down to House Democrats during their walkouts in the 2011 and 2012 sessions. 

In a three to two decision, Chief Justice Brent Dickson wrote for the majority, ruling the fines imposed by House Republicans were internal matters of the legislature and not subject to judicial review.

State lawmakers want to help pay for some low-income families to send their children to preschool.

Proposed House legislation would set aside $7 million over each of the next two years for about 1,000 three and four year olds to attend a preschool program.  To be eligible, family income would have to be 185% of the federal poverty level or less, incorporating more people than the federal Head Start program.

Democratic lawmakers say it’s time for Indiana to begin a serious discussion about healthcare, including potential expansion of Medicaid.  They have proposed legislation dealing with implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The proposed bill authored by Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) would create a state-run healthcare exchange – a kind of marketplace for insurance companies and customers. It also would expand the state’s Medicaid program to add as many as 400,000 Hoosiers.

Klinker outlines legislative priorities

Jan 11, 2013

Median household income for Hoosiers is the lowest in the Midwest, and nationally, Indiana ranks 41st. That’s according to the most recent Census figures.

State Representative Sheila Klinker (D-Lafayette) says that needs to be addressed in this session of the General Assembly.

She says the state has touted its job creation the past few years, but it’s not translating into big pay checks for workers.

A new proposal from Attorney General Greg Zoeller and a GOP state senator would help Indiana schools put more police officers in their buildings. 

Raw Milk FAQs from Purdue Extension

Dec 5, 2012

Purdue Extension is out with a new publication on raw milk. Raw Milk FAQs is free to download and is meant to be a resource for Indiana lawmakers who might consider legislation banning or regulating the sale, and those interested in drinking milk that is not pasteurized.

The Indiana Board of Animal Health also recently released its report, which was ordered by the General Assembly. You can find it HERE.

LSC supt. says A-F grading system must change

Nov 27, 2012

Indiana's system of grading school performance needs to be reevaluated. That's the assessment of Lafayette School Corporation Superintendent Les Huddle. He says the way the current A to F system is set up leaves a lot of room for interpretation and confusion.

Huddle thinks the Growth Model is a good attempt, but he believes there are some ways to adjust that in the future.

“It seems like we’re reestablishing a target almost annually that the teachers have to work towards and the students have to work towards.”