Indiana General Assembly

Uncertainty surrounding implementation of the Affordable Care Act looms over the upcoming session of the General Assembly, and fiscal leaders say that uncertainty will necessitate caution when writing the state’s next budget.

Milliman, the actuary hired by the state, predicts Indiana will see its Medicaid costs expand by more than $600 million over seven years once the Affordable Care Act goes into effect. That's the low-end estimate if the state chooses not to expand its Medicaid eligibility rules.

Brown new House Ways and Means Committee chairman

Nov 13, 2012
Indiana House Republicans

The Indiana House Republicans have selected a representative from Crawfordsville to lead the powerful Ways and Means committee. Dr. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) will first lead the committee during a budget session.

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says his choice for the leader of the Ways and Means committee was not an easy one, and says his pick of Representative Tim Brown was based partially on Brown’s medical background.

“It’s clear that the role of healthcare is taking an increasing role in the Ways and Means Committee,” he says.

After months of assumption that he’d win the race easily, it came as little surprise Tuesday when Republican Congressman Mike Pence was elected the 50th governor in state history. 

Though the race appeared to narrow in recent weeks, Pence’s lead was too much to overcome for Democrat John Gregg.  Pence’s platform throughout the campaign was positive, rarely engaging in what were almost constant attacks from Gregg. 

Negele wins IN House District 13 race

Nov 7, 2012

A Republican won the open seat in Indiana House District 13. The district includes all or parts of eight counties: Benton, Fountain, Jasper, Montgomery, Newton, Tippecanoe, Warren and White.

Sharon Negele claimed roughly 59% of the vote over Democrat Mark Straw. She says she’s excited, humbled and proud to represent the district.

"I thought it was a very civil race. I really enjoyed getting to know a lot of people in the area, which I never ventured to before, because it's a brand new district. Overall, it was a clean, comfortable race."

Republican Chuck Hockema grew up in Lafayette. He went through the Tippecanoe School Corporation and graduated from Purdue and then Brigham Young University Law School.

He says he has two major strengths that will serve him well as a state representative. The first is a background in business.

“We need substantive bills that are going to create that climate that everyone talks about for job growth," he says. "I have created jobs. I have created businesses here in Lafayette and West Lafayette. That’s definitely an area that’s going to be a big plus.”

Two former city council members – one from Lafayette and the other from West Lafayette – are vying to represent the area which includes the two cities and the central portion of Tippecanoe County.

On November 6th voters in House District 26 have a choice of whether the area is heading in the right direction under Republican Randy Truitt or if its needs to change course with Democrat Rick Cornstuble.

WBAA’s Sam Klemet reports.

A legislative study committee will examine the state’s property tax assessment system to determine if the state’s property tax caps are being manipulated.

State Senator Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis) called for the investigation after constituents raised concerns about sharp increases in their property tax assessments in an area of Marion County.  The state Department of Local Government Finance will look into the Marion County issue and the Commission on State Tax and Financing Policy – a study committee – will consider the process statewide.

The State Fire Marshal wants lawmakers to extend the emergency rules created this summer to regulate outdoor stage equipment.

In response to the State Fair stage collapse, the General Assembly last session passed legislation authorizing the state Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission to develop temporary stage equipment regulations for use this summer.  Those rules expire at the end of 2013, forcing lawmakers to act next session.

State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson says he wants to extend the temporary rules for two more years.

Eight men and women vying for seats in the General Assembly made their case in front of constituents Wednesday night.

It was part of a forum put on by the Lafayette League of Women Voters and Wabash Area Lifetime Learning Association.

Lafayette resident Ron Anders says he still has some research to do before casting a ballot in November.  But, thinks the forum gave him a better understanding of the candidates.

Brandon Smith / IPBS

As a new school year begins, it’s not just students who have homework due. Hoosier school corporations are required to submit new teacher evaluation programs to the state Department of Education by next month.

Some legislators are concerned about the effectiveness of the evaluations. They met Tuesday for a summer study committee to hear from the state Department of Education about its plan.

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