Indiana General Assembly

A bill passed by a state senate committee would tell doctors how to administer medications they use to perform abortions. However, some doctors disagree with the legislatively-prescribed protocol.

The bill mandates that drugs used in so-called chemical abortions be administered according to Food and Drug Administration guidelines only.  But some physicians say they prefer using evidence-based, off-label practices, while the F.D.A. protocol requires a dose three times higher than those doctors prefer using.

An amendment by House Democrats to place Right to Work on a statewide referendum has been redrafted and filed, but Democrats remained off the floor Friday.

An initial referendum amendment was thought by legislative attorneys to be unconstitutional.  Democrats then vacated the floor all this week to redraft it.

Friday morning Minority Leader Pat Bauer said he wanted assurances from the Republicans that they believe the new amendment passes constitutional muster.  But Speaker Brian Bosma will only promise to hear, debate and vote on the amendment.

A state senator wants to raise the level of surplus needed before triggering a tax refund. The refund mechanism was put in place last year.

If the state’s budget surplus surpasses 10% of the total budget, the taxpayer refund kicks in.  When the surplus is calculated at the end of the fiscal year in June, projections say it will be at least $300 million more than the 10% level, disbursing a refund of about $50 per taxpayer.

State Senator Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) says he wants to raise the threshold to be on the safe side.

Those opposed to a Right to Work measure in the Indiana General Assembly are getting their side mobilized in the Lafayette area.

For the third day in a row, Democrats prevented the House from doing business by staying off the floor. 

The holdout is over Right to Work legislation, which bans union contracts from requiring non-union employees pay fees for representation.  With their third consecutive day of absence, House Democrats could now be fined up to one thousand dollars each day under an anti-bolting statute passed last session.  Speaker Brian Bosma says he hasn’t taken the necessary legal step to level the fines yet.

Right to Work took its first step towards passage Friday as a committee passed it to the Senate floor. 

A joint House and Senate committee met for more than five hours, hearing testimony on both sides of the controversial issue.  Right to Work legislation bans union contracts that require non-union employees pay fees for representation.

State Senator Carlin Yoder (R-Middlebury), the bill’s sponsor, says the issue boils down to whether Right to Work is good for Indiana

Legislators are hoping a statewide smoking ban will finally get through the Indiana Senate by limiting exceptions to the rule in the 2012 version of the bill.

Only three entities would be exempt from the smoking ban: gaming floors; cigar or hookah bars currently in existence; and existing social clubs whose membership votes every two years to allow smoking. A statewide smoking ban has been passed out of the Indiana House for five consecutive years only to fail in the Senate. 

Indiana Democrats failed to show for the House of Representatives session that was called at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Republicans were in attendance, but Democrats were in caucus on the third floor of the statehouse, which began around noon.

House Democratic leader Pat Bauer said at a press conference Democrats will not attend session until they have assurances that right to work legislation will not be “railroaded” through the legislature. Bauer says the public needs time to give their input and to be educated on the issue.

Truitt Reluctantly Supports Vouchers

Jan 3, 2012
Indiana House Republican caucus

A Lafayette area lawmaker calls himself a reluctant supporter of the state voucher program.

Republican Randy Truitt says he plans to introduce several reforms during the upcoming session to make it better.

He believes one necessary change is to make sure public schools that don’t lose students to vouchers aren’t penalized financially.

Truitt says he wants to review the progress of the program and, if it’s determined that it is not working, go back and fix any problems.

Radio and television commercials will begin airing across the state encouraging Hoosiers to contact their state legislators to urge them to oppose the “Right to Work for Less” law being proposed in the Indiana General Assembly.

A series of 30 second television and 60 second radio spots will run in areas where recent polling conducted by the Indiana State AFL-CIO and its partners has shown constituents oppose the measure. 

Titled “Wrong Priorities,” the ads were paid for by a coalition of Indiana State AFL-CIO affiliates and non-affiliated unions.

Pages