Mike Pence

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

State leaders are calling a program to put former inmates to work a success. The Hoosier Initiative for Re-Entry – or HIRE – is a cooperative effort between the state departments of workforce development and correction, along with Indiana businesses.

Of the more than 20,000 people released from Indiana prisons each year, the Department of Correction reports 36% return to prison within three years.  The recidivism rate climbs to 60% if the person is unemployed.  The HIRE program was created last year to provide inmates a path to the workforce. 

SCOTUS rules against IN, Pence vows to fight

May 29, 2013

The U-S Supreme Court is declining to review a lower court decision that prevents the state of Indiana from cutting Planned Parenthood out of its Medicaid program.

Governor Mitch Daniels signed a bill in 2011 that prevented Medicaid recipients from being reimbursed for health services at Planned Parenthood because some of its clinics offer abortions.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law in court.

SIA expansion to add up to 900 jobs

May 8, 2013

Subaru of Indiana Automotive plans to expand its Lafayette plant again. The company announced Wednesday morning it will add production of the Subaru Impreza in 2016.

The expansion means an investment of more than $400 million and the creation of up to 900 new jobs.

SIA executive vice president Tom Easterday says this is an economic boon for the entire community.

Governor Mike Pence signed an abortion drug regulation measure he says will protect women’s health. However, Planned Parenthood of Indiana says it will likely challenge the law in court.

The signed legislation would require Indiana abortion clinics that only dispense the abortion inducing drug known as RU-486 to adhere to the same physical standards as surgical abortion clinics.  That includes bigger door and room sizes and surgical equipment requirements.  Only one Indiana facility will be affected – a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lafayette.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

House and Senate leaders say they’ve reached an agreement on the final two year budget.  They say it includes significant increases for education and roads funding.

Though the budget isn’t expected to officially pass until late Friday, House and Senate fiscal leaders have hammered out a deal that includes more than $300 million in funding increases for K through 12 education.  House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says the budget goes beyond the goal of restoring education funding to pre-recession levels.

IN legislature nearly finished with ACA implementation decisions

Apr 21, 2013

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says the legislature is largely finished dealing with implementation of the Affordable Care Act this session. 

Both the House and Senate proposed legislation guiding the Pence administration on ways to proceed with implementation of the federal healthcare bill.  But the House bill failed to pass and Ways and Means Chair Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) put a halt to the Senate bill, saying legislation passed in 2011 allowing the governor to negotiate for expansion through the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) was adequate. 

A new revenue forecast predicts even stronger tax revenue growth for Indiana over the next two years. However, House and Senate fiscal leaders say it will not dramatically alter budget negotiations.

The April revenue forecast unveiled Tuesday shows a $290 million increase from December projections, with the biggest predicted gains coming from individual income taxes.

The budget plan unveiled by Indiana Senate Republicans creates a new Major Moves Trust Fund aimed at helping pay for significant transportation projects in the future. It contains more than $200 million in road funding to both state and local governments in each of the next two years.  It also puts away $400 million to begin saving for projects such as the completion of I-69 and making I-65 and I-70 six lanes wide across the entire state.

Senate Appropriations Chair Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) says the trust fund is about getting the process started.

The Indiana Senate budget proposal unveiled Thursday does include an income tax cut, but not nearly as large as Governor Mike Pence proposed. 

Last year, then-congressman Mike Pence made a 10% income tax cut proposal the centerpiece of his campaign.  But when House Republicans presented their budget earlier this session, Governor Pence’s tax cut was nowhere to be found.  Senate Republicans have added a 3% cut to their budget.

Governor Mike Pence pitched his income tax cut proposal to mayors and local government leaders who visited the Statehouse Tuesday to promote their own priorities to the legislature. 

His proposed across-the-board 10% income tax cut hasn’t been backed by many in the General Assembly, even his fellow Republicans.  And its reception among the dozens of mayors and town leaders at the Statehouse might also be described as lukewarm.

However, Pence says his proposal will help more people than other tax cuts lawmakers are considering.