Politics

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Jim Grey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/

 At least two Syrian families are being redirected to other states after Governor Mike Pence’s decision to temporarily bar them from entering Indiana.

According to letters the director of Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration sent to Exodus Refugee Immigration and Catholic Charities Indianapolis, a Syrian couple and their 5-year-old was scheduled to arrive in Indiana on Thursday. That family’s now in Connecticut.

The other family was supposed to come to Indiana next month.

Senate Republicans Unveil GOP Anti-Discrimination Bill

Nov 18, 2015
Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

Senate Republicans Tuesday unveiled the details of legislation they say strikes a balance between protecting the LGBT community from discrimination and ensuring Hoosiers’ religious freedom.  

Quinn Dombrowski / https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/

 Senate Republican Leader David Long Monday pledged that LGBT non-discrimination legislation will begin next session in the Senate and will get a hearing. Long also says the measure will balance equal protection with religious freedom.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long says he won’t yet talk about the specifics of an LGBT rights bill, insisting that he wants the Senate GOP caucus to examine the measure first.  Still, he stresses that religious freedom cannot be discounted in the discussion.

IN Supreme Court

Governor Mike Pence will have an opportunity for the first time in his administration to appoint a Supreme Court Justice after Brent Dickson announced his plans Monday to retire.  

Dickson, who’s served on the State Supreme Court since 1986, says jokingly he doesn’t know why Governor Robert Orr appointed him nearly 30 years ago.  But he says he’s proud of the focus he’s had on ensuring lawyer civility during his time on the bench…and says collegiality should be a priority for the next justice.

K. Latham / https://www.flickr.com/photos/programwitch/

Hoosiers going to the polls next month will be able to take a photo of their ballot after a federal judge halted a new state law banning so-called “ballot selfies.” 

The state said its law banning people from taking pictures of their ballot – whether filled out or not – in the voting booth was to help prevent voter coercion and vote buying and selling.  But federal judge Sarah Evans Barker says the state didn’t show any evidence that those problems exist.

Harrison Wagner / WFIU/WTIU

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry paid a visit to Indiana University on Thursday. His talk was part of the dedication of the university’s new Global and International Studies Building. In his speech at the IU auditorium, Kerry discussed foreign policy, globalization and how students can make a difference.

Barbara Harrington / http://indianapublicmedia.org/news/author/bjharrin/

More than two weeks after the first meeting of  Governor Mike Pence’s drug abuse task force, the governor is ordering state agencies to begin implementing some of the group’s initial recommendations.  

One of the drug task force’s initial recommendations urged the state to seek broader Medicaid coverage for drug treatment.  Governor Mike Pence is now directing the Family and Social Services Administration to determine the feasibility of that recommendation. 

Col. Frederic A. Drummond Jr., Chicago District commander, speaks to Sen. Joe Donnelly during a Congressional Staff tour at Brandon Road Lock and Dam, Joliet, Ill., April 22, 2014.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chicago District / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usacechicago/

As Suicide Prevention Month comes to a close, Senator Joe Donnelly says America’s military still has work to do to help prevent servicemember suicides.

Servicemember suicides are on pace this year to decline for the second consecutive year.  Yet for three straight years more members of the military have taken their own lives than have died in combat.

Indiana House Republicans

Indiana House Majority Floor Leader Jud McMillin – a rising star in the GOP caucus – abruptly resigned Tuesday.  

McMillin was chosen last year by fellow House Republicans to become floor leader, one of the top ranking positions in the caucus.  In a statement, the Brookville Republican says he decided the time was right to pass the torch after five years in the General Assembly.  McMillin, an attorney and former Ohio deputy prosecutor, says he wants to focus all his attention on, in his words, “making his family’s world a better place.” 

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

Indiana Senate Democrats Monday unveiled policy initiatives aimed at helping the state’s undocumented immigrants, including a potential measure that would provide them with drivers permits.

The Pew Research Center estimates that about 110,000 undocumented immigrants live in Indiana.  Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane says there are common sense changes the state can make to help not just that population, but all Hoosiers.  That includes providing limited drivers permits to undocumented immigrants if they show proof of insurance – which Lanane calls a public safety measure:

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