Regional Cities Initiative

A new study from Ball State University underscores how higher education can boost wages – especially in certain parts of the state.

Its author, at the Center for Business and Economic Researcher, says the study suggests poorer counties have lots to gain from regional educational partnerships.

Graduate researcher Nathan Law found that since the recession, it’s been easier for Hoosiers with at least a bachelor’s degree to find full-time work.

Holcomb Budget Priorities: Some In, Some Out

Mar 31, 2017

The Senate GOP budget leaves out a key priority of Governor Eric Holcomb’s – reinvesting money in a state trust fund. But the Senate budget did include two Holcomb initiatives dismissed by House Republicans.

Holcomb wants to reinvest half of the state’s $500 million Next Generation Trust Fund in Indiana companies and entrepreneurs. He says changing that investment strategy is key to the state’s economic development.

Indiana Economic Development Corporation / http://indianaregionalcities.com/

State leaders have pinned Indiana’s economic fortunes to regional economic development initiatives.  

Many programs have been created in the last few years to foster cooperation between nearby counties and cities.

But as WBAA’s Chris Morisse Vizza reports, at least two West Central Indiana mayors say the inherent instinct to compete for jobs and corporate investment is an obstacle.

Courtesy John Perlich

State officials have approved the first projects for funding from the Regional Cities Initiative and could approve dozens more in the coming weeks.

The three approved so far are in the Northeast region, which is taking a different approach to the planning process than its counterparts in North Central and Southwest Indiana.

At this weekend's U.S. Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis, leaders from cities big and small are brainstorming ways to collaborate on economic growth, rather than competing.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg says that approach is already catching on in Indiana.

Outside a session with the mayors of Boston and New York, Buttigieg said his city of 100,000 is just big enough to have all the problems of a major metro area:

 

Annie Ropeik/Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana towns have a new priority when it comes to driving population growth and improving their economies: their downtowns. The Regional Cities Initiative is Indiana's first major, direct funding boost for those -- but it's just the latest in a string of public and private investments.

In the first part of an occasional series on Hoosier downtowns, Indiana Public Broadcasting's Annie Ropeik reports on the push to modernize Main Street.

 

Indiana Economic Development Corporation / http://indianaregionalcities.com/

Gov. Mike Pence Thursday signed into law a bill that guarantees full funding for all three winners of the Regional Cities Initiative, a program aimed at generating economic development cooperation across county and city lines.  And Pence says the legislation can benefit towns and cities beyond those regions.

The three Regional Cities winners – northeast, north central and southwest Indiana – cover 18 counties.  But Pence says the program has spurred work in other parts of the state, including four regions not awarded funding.

The 4 Big-issue Bills Approved On The Final Day Of Statehouse Committees

Feb 29, 2016
Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

1. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE 

The House Judiciary Committee Monday revived a bill that reforms Indiana’s medical malpractice law.

The bill raises the amount someone can collect for a single malpractice incident, from $1.25 million to $1.65 million. It hasn't been raised in 18 years.

Supporters say this accounts for inflation and prevents future legislators from having to deal with the issue. Others say the increase would further discourage physicians from working in Indiana.

The bill passed 11-1.

Indiana Economic Development Corporation / http://indianaregionalcities.com/

Legislators last year budgeted $84 million for Regional Cities grants, with the money to come from the state’s tax amnesty program.

The amnesty raised more money than predicted, and Pence announced three $42 million grants in December instead of two.

But House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) warned last week the votes aren't there to get the extra money out of committee.

Several committee members say they resent being put on the spot to back up the administration's promises without first being consulted.

Indiana Economic Development Corporation / http://indianaregionalcities.com/

Full funding for all three winners of Indiana’s Regional Cities Initiative is in jeopardy after Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) said Thursday a bill to provide those dollars is stalled in the House. 

The legislature last year set aside $84 million from the state’s 2015 tax amnesty program to pay for the Regional Cities Initiative.  The money was meant to be split in half, with $42 million going to each winner. 

Pages