Terry Goodin

Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) says the latest legislation builds on previous school safety investments. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Indiana schools will now have access to a little more money to upgrade their safety infrastructure.

The new money is possible through legislation approved during Monday’s one-day special session of the General Assembly.

Brandon Smith / IPB News

Independent consultants investigating the Department of Child Services have identified significant potential shortages in the agency.

The consultants’ second public update shows possible challenges in legal representation, worker qualifications, and services.

House and Senate lawmakers waited until the final day of the session’s halfway point to advance their top priority for 2018: workforce development measures.

An independent consultant’s evaluation of the Department of Child Services has taken small steps in its first month on the ground. The consultant delivered its first progress report on the assessment Thursday – an update that’s yielded more questions than answers.

The evaluation of DCS began Jan. 2 and consultant Sue Steib says it’s expected to end in June. Steib says her group has already identified an agency issue: an ineffective data system.

House Dems Elect Rep. Terry Goodin New Leader

Nov 27, 2017

After the vote, Goodin revealed no details about his political strategy for the 2018 legislative session. But he did indicate a desire to fight gerrymandering. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)

About one week after Minority Leader Scott Pelath announced he would step down, House Democrats have a new leader – Rep. Terry Goodin.

After the caucus elected him, Goodin revealed no details about his political strategy for the 2018 legislative session.

Eric Molina / https://www.flickr.com/photos/iamagenious/

Governor Mike Pence’s Drug Abuse Task Force is scheduled for only three meetings, with some questioning whether much can be accomplished in such a short period.  Task force co-chair John Hill says the three meetings might just be the beginning.

The first task force meeting took place in Indianapolis earlier this month; the other two will take place in Evansville and South Bend.  Hill says he wants the group to address some of the most pressing issues in those meetings and provide recommendations for legislative action next session:

Smussyolay / https://www.flickr.com/photos/smussyolay/

For the fourth session in a row, legislative language creating a program to drug test welfare recipients appears dead. The author of this year’s version has changed his mind about passing the measure in its current form.

Rep. Terry Goodin, D-Crothersville, last week crafted an amendment to a health care bill that would allow the state to randomly drug test welfare recipients. But in a conference committee hearing on the bill Tuesday, Goodin said several organizations, including community and mental health advocates, expressed concerns about his proposal.

Indiana House GOP

Statehouse Democrats say the budget proposal Governor Mike Pence unveiled Thursday doesn’t tell a true story when it comes to increasing education funding, with some lawmakers saying Pence is using “fuzzy math.”

IN House GOP budget passes first vote

Feb 19, 2013

Indiana’s budget bill is headed to the House floor after undergoing a minor makeover in the Ways and Means committee Tuesday.

The panel considered majority and minority party amendments, making several small changes.  Those include $7 million more in K through 12 education funding to fix an error in the formula and more money for the state’s Clean Water program.  The committee voted 15 to 7 to pass the budget, with seven Democrats on Ways and Means voting against it.

Governor Mike Pence wants a one percent increase for K through 12 school funding in each of the next two years, but schools would have to earn the extra money in the second year. 

The governor’s budget includes around $190 million in additional funding for K-12 schools.  Some, like Representative Terry Goodin (D-Crothersville) says that’s not enough.

“Our public schools are the number one economic development tool in our state.  So if that’s the case, we need to fund those economic development tools properly.  One percent’s probably not going to do that.”