2019 General Assembly session

House GOP Caucus

Today:   We continue our conversations with northwest Indiana legislators with state Representative Ed Soliday (R) of Valparaiso.  He had several bills that he introduced not only get through the General Assembly this session, but were signed into law by Governor Eric Holcomb.    We also have a conversation with a media giant:  C-SPAN creator and native Hoosier Brian Lamb. He talks about growing up in Lafayette, attending Purdue, getting started in broadcasting in his hometown and coming up with the concept that has grown to several cable television channels.

Photo Provided

Today:   We have three perspectives of the 2019 Indiana General Assembly session that adjourned for the year last week.  Ed Feigenbaum, the editor of the "Indiana Gaming Insight" and "Indiana Legislative Insight" newsletters published by Hanna News Service talks first and at-length about the gaming omnibus bill that awaits the Governor's review.  It involves changes in gaming casino licenses that will affect the city of Gary and establishes new gambling avenues.  Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch joins us for her "take" on the 2019 session, since she is the president of the Indiana Senate

Carolyn Jackson Facebook page

Today:  We continue our conversations with members of the northwest Indiana legislative delegation with state Representative Carolyn Jackson (D)(1)  -- who represents Hammond and Whiting.  She is one of the  lawmakers elected in the November 2018 election, filling the seat held by long-time Representative Linda Lawson.  She gives us her assessment of her first General Assembly session.  Kim Ferraro of the Hoosier Environmental Council talks about the 60-day notice of lawsuit issued to the owners of a proposed dairy farm in Newton County.  And "Dunes Action" co-founder Jim Sweeney is with u

Lawmakers wrapped up the 2019 legislative session with passage of a new, two-year state budget and a major gambling bill. But a vaping tax couldn’t make it to the finish line.

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

Meredith Colias-Pete, Post-Tribune

Today:   On this Reporters' Roundtable, we get education news updates from Meredith Colias-Pete with the "Post-Tribune," including the latest on the Lake Ridge New Tech Schools' financial problems and the just-completed General Assembly session.  Carole Carlson of the "Post-Tribune" tells us about an unexplained personnel issue in town government in New Chicago and the Lake Station Democratic Party mayoral candidates' forum.  And Dr Indira Frank of the Hoosier Environmental Council talks about a short-staffed IDEM office that needs to be fully-staffed and -funded, but probably was not, in

Vaping Tax Bill Dies As 2019 Session Ends

Apr 25, 2019
Exhaling smoke from an e-cigarette. (WFIU/WTIU)
Brandon Smith

A bill to impose a tax on the liquids used in e-cigarettes couldn’t make it to the finish line as the 2019 legislative session ended.

Indiana DCS web site

Today:   We talk to Dr Rick Hug, who started the series of Indiana University Northwest annual Forums on Child Abuse and Neglect.  The 29th annual forum is this Friday in the Bruce Bergland Auditorium, in the Savannah Center on the Gary campus.  Dr Hug talks about this year's keynote speaker and the other workshops designed to focus on issues behind child abuse and neglect and efforts to combat them that  lead to healthy youth and adults.  We also continue our conversations with members of northwest Indiana's legislative delegation with state Rep.

Major Gambling Bill Nears Its Final Form

Apr 22, 2019
The Indiana Statehouse (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Lawmakers are nearing the ultimate version of this session’s major gambling bill.

A controversial payday lending bill died on the House floor. A revenue forecast projects less money for lawmakers to work with in the new state budget. And a bill to create payouts for exonerated prisoners is headed to the governor.

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

Indiana House Democratic Party Caucus

Today:  We continue with our series of conversations with northwest Indiana state lawmakers with state Representative Pat Boy, a Democrat who represents House District 9.  Boy defeated Republican Dan Granquist in the November general election for the chance to represent voters in her Michigan City area.  Pat talks about her experiences as a new state legislator,  the measures she sponsored or co-sponsored this General Assembly session and her thoughts on the upcoming vote on a new state budget. 

Indiana General Assembly webpage

Today:  We begin our series of conversations with northwest Indiana state legislators with Democratic state Representative Lisa Beck.  This is the Lake County lawmaker's first General Assembly session, having taken over for Republican Julie Olthoff.  She talks about her impression of the Statehouse, the bills she sponsored and how they've fared, and her look at the two-year state budget that she and her colleagues will vote on this month.  We also talk with Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra conductor Kirk Muspratt about May 17th's Pops concert that is just "out of this world."

IPB News/Lauren Chapman

Today: We learn from Chuck Hughes of the Gary Chamber of Commerce about the 4th Annual World Civility Day events on Thursday, April 11th.  A full day of civility-themed activities kicks off  in the morning at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond and concludes with an awards dinner at Avalon Manor in Merrillville.

Amtrak/Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance

Today:   We learn from Steve Coxhead, the president of the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance, about the efforts to keep Amtrak's "Hoosier State" and "Cardinal" services running for the immediate future, since there is no state funding set aside in the next two-year budget.  Coxhead says Amtrak is aware of the funding situation and could take steps within 90 days to suspend service, if nothing is resolved.  We also talk to Dan Klein with the Shared Ethics Advisory Commission about getting campaigning local government candidates to sign a pledge of support on ethics issues, and a one-day confe

Annenberg School for Communication - University of Pennsylvania

Today: "Post-Tribune" reporter Carole Carlson joins us to tell about stories she's sent out in print and online -- including news of new personnel in the Gary and Merrillville school districts, some major infrstructure projects n Gary and of a local meeting that connected the Region to the hate-bias crimes bill now moving through the General Assembly.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson went to south Texas on vacation and offers the second of her two-part report on reaction to the "border wall" expansion there.  And we bring back our conversation with NPR's television critic Eric Degg

Purdue University Ft Wayne

Today:   Andy Downs with the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue Fort Wayne joins us with updates on bills working their way through the 2019  General Assembly session, including some controversial measures which may end up not going right to the Governor's desk but to conference committee -- or even study committe later this year.  Gary Chamber of Commerce executive director Chuck Hughes tells us more about the April 11th World Civility Day events, beginning with workshops at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond and ending with an entertainment-filled awards banquet that nig

IPB News/Lauren Chapman

Today:   We begin with "Times" Statehouse reporter Dan Carden on some of the latest stories he's posted online and had in print in the newspaper from the 2019 General Assembly session and Indiana Supreme Court decisions.  The lawmakers debate the issue of the change the BMV's making on drivers' licenses and ID cards and we wonder if it is a clue as how the "hate crime" debate will end up.  Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson brings her digital recorder along while on vacation in South Texas, and she asks lccals about the idea of a border wall.  And Valparaiso University Jazz Fest found

Chicago Crusader file

Today:    "Howey Politics Indiana" editor and writer Brian Howey joins us with the latest on the major issues being debated in the General Assembly and Hoosier politics in general, including a look at Hoosiers involved in national politics.   We bring you two more conversations  from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University.  Dr. Vanessa Allen-McCloud, the president-CEO of the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, talks about this week's 7th annual Diversity and Inclusion Awards Luncheon. 

Photo Provided

Today:   Noted Indiana economist-writer-speaker Morton Marcus is with us to talk about his recent "Eye on the Pie" columns that are published online and in print.  We also have in the studio Ingrid Norris, the  executive director-CEO of the Lake County Public Library,  about a bill moving through the General Assembly that has public library directors across the state very worried -- a measure that could shift control of library budgets from library boards over to town, city or county councils.  The bill could also give local governments the power to reallocate library funds, such as the re

Photo Provided

Today:   Tim Maloney, the senior policy officer with the Hoosier Environmental Council, talks about the HEC and other groups joining together to encourage state legislators to make sure there are enough funds  in the next two-year budget for some of Indiana's most important conservation programs.  He notes that the President Benjamin Harrison Conservation Trust and the state's Wildlife Action Plan are in need of increased financial support.  Neither programs have been adequately funded since 2008.

Majestic Star

Today:   "Indiana Gaming Insight" and "Indiana Political Insight" newsletters editor Ed Feigenbaum joins us for the latest news for northwest Indiana and statewide casinos from the Indiana Gaming Commission and General Assembly.   He has updates on efforts to create statewide sports betting options as well.  We also bring back our conversation with Stephanie Blackstock of Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest  on the one-year observance of change in ownership of the Valparaiso area nature preserve.

IPB News/Lauren Chapman

Today:     "Save the Dunes" Executive Director Natalie Johnson and Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson join us to talk about a region-wide lobbying effort underway, to keep Senate Bill 581 from being passed in the General Assembly.  It's a bill that community officials say would circumvent the Indiana Supreme Court decision on the public's right to the Lake Michigan shoreline.   Mayor Freeman-Wilson also says the measure would contradict the city's historic Marquette Plan.   We also bring back our conversation with Indiana University Northwest economist Micah Pollak, about the improvements not

city of Hammond website

Today:   an at-length conversation with Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr.  He talks about the latest developments on bills moving through the General Assembly that affect his city, its businesses and residents.  That includes tax incentives to create the Digital Crossroads of America data center on Hammond's lakefront and how the Gary economic development and casino license changes will affect Hammond's and other communities' own casinos.  Mayor McDermott also talks about ongoing discussions to create a regional convention center and how the end of property tax caps will affect the city of H

Community Healthcare System

Today:   On this "Reporters Roundtable," "Post-Tribune" reporters Meredith Colias-Pete, Carole Carlson and Greg Tejeda join us to talk about the stories that they covered and put out in print and online.  Meredith's stories include a Lake Ridge Schools student who's been honored for her volunteer work.  Carole has the latest from the Legislature on the Buffington Harbor economic development bill for the city of Gary and about the Gary public housing project contractors cited by HUD for pay violations.  Greg's covered Gary Common Council and he tells us about his stories.  And Lakeshore Pub

Indiana Landmarks

Today:   Todd Zeiger,  the northern Indiana director of Indiana Landmarks is with us to talk about the offer that the non-profit preservation group is offering, in partnership with the National Park Service, to make the famous "House of Tomorrow" in Beverly Shores available for a 50-year lease to a party that will undertake its restoration.  The "House" is one of five "Century of Progress" homes brought over to Indiana in 1934, when the Chicago World's Fair closed.  Four of the homes have already been restored.  We have another edition of "Green Fleet Radio," supported by South Shore Clean

IPB News/Lauren Chapman

Today:    On this "Reporters' Roundtable" Thursday, we have three "Times of Northwest Indiana" reporters to talk their stories in print and posted online.  Statehouse reporter Dan Carden has a lot of stories from the General Assembly session to review, including the latest on economic development efforts in Hammond and Gary.  Bill Dolan talks about a last-minute candidate to the Gary mayoral race and a Lake County Council meeting that was puncuated by a testy exchange of words between a new Councilman and the County Sheriff.  And business reporter Joseph Pete has updates about steel, a his

IPBS/Brandon Smith

Today:    Andy Downs, the Executive Director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue University Fort Wayne, is with us to bring us up-to-date with the work underway at the Statehouse, as the 2019 General Assembly continues.  He focuses today on the big topics, including State Senator Eddie Melton's measures on economic development for the city of Gary.  We also talk with Philip McCandies,  the new regional business development officer for the Community Investment Fund of Indiana.  He is based in Hammond.  CIFI provides financial assistance to small businesses, many of which

IPB News/Lauren Chapman

Today:   A conversation with Hoosier Environmental Council's Kim Ferraro, the agricultural policy director and chief attorney, about HB1378 that would, if passed into law, close some serious gaps in state environmental law about "factory farm" pollution.  Reps. Tom Saunders and Sue Errington co-sponsor the measure that is up for House Environmental Policy Committee review on February 13th.  Natural Prairie Dairy in Newton County and other similar operations around the state would come under the measure.

Post-Tribune/Chicago Tribune

Today:   On this Reporters' Roundtable, we have conversations with reporter Michael Hawthorne of the "Post-Tribune" and "Chicago Tribune," CNHI newspapers group Statehouse Bureau chief Scott Miley and Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson.  We also bring back our conversation with Ed Feigenbaum, the creator and editor of the "Indiana Political Insight" and "Indiana Gaming Insight" newsletters in Indianapolis.  The newsletters are now owned by Hannah News Service.

American Casino Guide

Today:   Ed Feigenbaum, the editor of the "Indiana Gaming Insight" and "Indiana Legislative Insight" newsletters for Hannah News Service, joins us to talk about two measures in the 2019 General Assembly -- one, supporting changes toward economic development for the city of Gary and the other, that focuses on changes on Indiana gaming.  The first bill is sponsored by Gary state Senator Eddie Melton, and Ed talks about its complexity and the chances it has of becoming law.

Flickr

Today:  The issue of homelessness in northwest Indiana is far from going away, so we bring back our conversation with Marcus Martin, an East Chicago resident with "Grace Beyond Borders Northwest Indiana,"  a non-profit organization with a mission of combating homelessness in the region.  Northwest Indiana financial advisor Greg Hammer helps us get ready for all of the changes that we'll face in preparing our income tax returns this year. 

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