2019 General Assembly session

USA Today

Today:   We talk with Dave Benjamin of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project about the alarming number of drownings in Lake Michigan this year -- although he says it's been worse in the past.  He talks about a recent rescue effort that he personally joined in, at Washington Park beach in Michigan City, and offers tips to swmmers when they step into Lake Michigan.  Jena Bellezza with the Indiana Parenting Institute tells about an August 17th conference to be held in the I.U.

NIRPC

Today:  Kathy Luther with NIRPC is with us to talk about the coalition of northwest Indiana agencies that will adminster the $600,000 EPA Brownfields Program grant for sites in Gary, East Chicago and Hammond -- and other NWI communties, as needed.  Luther says there are some sites already partially worked on and ready for cleanup or remediation and eventual redevelopment, perhaps as early as this fall.  Indiana University Northwest computer info. systems department head Bhakra Kopparty also tells us about a new masters' degree program in place this fall semester.

indystar.com

Today:   We have our conversations with two members of northwest Indiana's legislative delegation and with a successful mayoral primary election candidate.   Tom Maloney spoke with state Representative Chris Chyung (D-Dyer), who is the General Assembly's first Asian-American state legislator, and we have conversations with Lake County Assessor Jerome Prince, the winner of the Democratic Party mayor primary election in Gary and with state Representative Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso).

Boston Realtor newsletter

Today:  Marietta Rodriguez, the president and CEO of NeighborWorks America, joins us to talk about the results of a survey on the gap between renting and homeownership for minority families, primarily African American and Hispanic.

IPB News - Brandon Smith

Today:  For this "Reporters' Roundtable" edition, we ask "Post-Tribune" education reporter Meredith Colias-Pete, "Times" Statehouse reporter Dan Carden and "Post-Tribune" Gary city government reporter Greg Tejeda to talk about the stories they wrote and had in print and online.  They included news from School City of Hammond of impending school closings and staff cuts, a new Holcomb administration staffer who is a Region native, the signing of the gaming omnibus bill into law and the latest from the Gary Common Council.

Waylan Cooley, cooleysvideo.com

Today:   We talk to Sandra Albro, who was manager for "Vacant to Vibrant," a project that brought together greening experts with the city of Gary and residents of the Aetna neighborhood to re-purpose vacant lots -- some of them vacant for 20 years -- into green spaces that provide stormwater management, recreation and beauty to the community.  Sandra's book "Vacant to Vibrant" is available from Island Press. During this Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, northwest Indiana state Representative Chris Chyung was featured in a recent local television program.

WXIN Fox59 Statehouse photo

Today:    We conitnue another conversation with a northwest Indiana state legislator, with Democratic state Senator Karen Tallian, who represents constituents in communities along Lake Michigan.  She begins with the update on an effort by some lakefront residents to discourage visitors to the beaches in their area, and she spends time focusing on the difficulty in getting bills passed and enacted into law.  Bill Durnell is the Democrat who beat a worthy opponent to win the party's nomination for the spot in the general election ballot for Valparaiso Mayor.  He talks with us about his campa

Indiana House Democrats

Today:  We continue our conversations with members of northwest Indiana's legislative delegation with state Representative Earl Harris Junior (D-East Chicago) and GOP Representative Michael Aylesworth (Hebron) about the bills they sponsored in the 2019 session -- what were passed and sent to Governor Eric Holcomb -- and what may come up in summer study session or be introduced next session.   State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) also talks about his bills he introduced, many of which deal with economic devlopment and gaming in Gary this year.  All three leguslators speak out about the  two-y

Indiana House Democratic Caucus

Today: We continue our conversations with northwest Indiana legislators with State Representative Chris Chyung (D) of Dyer. He is one of the lawmakers elected in the November 2018 election, filling the seat formerly held by Representative Hal Slager. He gives us his assessment of his first General Assembly session including insight into the next two-year budget. Celina Weatherwax with the MAAC Foundation in Valparaiso tells us about the ground breaking of the state-of-the-art Law Enforcement Tactical Training Structure.

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

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