Indiana General Assembly

Christina Hale Announces Run For Congress

Jul 11, 2019

Former Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Christina Hale announced Thursday she’s running for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. Hale is the second Democrat to throw their hat in the ring since incumbent Republican Susan Brooks announced she wouldn’t seek re-election.

Hale served in the General Assembly from 2012 until 2016, when she ran for lieutenant governor.

She will face Democrat Dee Thornton in the primary. Thornton will officially announce her candidacy on July 15. Hale says her political background sets her apart from her primary opponent.

The General Assembly gave final approval to a bill this week that pressures schools to spend more money on teachers.

State Representative David Frizzell Resigning

Apr 18, 2019
Rep. David Frizzell (R-Indianapolis). (Photo courtesy of Indiana House Republicans)
Brandon Smith

Rep. David Frizzell (R-Indianapolis) will resign from his seat later this year, halfway through his term. 

The Senate Ethics Committee approved changes to the ethics rules for its chamber. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

The Indiana Senate Ethics Committee unanimously approved the creation of a sexual harassment policy for lawmakers Monday.

House Minority Leader Rep. Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) gives a floor speech on the 2019 session's opening day. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Legislative leaders of both parties kicked off the new session Thursday with messages of bipartisanship. But it’s also clear where some of 2019’s dividing lines will be.

Holcomb Outlines Public Health Priorities

Dec 7, 2018

Gov. Eric Holcomb says his public health priorities in this 2019 agenda will focus on children and families. A plan to improve the state's the child welfare system is at the top of the list. 

Office of Management and Budget Director Micah Vincent, left, and Indiana Finance Authority COO Jim McGoff discuss the Toll Road lease at the State Budget Commitee. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Lawmakers expressed frustration Tuesday at Gov. Eric Holcomb’s unilateral renegotiation of the Indiana Toll Road lease.

Members of the Indiana House of Representatives are sworn in. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says lawmakers face a difficult budget scenario in the upcoming session.

Legislative leaders Tuesday recommended what they call a “framework” of a new sexual harassment policy for the General Assembly. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Legislative leaders Tuesday recommended what they call a “framework” of a new sexual harassment policy for the General Assembly. 

AG Curtis Hill Unlikely To Be Removed From Office

Nov 19, 2018
Four women accused Republican Attorney General Curtis Hill of groping them at the party in March. An investigation by the Indiana Inspector General backed up those women’s accounts. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Republican legislative leaders say it’s very unlikely the General Assembly will take any steps to remove Attorney General Curtis Hill from office.

Four women accused Hill of groping them at the party in March. An investigation by the Indiana Inspector General backed up those women’s accounts.

Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says he personally supports a hate crimes bill that uses the definition of bias crime already in state law – one that doesn’t include gender identity. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Debate at the General Assembly in the upcoming session over a hate crimes bill will likely revolve around two words: gender identity.

Purdue University Ft Wayne

Today:   Andy Downs, the executive director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue University Fort Wayne, talks about the 2018 Indiana midterm elections, the issues surrounded some counties (like Porter County) in reporting their returns on Election Night, the races for General Assembly and what issues may come up in the 2019 legislative session.  We have another conversation from the Welcome Project at Valparaiso University, and Steve Beekman with the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana tells us about several holiday food assistance days -- the first of which is on Wednesday. 

Educators running for seats in the Indiana General Assembly for the most part fell short of enough votes on election night, but at least one teacher candidate plans to continue advocating for his school and community.

IYI/Youtube

Today:    Tami Silverman, the presuident and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute, joins us to talk about the new state Legislature-mandated training sessions for all Indiana teachers and educators in grades 5-12 on youth suicide awareness and prevention.  Hoosier youth are more likely to consider or attempt suicide than their peers nationally, according to IYI data.  Indiana also faces significant disparities in youth suicide among the vulnerable groups,. and among the different sizes of school districts in the state. 

Bills Would Allow In-State Tuition For Undocumented Students

Jan 5, 2018

Two bills filed in the Indiana General Assembly would give different ways for immigrants who graduate from an Indiana high school to be eligible for in-state tuition.

Since 2011 Indiana makes immigrant students who cannot prove state residency pay the more expensive out-of-state tuition rate. It is one of three states with this requirement.

Sen. Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington) says Senate Bill 319 would help with a priority of the Republican supermajority: to better prepare students for jobs.

Transportation committee leaders in the Indiana General Assembly say their work isn’t done after last session’s landmark road funding bill.

A legislative study committee focused on Indiana’s environmental issues declined to recommend any policy changes to the General Assembly Wednesday. The panel’s final hearing focused on problems related to the access and affordability of drinking water.

Despite the final report’s lack of recommendations, Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) says it does include a lot to, in his words, “mull over.”

Alcohol Commission Prepares For Final Report

Oct 24, 2017

Members of a panel examining the state’s alcohol laws began to prepare their final recommendations for the General Assembly on Tuesday. With just a few meetings left, some are concerned about the group tackling so much.

There was discussion at the latest meeting about relatively small issues related to alcohol sales, like direct wine shipping and alcohol disposal.

But commission member Terry Bauer says with such a tight timeline the group needs to focus on two big issues – legalizing Sunday sales and allowing certain businesses to sell cold beer.

CAFO Committee Finalizes Report To General Assembly

Oct 19, 2017

A legislative study committee opted Thursday to make limited recommendations to the General Assembly on concentrated animal feeding operations.

CAFOs are large barns that hold hundreds to thousands of animals and their manure. Critics say they diminish air and water quality.

The study committee’s report will recommend expanding public notice requirements for farmers seeking to build a CAFO, says committee chair Senator Sue Glick.

A study committee’s proposed recommendations on short-term rentals through sites like Airbnb include broad policy statements for the General Assembly to consider next session. But the recommendations don’t include specific legislative language, and likely don’t change debate on the issue.

Legislation last session to bar local governments from banning short-term rentals failed to pass.

Under a new federal education law thousands of Indiana diplomas known as general diplomas would no longer count for a school’s graduation rate.

As a result, Indiana could see its statewide graduation rate drop from 89 percent to 76 percent, based on 2016 data.

Now Indiana’s Congressional delegation wants the federal education department to give the state more time to prepare before that change takes effect.

Lawmakers Recommend Delay On New Guardianship Program

Aug 29, 2017

Indiana lawmakers Tuesday recommended a delay in implementation of a new program that would serve as an alternative to guardianships.

When someone is deemed incapable of making certain legal decisions, a guardian is chosen or appointed to help.

The General Assembly is weighing a program called supportive decision-making, in which guardianship becomes less of a binary decision. It’s designed primarily for young adults with intellectual development disabilities, many of whom advocates say should have more control than traditional guardianship allows.

McCormick Responds To New Federal Graduation Rate Requirements

Jul 12, 2017

A new federal education law would make thousands of diplomas known as general diplomas no longer count toward a school’s graduation rate. It’s a move that Indiana’s schools chief says “blindsided” the state.

“Obviously the state recognizes those diplomas, employers are recognizing those diplomas,” says Jennifer McCormick, Indiana superintendent of public instruction. “This will just make it more problematic.”

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courtesy Indiana House Republicans

State Representative Sally Siegrist (R-West Lafayette) has been named to the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission – a group advocating for train travel in the nation’s midsection.

Indiana To Change How It Calculates Graduation Rates

Jul 7, 2017

Indiana’s general diploma will no longer be considered when calculating school and district graduation rates, state officials announced Friday.

In a memo to principals and superintendents, the state said it will also no longer count students who earn general diplomas in the state’s A-F rating system.

The legislative focus of this year’s session wasn’t a mystery. Lawmakers already spent more than a year debating road funding. And so it wasn’t a surprise when Gov. Eric Holcomb told the General Assembly this in the first weeks of session.

“I will work with you to establish a plan that invests in the new projects for the future that ensures Indiana will remain The Crossroads of America,” Holcomb said.

But it was not the only big goal – or debate – this session.

A Senate committee approved a controversial bill Monday that would change the Superintendent of Public Instruction from an elected position to an appointed one.

During this General Assembly, both the House and Senate sponsored bills to make the state’s education chief an appointed position. The House passed its version of the bill, but the Senate, in a surprise move the first half of session, voted theirs down.

Hoosier State Rail Line Funding In Question

Feb 3, 2017

The General Assembly provided $6 million in one-time money from the last state budget for the Hoosier State Rail Line between Indianapolis and Chicago. And lawmakers were prepared to provide that funding again in this year’s budget.