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Monday, April 24, 2017
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Lawmakers Conclude 2017 Session
Monday, April 24, 2017 4:00 AM
Passage of Indiana’s next two-year budget highlighted this week’s conclusion of the 2017 legislative session. The new state budget is balanced, has $1
The new state budget is balanced, has $1.9 billion in reserves, and provides significant funding increases for education, public safety and fighting drug abuse.
For the past decade, Indiana has been a national leader in responsible budgeting. In recent years, lawmakers have cut taxes for both workers and employers, reduced state debt and built up our reserves. An important part of our economic climate is creating policies that benefit tax payers and job creators.
This budget reflects these principles that have made Indiana the fiscal envy of the nation while continuing our strong track record of pro-growth economic policies.
Highlights of the state budget (House Enrolled Act 1001) include:
Final weeks of session
Monday, April 17, 2017 4:00 AM
The 2017 legislative session will be drawing to a close by the end of the month.
Several key issues are being worked out in Conference Committees, which are comprised of members from both the House of Representatives and Senate. Conference Committees find agreement on a final bill, which must then be approved by both chambers. If the bill is passed, it moves to the governor for final consideration.
Funding our roads for the future
Monday, April 03, 2017 4:00 AM
Last week, the Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy approved an amended version of House Bill 1002, which would establish a long-term, sustainable road funding plan for Indiana.
The Indiana Department of Transportation estimates a $1 billion annual road-funding gap over the next 20 years. Addressing this gap will have many direct and indirect benefits for Hoosiers. These include:
Preparing Indiana's future workforce
Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:00 AM
According to the most recent data, Indiana’s unemployment rate remains lower than our neighboring states and the national average, and our private sector employment numbers are continuing to grow.
While these numbers show a positive economic climate, it is important to prepare Indiana students for the jobs of the future to keep our economy strong.
This session, the Indiana Senate has passed legislation to help ensure our future workforce is prepared for 21st century jobs.
Senate Bill 198 would increase funding for high school Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses in high-wage, high-demand job fields. This bill would also send state CTE grants directly to the institutions that provide CTE instruction – whether they be schools, cooperatives or apprenticeship programs.
Sen. Boots wants feedback on road funding
Sunday, March 19, 2017 11:46 PM
The Indiana Senate is now considering House Bill 1002, which would provide a long-term road funding plan for the state.
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) estimates a $1 billion-per-year shortfall in road funding over the next 20 years. INDOT’s projections show that if the problem is not addressed, drivers will face severe deterioration of our state highways and bridges.
Discussion on how to address this funding gap is focused on a user-pays approach. Under this system, those who use our roads the most pay the most, and will also get the most benefit.
Sen. Boots: Top Issues for Second Half of Session
Saturday, March 11, 2017 4:00 AM
The second half of the 2017 legislative session is officially underway.
The Indiana Senate will now be considering bills that passed the House of Representatives in the first half of session.
Here are some of the major topics we will address:
House Bill 1001 (Indiana’s two-year budget): As we take up this bill, we are dedicated to keeping our budget balanced, investing in K-12 education and finding a long-term solution to fund Indiana’s infrastructure.
Boots: Halftime at the Senate
Monday, March 06, 2017 4:00 AM
The Indiana General Assembly has reached the halfway point of the 2017 legislative session.
At this point, all bills that have passed the Senate are being sent to the House of Representatives for further consideration. The Senate will now begin considering bills passed by the House of Representatives.
Some of the measures the Senate has passed so far include:
CPD Detective gives info on department
Monday, February 27, 2017 4:00 AM
Today’s article is going to focus on the Crawfordsville Police Department’s Investigation Division and hopefully answers some questions you might have.
CPD has 36 officers with five officers assigned to investigations, one full-time narcotics detective, two Lieutenants, and two Sergeants. With the exception of the narcotics detective, we take assignments as they come in on a rotating basis. We conduct investigations on homicides, suspicious deaths, unattended deaths, rape or sexual assaults, robbery, kidnapping and confinement, residential and business burglaries, child abandonment, child abuse / neglect, or battery causing serious injury. Depending on the case we are responsible for scene preservation / evidence collection, witness interviews, suspect interviews, and to analyze and evaluate information to solve a crime or explain what happened. All information is put into a report and sent to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office where they decide if someone is going to be charged with a crime and if so what the charges would be.
Stopping prescription drug abuse, part two
Monday, February 13, 2017 4:00 AM
As we learned in the last column, one of the more troubling drug-abuse epidemics affecting our state and nation is prescription drug abuse, which is the misuse of prescription opioids, central nervous system depressants, and stimulants. One in five Indiana youth have admitted to abusing prescription medications, and for our youth it is the third most abused substance. In Indiana, more than 1,000 deaths were associated with overdoses in 2012 – a 54 percent increase from previous years.
It is important to note that not everyone who is prescribed a prescription opioid, CNS, or stimulant will become an addict. These medications are needed and very effective when used as a doctor prescribes in one’s individual treatment plan. The problem starts when you or someone you know takes medication which is not prescribed, and/or does not follow doctor’s orders.
Prescription drug abuse in youth, part one
Wednesday, February 01, 2017 4:00 AM
One of the more concerning drug-abuse epidemics affecting our State and Nation is prescription drug abuse. Prescription drug abuse is the misuse of prescription opioids, central nervous system depressants, and stimulants. Unfortunately, one in five Indiana youth have admitted to abusing prescription medications, and for youth it is the third most abused substance. In Indiana more than 1,000 deaths were associated with overdose in 2012 – a 54 percent increase from previous years.
Legislative update: More companies investing in Indiana
Saturday, January 21, 2017 4:00 AM
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) secured 227 commitments last year from companies across the country and world to locate or grow in Indiana. According to the IEDC, these companies will create more than 20,000 new jobs and invest nearly $3.7 billion in our state.
Curbing the use of synthetic cannabinoids in youth
Friday, January 13, 2017 4:00 AM
As many of us know, youth are risk-takers. There are countless studies and theories as to why youth participate in risk-taking behaviors, and even scientific studies on teen brain development which may hold some more logical answers. Many youth yearn to feel included with their peers, so they set their pragmatism aside and, unfortunately, some make decisions based on an emotional need to feel that inclusion. When synthetic cannabinoids hit the shelves years ago, the risk-taking behavior of some teens led them to try this substance. In 2015 only 2.5 percent of Indiana 11th graders and 2.1 percent of Indiana 12th graders report using the substance on a monthly basis. This percentage has decreased since the Indiana Youth Survey began surveying students on their usage of the substance in 2013.
General Assembly begins Legislative Session
Monday, January 09, 2017 4:00 AM
The Indiana General Assembly reconvened for the 2017 legislative session last week.
This year, state lawmakers will work to craft the next two-year state budget, which will fund all state government services, including education, infrastructure and public safety.
Wrapping up a wonderful Norwegian vacation
Wednesday, January 04, 2017 4:00 AM
John, Kara, Riley and Jeremy Edie are sending travel journal updates from their holiday vacation in Norway. This is the fourth and final dispatch in their series.
Wednesday, Dec. 21
[Kara] We spent the day on the MS Finnmarken, traveling north-northeast up through the Norwegian fjords. On the previous day, the cruise director notified us when sunup and sundown would be: the sun would rise at 11:35 a.m. The sun would set less than an hour later, at 12:24 p.m. In the afternoon we stopped at the coastal town of Bodø, which we strolled through in the half light.
Aurora Borealis – viewed from a Norwegian sea
Wednesday, December 28, 2016 4:00 AM
Tuesday Dec. 20: Trondheim, Norway
[Kara] When we arrived in Trondheim on Monday, it was around 3 p.m., but the city was already growing dark. Daylight hours get shorter as we travel further north, as if they weren't in short enough supply as we near the winter solstice. When we set out to explore the city that evening, although everything was beautifully draped in Christmas lights, we couldn't tell how literally colorful Trondheim was until the sun rose the next morning - around 9:30 a.m.
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