Government Blog Posts

The new education chief

April 22, 2009
Comments(5)
Tony Bennett has been state superintendent of public instruction for just three months, but heâ??s making plenty of waves. Bennett, who replaced longtime chief Suellen Reed after she decided not to run for re-election, has not abandoned his campaign...
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Food, children and bars

March 3, 2009
Comments(14)
More bars in the state are allowing minors â?? people under age 21 â?? with the proviso that parents are there, too. State law also stipulates a barrier separating bars and family dining areas. Supporters of the trend say...
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'Livability' for Indianapolis

February 23, 2009
Comments(11)
A year into his tenure as mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard over the weekend articulated what may be the closest thing weâ??ll hear for his vision for the city. Ballardâ??s State of the City address touted making Indianapolis the...
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Wobbly on township government

February 12, 2009
Comments(19)
State legislators seem to be looking for excuses to dodge the recommendation in the Kernan-Shepard report to eliminate township-level government. This wasnâ??t unexpected. Township officials often are close friends and political allies of legislators, so the legislators donâ??t want...
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Tap the rainy day fund?

February 9, 2009
Comments(11)
The weakening economy is producing worse and worse tax revenue forecasts for Indiana. As a result, Democrats are calling for Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, to open the stateâ??s $1.3 billion rainy day fund. Tough times like these are what...
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Tax cheats, or just ignorance?

February 6, 2009
Comments(6)
A third nominee to join the Obama administration has gone down in flames after revelations about problems with income taxes. A Senate panel last night called off confirmation hearings for U.S. Rep. Hilda Solis, who was nominated to lead the Labor...
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Obama and executive salary caps

February 5, 2009
Comments(9)
All things considered, there shouldnâ??t be a fuss about President Obamaâ??s plan to cap salaries of executives in companies that receive federal bailouts. Thatâ??s the take of Dan Dalton, an Indiana University specialist on corporate governance. Dalton points out that...
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Hoosier lessons for Obama

January 20, 2009
Comments(9)
Some people went ballistic when $40 million was spent on George W. Bushâ??s inauguration in 2001, and now $120 million is going toward Barack Obamaâ??s inauguration festivities today â?? much of it donated, of course. Few people would argue against celebrating...
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Daniels' budget axing priorities?

January 7, 2009
Comments(14)
Gov. Mitch Daniels said yesterday he wants to spare schools and public safety from the scalpel as he looks to prepare an honestly balanced budget during a time of declining tax revenue. But Democrats accuse the Republican of crimping...
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Backsliding on environment?

December 30, 2008
Comments(6)
One of the most curious developments underway in state government is the moves by the Department of Environmental Management to back peddle on its mandate to keep an eye on polluters. Environmental groups are aghast at IDEMâ??s plan to slap penalties...
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Tough budget choices for state

December 29, 2008
Comments(3)
Gov. Mitch Daniels has ordered a string of budget cuts as the recession hammers tax revenue, and the upcoming General Assembly promises to generate squabbles over what little money is left to spend. If you were governor, what would...
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Pondering corruption

December 10, 2008
Comments(3)
Yet another Illinois governor is going down in legal flames, as Rod Blagojevich struggles to extricate himself from federal accusations that he brazenly tried to peddle Barack Obamaâ??s Senate seat to the highest bidder. So, weâ??re reminded again that power corrupts....
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Questions about Detroit's bench

December 8, 2008
Comments(7)
Politicians are about to step in for directors and force sweeping changes on the Detroit car companies, judging from the direction of talks in Congress. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd yesterday called for the firing of General Motors...
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Smoking ban back on the table

November 19, 2008
Comments(26)
Smoking in public places is in retreat across the country, and now Charlie Brown, the state representative from Gary, wants to ban it in bars, casinos and other enclosed places in Indiana. Brown plans to introduce a bill during...
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A tiny Indiana bank and the bailout

November 18, 2008
Comments(7)
Newton County Loan & Savings bank couldnâ??t be more out of the way â?? or more relevant in this day of government bailouts. The thrift is in Goodland, a burg between Lafayette and Chicago, and has all of $7.3 million in...
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Bail out Detroit?

November 17, 2008
Comments(3)
Two schools of thought are emerging over the proposed bailout of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. One is that the auto industry is too big to fail. Itâ??s not just because of the manufacturing operations and all the suppliers...
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Whatâ??s next for Daniels?

November 12, 2008
Comments(12)
Mitch Daniels has plenty of reason to feel good about himself these days. Last week, he won reelection in a landslide after cutting a wake through a change-averse state, and without going negative on his opponent, Jill Long Thompson. Daniels also needs...
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After assessors, what's next?

November 6, 2008
Comment(1)
Indiana voters this week in effect fired most of the remaining township assessors after the Legislature merged the vast majority of their work into county-level assessor offices earlier this year. But many of the recommendations from the report on...
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Obama, Daniels and Indiana

November 5, 2008
Comments(23)
Change agents Barack Obama and Mitch Daniels won over Hoosiers yesterday, but from different ends of the political spectrum. Barack Obama took the state after a campaign in which he promised to increase regulations on business, raise taxes on...
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There's gotta be a better way

November 4, 2008
Comments(11)
We live in the country that invented the light bulb, put a man on the moon and cracked the human genome, but weâ??re still standing in line to vote. Election Day is evolving into Election Month as more people make decisions...
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Nuclear war, assessors and voters

November 3, 2008
Comments(3)
Following a nuclear holocaust, itâ??s been said, only cockroaches and township assessors will be left. Now, assessors might finally meet their match in something more powerful than atomic weapons â?? voters. The Legislature wiped out a warren of them this year when...
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Bringing on the generic drugs

October 30, 2008
Comments(2)
Times are tough enough that more people are beginning to switch to generic drugs to save money. Insurers like Indianapolis-based WellPoint are playing a role, too, by pushing policy holders toward generics. People also are splitting pills...
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Concerns of a state health official

October 29, 2008
Comments(0)
One of the people responsible for ensuring we stay healthy is Dr. Judy Monroe, who directs the Indiana Department of Health. So, what keeps someone with a job like hers up at night? A nightmare scenario is a new virus that quickly...
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A historian previews the election

October 8, 2008
Comments(13)
Jerry Handfield hasnâ??t lived in Indiana since 2001, when he moved to Washington to take a similar job overseeing that stateâ??s archives. But Handfield still keeps tabs on Indiana. So much so that he checks the Weather Channel when tornadoes rip...
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Race and the Obama vote

October 7, 2008
Comments(11)
Yet another poll shows the contest between John McCain and Barack Obama as too close to call in Indiana. The WISH-TV Channel 13 survey has each with 46 percent of likely voters. With margins like this, the election could...
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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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