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Governor picks up pace on bill signings

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence continued signing into law measures dealing with everything from adoption to control of feral cat populations as the clock wound down on taking action on bills from the 2014 session.

Pence has one week from the time a bill a reaches his desk to sign, veto or allow the measure to go into law without his signature. State lawmakers finished work during their 2014 session earlier this month and have been awaiting Pence's decisions on some key measures.

He delivered an answer Wednesday afternoon on one key measure, allowing central Indiana counties to decide whether to raise taxes to pay for a mass transit program.

"While I still have reservations about the sustainability of expanded mass transit services, I signed this bill because the General Assembly made significant improvements during the legislative process, bringing to closure years of debate on this issue," Pence said in a prepared statement.

Questions remained Wednesday, however, if he would veto a bill halting the state's energy-efficiency program. The battle has pitted environmentalists and a handful of top companies against the state's manufacturing and utility interests.

Lawmakers ended their 2014 session two weeks ago, but bills have been trickling across the governor's desk since then. Pence planned to hold bill signings throughout the state Thursday on a handful of his top priorities, including a preschool pilot program and new funding for major road expansions.

Outside the high-profile signings, Pence has inked an array of new measures into law. On Wednesday, he approved new regulations for feral cat populations in trailer parks, a series of measures promoting Indiana agriculture and new rules for the inspection of private buses. He also approved a measure that could promote the growth of industrial hemp, a sweeping overhaul of the state's criminal sentencing rules and new rules for unlicensed child care providers that receive government dollars.

He signed into law Tuesday a new tax credit to promote adoption, one of his 2014 agenda items. He also approved the creation of a program for women veterans and a measure encouraging veterans to become teachers.

In addition, on Wednesday, Pence signed into law a bill that creates the Indiana Grown Initiative.

The initiative is intended to promote Indiana agriculture in the state. The law requires a panel to brainstorm ways to market locally grown agricultural products, such as meats and vegetables, and encourage local businesses to sell more products from within the state.

The panel will include representatives from restaurants, grocery stores and farmers markets.

The panel also will recommend further legislation that promotes selling Indiana agriculture in the state each year.

To look at many of the bills that made it to Pence, see IBJ's legislative recap.

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  • they have it backwards
    Perhaps the legislature should consider a bill that targets the proliferation of trailers and mobile homes among feral cat populations...makes more sense than most of the legislation considered this session...not much here that will spark job creation or boost the economy...shameful performance by the legislature...

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  1. Hiking blocks to an office after fighting traffic is not logical. Having office buildings around the loop, 465 and in cities in surrounding counties is logical. In other words, counties around Indianapolis need office buildings like Keystone, Meridian, Michigan Road/College Park and then no need to go downtown. Financial, legal, professional businesses don't need the downtown when Carmel, Fishers, North Indy are building their own central office buildings close to the professionals. The more Hamilton, Boone county attract professionals, the less downtown is relevant. Highrises have no meaning if they don't have adequate parking for professionals and clients. Great for show, but not exactly downtown Chicago, no lakefront, no river to speak of, and no view from highrises of lake Michigan and the magnificent mile. Indianapolis has no view.

  2. "The car count, THE SERIES, THE RACING, THE RATINGS, THE ATTENDANCE< AND THE MANAGEMENT, EVERY season is sub-par." ______________ You're welcome!

  3. that it actually looked a lot like Sato v Franchitti @Houston. And judging from Dario's marble mouthed presentation providing "color", I'd say that he still suffers from his Dallara inflicted head injury._______Considering that the Formula E cars weren't going that quickly at that exact moment, that was impressive air time. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised, as Dallara is the only car builder that needs an FAA certification for their cars. But flying Dallaras aren't new. Just ask Dan Wheldon.

  4. Does anyone know how and where I can get involved and included?

  5. While the data supporting the success of educating our preschoolers is significant, the method of reaching this age group should be multi-faceted. Getting business involved in support of early childhood education is needed. But the ways for businesses to be involved are not just giving money to programs and services. Corporations and businesses educating their own workforce in the importance of sending a child to kindergarten prepared to learn is an alternative way that needs to be addressed. Helping parents prepare their children for school and be involved is a proven method for success. However, many parents are not sure how to help their children. The public is often led to think that preschool education happens only in schools, daycare, or learning centers but parents and other family members along with pediatricians, librarians, museums, etc. are valuable resources in educating our youngsters. When parents are informed through work lunch hour workshops in educating a young child, website exposure to exceptional teaching ideas that illustrate how to encourage learning for fun, media input, and directed community focus on early childhood that is when a difference will be seen. As a society we all need to look outside the normal paths of educating and reaching preschoolers. It is when methods of involving the most important adult in a child's life - a parent, that real success in educating our future workers will occur. The website www.ifnotyouwho.org is free and illustrates activities that are research-based, easy to follow and fun! Businesses should be encouraging their workers to tackle this issue and this website makes it easy for parents to be involved. The focus of preschool education should be to inspire all the adults in a preschooler's life to be aware of what they can do to prepare a child for their future life. Fortunately we now know best practices to prepare a child for a successful start to school. Is the business community ready to be involved in educating preschoolers when it becomes more than a donation but a challenge to their own workers?

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