Government & Economic Development

UPDATE: ACLU asks fed attorney to recognize Indiana gay marriages

July 12, 2014
Associated Press
Attorneys are asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to step in on behalf of hundreds of same-sex couples who were wed before a federal appeals court stayed an order striking down Indiana's gay marriage ban.
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Bloomington now requiring visual standards for chainsRestricted Content

July 12, 2014
Dennis Barbosa
Mayor Mark Kruzan succeeds in five-year battle for ordinance to protect downtown from visual blight.
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Democratic city-county councilors want police to live inside countyRestricted Content

July 12, 2014
Dennis Barbosa
IMPD officers are not required to live in the city, and about 240, or 16 percent of the force, choose to reside elsewhere. Many of the city’s highest-crime neighborhoods have the fewest police officers as residents.
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Owner of controversial Geist billboard sues city

July 11, 2014
Scott Olson
The company is seeking nearly $1 million from the city after it was forced to remove the billboard, even though it conformed to zoning guidelines for the property.
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City to barricade Broad Ripple street to help curb violence

July 11, 2014
 Associated Press and IBJ Staff
Indianapolis officials plan to close a two-block portion of Broad Ripple Avenue to motor vehicles on Friday and Saturday nights for the rest of the summer.
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UPDATE: Bennett accepts $5,000 fine in ethics settlement

July 10, 2014
Associated Press
Former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett has agreed to pay $5,000 as part of a settlement in which he admits to using state resources for campaign work but is cleared of formal ethics violations in a grade-change scandal.
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Panel recommends highway projects, indexed gas tax

July 9, 2014
Seth Morin, The Statehouse File
The state should index its gas tax to increase with inflation, build a new bypass around Indianapolis, and consider user fees to supplement highway funding, a transportation panel said in its recommendations Wednesday.
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Pence headed to United Kingdom for trade trip

July 9, 2014
Jessica Seabolt, The Statehouse File
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, first lady Karen Pence and state officials will travel to the United Kingdom on Saturday for an economic development mission to bring jobs and investment to Indiana.
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Indiana agencies told to ignore gay marriages

July 9, 2014
Associated Press
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's office is telling state agencies act as if no gay marriages had been performed last month during three days following a federal court order that found the state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.
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State aims to raise post-secondary education attainment

July 9, 2014
Paige Clark, The Statehouse File
At least 60 percent of Indiana's workforce will need post-secondary education skills by 2025 in order to compete for jobs, Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellsperman said Tuesday.
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Government made $100B in improper payments in 2013

July 9, 2014
Associated Press
By its own estimate, the U.S. government made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them.
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Education battle flares between Ritz, Pence

July 8, 2014
Associated Press
Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz accused Gov. Mike Pence's education staff and appointees to the State Board of Education of trying to "undermine" her efforts to secure a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
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Greensburg factory to invest $28M, add 250 workers

July 8, 2014
 Associated Press and IBJ Staff
Workers will be hired as global firm Valeo buys new equipment for its 400,000-square-foot engine cooling factory to start new product lines for Honda, Nissan, Chrysler and Ford.
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INDOT staffer in ethics case seeks new work

July 7, 2014
Associated Press
A top Indiana transportation official who is under investigation for land sales that benefited his family is considering taking an executive job at an engineering firm that bids for state work.
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UPDATE: Indiana vanity plate fight could go to Legislature

July 7, 2014
Associated Press
A fuss over a police officer's vanity plate has blown up into a constitutional debate that could lead to the Indiana General Assembly deciding whether to rewrite the law or stop selling personalized license plates altogether.
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Web startup Bookit planning expansion

July 7, 2014
Dan Human
Bookit Commerce Inc., which operates the website bookacoach.com, plans to hire 93 people by 2018, the locally based company announced Monday morning.
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Pence, Ritz seek federal dollars without strings

July 6, 2014
Associated Press
Last Monday, Superintendent Glenda Ritz filed a request to continue using federal "Title I" education money with flexibility. A day later, Gov. Mike Pence asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to grant the state an exemption, and about $16.5 billion, to expand Medicaid using a version of the Healthy Indiana Plan.
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Quest for development grant sparks infighting in Nashville

July 6, 2014
Associated Press
The town is one of six finalists to be a Stellar Community, which brings money and support to help spur economic development. But not everyone is happy with how the application process has gone.
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Indy Chamber fights shrinking membershipRestricted Content

July 5, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
The chamber has lost 19 percent of its members since the start of 2011, even while other chambers of commerce around the country see renewal rates recovering along with the economy.
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State sits on prime downtown property near Statehouse

July 5, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Three locally based firms responded to a state request for private-sector parking management, plus the construction of new spaces, by proposing mixed-use buildings for a 3.2-acre lot north of the Statehouse, according to response documents made public late last month.
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Book publisher plans 313 distribution jobs in Indiana

July 2, 2014
 IBJ Staff
Penguin Random House LLC, the world's largest consumer book publisher, plans to consolidate much of its U.S. distribution operations in Crawfordsville, the company announced Wednesday morning.
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Pence tells feds that HIP 2.0 has broad support

July 1, 2014
 The Statehouse File
State officials say they will submit a plan Wednesday to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan to more uninsured Hoosiers using federal Medicaid dollars.
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Ex-Center Township trustee official charged with theft

July 1, 2014
Scott Olson
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged former CFO Alan S. Mizen, 59, of Zionsville with theft and embezzlement of federal program funds. If found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
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Counties worry about cost of criminal code changes

July 1, 2014
Associated Press
Sweeping changes to Indiana's criminal code took effect Tuesday that will send more low-level, nonviolent criminals to community corrections programs and jails instead of state prisons.
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State firms up crowdfunding rules for businesses

July 1, 2014
Dan Human
Indiana firms can use the Internet to raise up to $2 million in a single securities offering, and Hoosiers can invest up to $5,000 each online, according to new state rules.
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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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