Government

ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Earmarking taxes in vogue, but is it good state policy?Restricted Content

February 12, 2007
Patrick Barkey
I was taught economics, and in particular, the subject of public finance, by a faculty dominated by old Kennedy Democrats. A lot of that teaching has rubbed off or has simply been forgotten. Much of it also could be dismissed as idealism, a sort of ivory-tower thinking not relevant to the real world. Yet as I scan and digest the various tax proposals now in front of the Indiana General Assembly, several of those old lessons keep coming to my...
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Lawrence turns down rezoning for vacant drive-in: Developer and city working on a compromiseRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
A developer wanting to breathe new life into a long-vacant drive-in theater along Pendleton Pike is working to change the minds of Lawrence leaders who already have said no thanks. New York-based Norry Management Corp. is leading an effort to redevelop the 93-acre property for retail, office and industrial uses. But its plans faced a setback last month when a rezoning petition got a negative response from officials concerned about what might end up there. Lawrence City Council members voted...
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Providers have new rules to take on Medicaid fraud: Many companies required to educate employeesRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Scott Olson
A federal law that took effect Jan. 1 requires hospitals and others serving the Medicaid population to teach their employees how to detect fraud and report it to the government. Medicaid is the joint federal-state program that provides health insurance coverage to the needy and is prone to abuse. In an effort to reduce abuse, the legislation requires companies that do at least $5 million annually in Medicaid business to educate all employees and officers on how to spot fraud....
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Food vs. fuel debate is ignited: Price of ethanol-ingredient corn soars, squeezing margins for livestock, foodRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Chris O\'malley
The ethanol gold rush sweeping Indiana and other states that grow its prime ingredient, corn, is threatening profit margins for livestock producers and portends higher prices at the supermarket. Perhaps no sector is more nervous these days than pork, where Indiana ranks fifth in production nationally. "Much higher feed costs are likely to eliminate the profit potential for pork production in 2007," Chris Hurt, a Purdue University agriculture economics professor, said in his recent market outlook report. Corn, the primary...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Those from corrupt cultures more likely to ignore lawsRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Patrick Barkey
Do we obey laws because we fear punishment? Or is it simply a habit we acquired to which we don't otherwise give much thought? Either way, it is a good thing for our communities, our governments and our entire society that so many of us are, generally speaking, law-abiding. One can scarcely imagine the chaos that would be caused if 300 million people lied, stole and murdered our way through the day without giving it a moment's thought. It's good...
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Out of spotlight, state efficiency initiatives advanceRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Ed Feigenbaum
A pair of state studies last year attracted little public attention, but were highly-if warily-anticipated by business and industry, labor organizations, trade and professional groups, educators, local government officials, and even state agencies. The legislatively created Government Efficiency Commission served up its recommendation, followed, after the election, by the Office of Management and Budget's Government Efficiency and Financial Planning office Program Results: an Outcome Based Evaluation (PROBE) analysis sought by Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels. The Government Efficiency Commission offered some...
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City Securities aims to earn mega-deal: If approved, $450 million bond plan would pay off pre-1977 police, fire pensionsRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
If Mayor Bart Peterson gets his wish, a $450 million bond issue finally will settle Indianapolis' long-standing dilemma over underfunded police and firefighter pensions once and for all. It will also generate up to $9 million in professional fees. And locally based City Securities Corp. is laying the groundwork to earn a lion's share-even though investment banking is dominated by giant companies in Manhattan. "I would assume that most of Wall Street has made a call," said City Securities Vice...
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SPORTS: Overdosing on the Colts? Enjoy it while you canRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Bill Benner
That sport, and not religion as Karl Marx once declared, has become the "opiate of the masses" is apparent in our fair burg, where we all-or at least most of us-are overdosing on the Indianapolis Colts. The TV types are in full hyper-ventilation. The scribes are cranking out words by the thousands. No angle involving the Colts and their upcoming Super Bowl date with Da Bears in Miami will go uncovered. And, yes, some of the story lines will be...
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A lonely number for IPOs in Indiana: Calumet joins short list of Indiana companies to go public this decadeRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Scott Olson
A little-known refining and petroleum products company on the city's west side has the distinction of being the only company in the state to go public in 2006. Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP filed its initial public offering last January. It completed the process in June by selling 5.7 million shares of stock at $21.50 each, ultimately raising $122.5 million. Shares since have nearly doubled in value, thanks in part to rising prices in the petroleum industry. While Calumet's decision...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: How to extricate ourselves from the property tax messRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Patrick Barkey
There once was a time when everyone watched network news, and there was one newscast in the heat of presidential primary season that I'll always remember. After watching a succession of unsuccessful candidates in post-election press conferences blaming anything and everything-except themselves-for their poor showings, correspondent Roger Mudd had seen enough. Just once, he said, he would like to see candidates stand up and say it straight-they lost because folks liked the other candidates better. One of these days, someone...
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Neighbors examine the BioCrossroads' approach: Collaboration, not competition, now key for Midwestern life science industryRestricted Content

January 22, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Five years ago, when the BioCrossroads initiative debuted, pundits compared its challenge to a foot race on a track crowded with competitors. And they noted a handful of traditional biotech hub cities like San Diego or Boston enjoyed a huge head start. Today, a better analogy might be a rising tide that lifts all boats. "The pie is getting bigger. It's not a zero-sum game," said Walt Plosila, vice president and leader of the technology partnership practice for Columbus, Ohio-based...
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EYE ON THE PIE: You didn't know him and now he is goneRestricted Content

January 22, 2007
Morton Marcus
A quiet gentleman died last week. It did not make the headlines. Ken Miller never did make headlines, but he was part of your life and the lives of all Hoosiers for many years. If you thought of him at all, it was as taking your money, yet all that time Ken was carefully saving you money and modernizing state government. For 14 years, Ken was Indiana's commissioner of revenue. It was to his office that you sent your income-tax...
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Governor still has lots of differences with DemsRestricted Content

January 22, 2007
Ed Feigenbaum
After saluting the accomplishments of the past year, Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels reached across the aisle during his State of the State Address Jan. 16 and assured Democrats that he can't make further progress without their cooperation. Once again, the governor found himself competing for the TV audience of Hoosiers at home. In what seems to be a given of sorts, the Indiana University men's basketball team was playing during the speech, taking on Hoosier hero Steve Alford's University of...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Patent trolls drawing attention of courts, governmentRestricted Content

January 22, 2007
Lynn C.
Almost $3.5 billion: That, according to a recent IP Law 360 estimate, is the amount of judgments and settlements in intellectual property disputes in 2006. Equally remarkable, that amount was "markedly" down from the comparable figure for 2005. A recent article by Bloomberg News stated that juries awarded $1 billion in patent infringement damages in 2006. With that kind of money changing hands, it is not surprising that companies, known critically as "patent trolls," have been formed to acquire patent...
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VIEWPOINT: What we could learn from Fort WayneRestricted Content

January 22, 2007
Graham Richard
To be competitive in a global economy, city leaders must embrace change and look for innovative ways to attract jobs and private investment. In Fort Wayne, we are working to save energy and improve air and water quality to build a better city. We must decrease our dependence on imported oil for many reasons, including national security, cost of living and the need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Energy and environmental concerns are directly related to economic development and quality of...
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FUNNY BUSINESS: Forget Elvis on velvet; Art Bullies have other plans

January 15, 2007
Mike Redmond
I've seen the picture of the proposed ginormous art installation for downtown, and I think I speak for many of us when I say ... Well, come to think of it, I better not say that, seeing as how many of us do not use that kind of language. In case you missed it, here's the deal: There's a movement afoot to erect a large, circular, steel, Dairy Queen curlicue over at 11th and West streets-a $10 million large, circular,...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: U.S. job growth improves, but Midwest is wallflowerRestricted Content

January 15, 2007
Patrick Barkey
We are a nation of more than 300 million people, over half of whom are in the civilian work force, with almost 146 million having jobs. So why do we get so excited, or disappointed, when the government scorekeepers report each month about job gains of a mere couple of hundred thousand? Of course, when I say "we," I mean the tiny group of economists, policymakers and financial analysts who keep track of such things. Most businesspeople, let alone folks...
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MICKEY MAURER Commentary: A fresh start for this IEDC alumRestricted Content

January 15, 2007
I'm back. My last regular column appeared in the Indianapolis Business Journal on Jan. 3, 2005. In that column, I announced that I had accepted a twoyear hitch with the Daniels administration as president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and that columns would be suspended during my tenure with the state. The editors at IBJ felt that writing a column would pose a conflict of interest with my new responsibilities, and I agreed. It was a good thing; I...
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NOTIONS: A prayer for common sense on the issue of prayerRestricted Content

January 15, 2007
Bruce Hetrick
Dear God, please hear my prayer. We need a little divine guidance here (or at least a few thunderbolts of common sense). I pray today not for relief from the usual litany of woes (You hear enough about those). I ask, instead, that You help us past a nagging distraction so we might move on to more pressing concerns. As You know (because You know all), there's a lot weighing on us in these little Edens called Earth, America and...
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St. Francis plans another south-side growth spurt: Hospital system looks to build on 30 acres adjacent to Indianapolis campusRestricted Content

January 8, 2007
Tom Murphy
The youth soccer teams that fill the playing fields near St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis will take their matches elsewhere next spring to accommodate another expansion by the burgeoning hospital. St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers wants to build on 30 acres of land near the south-side hospital and Interstate 65, according to paperwork filed with Marion County. An acute-care bed tower, medical offices and a cancer center are among the expansion possibilities for the campus, which the Beech Grove-based hospital system...
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Labor sector diversification could spur local economy: $200,000 study targets finance, retail and constructionRestricted Content

January 8, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Sexier industry sectors like life sciences or motorsports get all the press. But to remain robust, the Indianapolis Private Industry Council believes, the area economy needs diversification. The 23-year-old work-force-training not-for-profit believes the nine-county area also should target three tried-and-true industries: finance and insurance; retail, hospitality and restaurants; and construction. IPIC, whose $9 million annual budget comes from public and private grants, plans to spend $200,000 during the first quarter studying the three sectors, which collectively employ 270,000 people in...
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EYE ON THE PIE: In 2007, sweat the little thingsRestricted Content

January 8, 2007
Morton Marcus
This time of the year, serious people make serious resolutions about important matters; people like me, experienced and lacking determination, avoid resolutions. If, however, I were to recommend resolutions to business and government leaders, my list could be condensed into this: Attend to the little things. For too long, we have heard the preaching of management gurus and public-policy mavens that we must keep our eyes focused on the bigger issues. If you are a decision maker, you are supposed...
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Think the state's awash in cash? Think againRestricted Content

January 8, 2007
Ed Feigenbaum
Most observers assume there will be a confrontation between House Democrats, led by Speaker Pat Bauer, D-South Bend, and Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels this session. They suggest it's like watching a hockey game and just waiting for a big fight. But confrontation need not be a synonym for breakdown , and while legislative Democrats and Daniels have some different philosophies about the role of government, they also have some basic agreements on just what should be accomplished before the end...
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EYE ON THE PIE: News flash? Indiana continues to lag nationRestricted Content

January 1, 2007
Morton Marcus
The U.S. Department of Commerce put two data sets under my tree the week before Christma. On Wednesday, I got personal-income data, by state, for the third quarter of 2006 from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. On Friday, the Bureau of the Census sent me 2006 population estimates for all the states. Could I ask for anything better unless it was the "Complete Works of Alvin and the Chipmunks"? However, my joy may not be shared by those who have...
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New stadium rising; city preparing for Super Bowl bid:Restricted Content

January 1, 2007
-Anthony Schoettle
The concrete columns of the Indianapolis Colts' new $675 million stadium began rising out of the ground in early 2006. Soon thereafter, the new venue had a name. In March, California-based Lucas Oil Products agreed to a 20-year, $121.5 million naming rights deal. Meanwhile, city and team officials in 2006 began discussions they hope will lead to attracting the Super Bowl to Lucas Oil Stadium in 2011. The Lucas Oil pact is one of a flurry of sponsorship deals the...
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  4. Elected officials, like Mourdock, get vested in 8 years. It takes 10 years for all other public employees, most of whom make a lot less money. So much for the promise to finish out his term.

  5. Great state treasurer and a good man!! Just curious if the folks who didn't quite understand his quote would like to tell my daughter-in-law that God didn't intend her! Mourdock's comment was correct but twisted and the article didn't mention that his opponent and the press let the impression stand that Mourdock meant that the rape was intended. Stupid people!!

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