Legislature

Kenley to lead GOP budget negotiationsRestricted Content

November 24, 2008
In the wake of the 2008 election, State Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, has been promoted. to chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees the state budget.
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Election of president, governor signals Hoosiers desire changesRestricted Content

November 10, 2008
Indiana's blue vote for president-elect Barack Obama on Election Day was a sign that Hoosiers are ready for change. So was the state's red vote to keep incumbent Gov. Mitch Daniels in office. In this case, the status quo means more change. Daniels has been making gutsy and sometimes unpopular moves since taking office four years ago. He ran on a promise to keep shaking things up.
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Key races will decide who controls Indiana House of RepresentativesRestricted Content

October 13, 2008
Peter Schnitzler

Most of Indiana's 100 House districts are strongly Democratic or strongly Republican. That means control of the House of Representatives will come down to a handful of battleground districts--probably fewer than a dozen, political experts say.


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Property-tax reform may force cutbacks in urban school districtsRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Many Indiana school districts say they have no choice but to brace for cutbacks in areas like school repairs, computers and transportation thanks to the property tax reform measure approved by the General Assembly and signed by Gov.Mitch Daniels.
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Tax reform fallout worries biz interestsRestricted Content

March 24, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Property tax reform is now Indiana law. Hoosier homeowners are thrilled. But many corporate leaders grumble the historic deal was brokered on the backs of business. Topping their concerns is the new 3-percent property tax cap for commercial and industrial properties, which they fear will slow business expansions and discourage companies from moving headquarters to the state.
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Bills would require utilities to reduce reliance on coalRestricted Content

January 21, 2008
Chris O'Malley
Two bills in the Indiana Legislature would require utilities that operate here to supply up to 25 percent of their electricity from renewable resources such as wind, landfill gas, and plant and animal waste. Backers say utilities need more incentive to diversify from coal-based power generation.
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Lawmakers call for advocate to support airline passenger 'rights'Restricted Content

January 21, 2008
Chris O'Malley
Northwest Airlines flight 1829--stranded on a Detroit taxiway for seven hours with lavatories overflowing and the 198 souls aboard without food or water--has now landed at the Indiana General Assembly. Two Republican lawmakers have proposed creating an "airline consumer advocate" to resolve disputes on behalf of passengers who've endured poor service.
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Property-tax plan shifts tab for poor relief from counties to stateRestricted Content

January 14, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Here's a political hot potato that so far has received little discussion in the rancorous debate over property-tax reform: Should the enormous costs of helping impoverished Hoosiers continue to be funded county by county, or spread to taxpayers statewide?
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Property tax crisis deals Indiana a blowRestricted Content

December 31, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Many called it "the perfect storm." But in retrospect, the dark clouds of Indiana's 2007 property tax crisis had been forming for years. Legislators caught wind early that something was amiss and spent all spring preparing to weather the impact.
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Critics fear tax reform will favor suburbsRestricted Content

December 10, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
As legislators prepare to overhaul the state's property-tax system, Marion County's future hangs in the balance. Indianapolis residents--particularly in the city's older, urban core--already pay far higher taxes than their suburban counterparts. And arguably get less bang for their buck. Changes on the table could make Marion County an even tougher sell.
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Governor playing deal-maker with property-tax planRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
The art of the deal is to get more than you give up. If Gov. Mitch Daniels convinces the General Assembly to pass his property tax plan intact, he'll meet the definition of deal-maker, and then some.
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Racinos may push gambling's limitsRestricted Content

May 14, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
During their first half-decade in operation, the state's casino slots machines grew their total sales to $22 billion, according to Indiana Gaming Commission records. But in the last five years, slot sales grew just 18 percent, reaching $25.9 billion in 2006. That's what business textbooks call a maturing market.
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Biz interests scored legislative winsRestricted Content

May 7, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. did OK in the just-completed legislative session. IEDC received $96 million it can now dole out as business grants. And lawmakers had authorized tax credits worth millions more for the commercialization of new...
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High-tech 21st Century funding in doubtRestricted Content

April 2, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
The first version of the $25.6 billion state budget, passed by the Democratic majority in the Indiana House of Representatives Feb. 22, didn't include any money for the Indiana 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, which provides financial assistance to promising high-tech startups.
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Filmmakers waiting to see if lawmakers boost incentivesRestricted Content

April 2, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Legislators are weighing a measure that would offer taxpayer-funded rebates to production companies willing to make movie magic in Indiana--giving a boost to an industry that's been asking for help since 2004.
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Bill challenges WellPoint's 'favored' statusRestricted Content

March 26, 2007
J.K. Wall
A bill moving through the Indiana General Assembly could remove one of the major weapons Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has used to preserve its market dominion. Senate Bill 114 would forbid health care providers from granting Anthem--or any other health insurer--so-called "most favored nation" clauses.
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Firearm advocates take aim at employers' restrictionsRestricted Content

December 25, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Legislators in the upcoming session of the Indiana General Assembly are gearing up for a gunfight with high-caliber business implications. On one side are employees who prefer to pack heat during their commute. On the other are executives who see guns as a liability nightmare--even if they're locked in cars parked outside.
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Former Lt. Gov. Davis seeks support for Model IndianaRestricted Content

November 6, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Former Lt. Gov. Kathy Davis is attempting to build a virtual version of Indiana for policymakers to wander. If successful, the new IT system could help shape Statehouse debate on a host of subjects.
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Chamber of Commerce explores casino recommendationRestricted Content

September 25, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
To shore up local government's enormous financial shortfalls, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce has begun investigating whether it wants to push for a downtown casino--a politically explosive idea that would face widespread opposition.
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