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Pence: Agency switch not mandate on volunteering

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Gov. Mike Pence said an executive order placing a formerly independent state agency that promotes volunteerism under the authority of the agency that administers unemployment benefits isn't a precursor to requiring out-of-work Indiana residents to volunteer to receive benefits.

Pence told The Times of Munster that the change was aimed at improving government operations by streamlining.

Pence noted in his April 7 order that unemployed workers who regularly volunteer increase their chances of finding a job by nearly 30 percent. Pence said the order renaming the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to Serve Indiana and placing it under the authority of the Department of Workforce Development "creates a comprehensive approach to workforce development through increased community investment in workforce training programs."

Pence said he believes a 2013 federal study looking at 10 years of data on the volunteer habits of the unemployed provides "real evidence" that volunteering is an excellent way for out-of-work Indiana residents to find a job.

"There's a very interesting correlation, and common sense would explain it, between getting people essentially from welfare back into the workplace, and also those individuals who will find opportunities to volunteer and participate in their community in various activities," Pence said.

Lawmakers in at least eight states, including Indiana in 2011, have considered legislation that would require volunteering as a condition of receiving unemployment benefits even though federal unemployment rules say benefits only can be denied for fraud or issues relating to an individual's job loss.

A 2011 proposal by state Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, that would have set a requirement for volunteering that would gradually increase the longer a person is unemployed, never advanced out of committee in the Republican-controlled House.

A 2012 effort by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., to allow states to condition unemployment payments on volunteering did not advance in the Democratic-controlled chamber.

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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