State officials again refused to say how many ventilators or intensive-care unit beds hospitals have, citing confidentiality agreements with hospitals and vendors. Some hospitals expect their supplies to run short in coming weeks.
Holcomb vetoes controversial landlord-tenant legislation
The governor’s decision to block the bill from becoming law allows tenant protections the city of Indianapolis recently put in place to remain in force.Read More
FAQ: What does the stay-at-home order mean for Hoosiers?
Gov. Eric Holcomb is telling Hoosiers to “hunker down” and stay at home for the next two weeks, except for what’s deemed “essential” business and activity. The order raises a bunch of questions about how it will work and what’s allowed. Here are some answers to those questions.Read More
Bill that outlined requirement for ousting AG dies in last night of session
Despite a push from Indiana House lawmakers to clarify in state code whether Attorney General Curtis Hill could remain in office if his law license is suspended, state legislators failed to pass a bill before adjourning this year’s session Wednesday night.Read More
GOP lawmakers differ slightly from governor on 2020 priorities (including on swine barn funding)
Like Gov. Eric Holcomb, Indiana Senate and House Republicans are focused on health care, education and spending one-time dollars on capital projects this year. But lawmakers have slightly different views on how those surplus dollars should be spent.Read More
State and federal authorities have expanded the eligibility for unemployment benefits significantly, meaning if you’re out of work and didn’t qualify under the old rules, you likely will now.
Cris Johnston, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said agencies have been told to look for places where they can eliminate spending. But he said there are no plans to cut funding for schools, even though it’s the state’s largest expenditure.
His decision—announced in a Statehouse address streamed online—follows in the footsteps of a handful of other governors across the country, including three of Indiana’s neighboring states: Michigan, Illinois and Ohio.
The governor also signed legislation that will eventually put more money into the state’s unemployment trust fund, a move that comes as the coronavirus outbreak has led to a jump in unemployment claims.
The governor said the decision will be up to Secretary of State Connie Lawson, a Republican who oversees the Indiana Election Division.
A former Senate budget writer said the hit to the state budget could be bigger than during the Great Recession, when state revenue dropped 15% over two years.
Two weeks ago, Italy had 1,700 cases of coronavirus and had reported 34 deaths. Now, Italy is reporting an estimated 25,000 cases and more than 1,800 deaths.
More than 200 of Indiana’s nearly 300 districts have closed after consultations with local health officials. But, in at least 21 states, officials have ordered closures to try to stop spread of COVID-19.
It was a fortuitous decision by legislative leaders heading into January to seek adjournment sine die by March 11 or 12.
Agreement calls for spending tens of billions of dollars on sick leave, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other measures to address the unfolding COVID-19 crisis.
The party leaders did not suggest any delay in the May 5 primary itself.
The provision emerged at the Statehouse last month as a last-minute attempt to block the Indianapolis City-County Council from implementing two ordinances designed to protect tenants from predatory landlords.
Just in the past month or so, lawmakers have debated proposals to prohibit cities from regulating landlord-tenant relations, allow the attorney general to step in when a local prosecutor decides not to pursue a case, and cut funding to IndyGo—which might stop construction of future bus rapid-transit lines.
IPL said a typical household customer would likely pay an extra $1.50 a month in the first year. That monthly amount would increase by $1.50 each year, or by a total of $10.50 a month by the seventh year.
House Bill 1279, authored by Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, initially only addressed a regional development group in northwest Indiana. But an amendment sought to put teeth in a 2014 state law that required IndyGo to raise private dollars to help finance its mass transit operations.
The city is just six months from a tentative opening for the first piece of the justice campus project, the 37,000-square-foot Assessment and Intervention Center. Construction on other buildings in phase one is well underway, and the city has started planning for phases two and three.
House Speaker Brian Bosma is turning control over to Rep. Todd Huston, who isn’t wedded to policies of the past simply because they were justified when enacted and once worked.
The new language, which was added to a bill this week, would effectively make it illegal to panhandle in all of downtown Indianapolis.