Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly said it appears sequestration cuts will go into effect before a deal is reached in Congress, but negotiations won’t stop with the Friday deadline. Governor Mike Pence said the state is planning for the cuts.
The automatic federal spending cuts known as sequestration could include $32 million in education cuts in Indiana, 11,000 furloughed civilian workers from the state’s defense sector and cuts to money for child immunizations and domestic violence prevention.
Legislation regulating how abortion clinics dispense abortion-inducing drugs no longer requires an ultrasound after the drug is taken. But Democrats say an amendment made to the bill Monday isn’t good enough.
State lawmakers hope the third time’s the charm as they seek to eliminate the sale and use of synthetic drugs, often referred to as bath salts.
This year marks the third consecutive session with legislation outlawing synthetic drugs. But Indianapolis Republican Jim Merritt – who has shepherded the effort in the Senate all three years – says state lawmakers and law enforcement know much more now and believe they’ve hit on a lasting solution.
The House Republican budget does not include Governor Mike Pence’s proposed 10% income tax cut. But House Democratic leaders are promising the cut will get an up or down vote on the House floor.
The House GOP budget, which will be publicly presented to the Ways and Means committee Monday, includes significant increases in education and roads funding. But it leaves out Governor Pence’s tax cut, and does not assume there will be any taxpayer refund at the end of the budget cycle.
Senate President Pro Tem David Long said Indiana needs to take the lead in assembling a constitutional convention of the states in an effort to rein in the federal government’s power. Long’s effort aims to produce an amendment to the Untied States Constitution.
To amend the Constitution in a state-initiated way, two-thirds of state legislatures must agree to convene a constitutional convention, at which the amendment is drafted. Three-fourths of the states must then approve the amendment for it to be ratified.