Indiana’s private sector started the year off strong in January, adding jobs for the 19th consecutive month. The state’s labor force saw its greatest single-month expansion in nearly 20 years.
While the state’s private sector added 8,200 jobs in January, the unemployment rate climbed to its highest level in nearly a year, at 8.6 %. But the state Department of Workforce Development said the rise in the unemployment rate is due to a huge influx of people to the labor force, which is made up of both people with jobs and those actively looking for work.
State lawmakers say legislation moving through the General Assembly will strengthen Indiana’s consumer protection efforts of senior citizens. Both legislators and the Attorney General say they’ve found a gap in the law they hope the bill will address.
Last year, the number of consumer complaints of financial exploitation received by Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office increased by more than 9% among Hoosiers age 55 and older. And with the average age of Hoosiers on the rise, Zoeller says he’s expecting that number to continue to increase.
A year and a half after the Indiana State Fair stage collapse, state lawmakers are ready to enact permanent rules aimed at preventing future tragedies at outdoor events.
Last session, the General Assembly gave emergency rule-making power to the state Fire Marshal and Department of Homeland Security to develop temporary regulations for outdoor event and stage equipment.
This session, the legislature is prepared to make those rules permanent.
State lawmakers want to help parents find out whether their child’s school is family friendly. Legislation unanimously approved by a House committee Tuesday aims to increase parental involvement in education.
Tea Party group Americans for Prosperity is entering the debate in Indiana over Governor Mike Pence’s proposed ten percent income tax cut. The organization announced it will air TV ads in support of the tax cut.
State lawmakers say discussion over how best to implement the Affordable Care Act will continue in the second half of this year’s legislative session. But Republican leaders say uncertainty about the financial burden placed on the state by Medicaid expansion likely eliminates that option.
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.