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.
As lawmakers work to create the Indiana Career Council, meant to coordinate the state’s workforce development efforts, they’re placing a special emphasis on addressing unemployment among recent veterans.
The unemployment rate for Indiana’s post-9-11 veterans is 20%, more than double that of the average Hoosier. Indiana National Guard Employment Coordination Program manager Catalina Carrasco said part of the reason so many young veterans are unemployed is a disconnect between veterans and employers.
Indiana state senators are used to hearing from special guests during the legislative session, but Thursday lawmakers had an out of this world experience as NASA Commander and Hoosier native Kevin Ford addressed the Senate from aboard the International Space Station.
Governor Mike Pence is making a change in leadership at the Department of Child Services, appointing a juvenile court judge as director of the embattled agency.
Lake County Superior Court judge Mary Beth Bonaventura will become the third DCS director in the last seven months. She has spent three decades working in the juvenile division, experience Governor Pence says makes her uniquely qualified for her new role.
Bonaventura said she’s already familiar with some of the issues plaguing DCS, including high turnover rates among case workers.
State lawmakers are pushing legislation that would create a financial literacy curriculum for the state, encouraging schools to teach skills such as investing, balancing a checkbook, and applying for loans.
Supporters of the legislation say students are graduating high school without basic financial skills.
Greenwood Republican Senator Brent Waltz says that’s not a new problem.
The fears of opponents of Indiana’s Right to Work law appear to be bolstered by statistics showing a significant decrease in the state’s union membership since 2011. But leaders on both sides of the debate say Right to Work likely had little effect.
Union membership in Indiana dropped about 20% from 2011 to 2012, just as Indiana’s Right to Work law, which prohibits union contracts that require workers to pay dues for representation, went into effect.