Archive for April, 2009

General Assembly Headed to Special Session

The Indiana General Assembly is headed for a special session after failing to pass its only constitutionally required legislation, the state budget. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Marianne Holland reports.

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Lawmakers Reach Agreement on Unemployment Fund Fix

Despite not approving a budget, and a special session looming, the Indiana General Assembly did approve a plan to fix Indiana’s bankrupt jobless fund, and stave off a potential federal takeover of the state’s fund. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Marianne Holland has the details.

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Budget Negotiations Teetering as Midnight Deadline Looms

A last minute gambling proposal is among the issues keeping legislators at the Indiana Statehouse today from reaching an agreement on the state’s next budget. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Marianne Holland reports.

Lawmakers Reach Tentative Agreement on Unemployment Funds

Indiana legislators have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix the state’s unemployment insurance fund and pay back federal borrowing currently being used to pay benefits to people out of work. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Marianne Holland reports.

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Puppy Mill Legislation Changed, Again

Legislators held their second conference committee today on a bill related to commercial dog breeding operations, known as puppy mills. Senator Brent Steele, a Republican from Bedford, put forth changes to the bill opposed by its author, Representative Linda Lawson, a Democrat from Hammond. Among the changes was one to disallow local communities from passing their own stronger breeding regulations. Lawson says that change is a bad one for communities who want such laws in place.

“One of the things that’s really important is that the communities who have stronger laws will not be able to enforce them.”

Steele also proposed inserting provisions from a separate bill regarding new statewide rules for bail bondsman. Lawson says she and her caucus are opposed to that change, expressing pessimism about the bill’s fate with that change included. The representative says she plans to introduce her own changes and try to get the bill passed, with more animal protections, by session’s end Wednesday.

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Thousands Protest Proposed Unemployment Insurance Cuts

Thousands of people packed the Indiana Statehouse today, with hundreds more waiting outside, for a rally opposing a measure to cut Indiana’s unemployment benefits. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Marianne Holland reports.

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Indiana Health Officials Using Twitter for Swine Flu Updates

The Indiana State Department of Health and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security are now offering updates on the state’s swine flu situation on the messaging service Twitter. Department of Homeland Security Spokesman John Ericson says the state will be providing new information as it becomes available, as well as precautions they can take to avoid the virus.

“We just want people to know what is going on with the flu and really just go about their normal business. Just wash their hands a lot and be careful. There are going to be people out there who have the flu. It’s the tail end of the flu season, it’s going to be the regular flu or a cold or an upper respiratory infection. It’s just a matter of being calm, going about your daily business and taking normal precautions.”

He says there are still no confirmed cases of swine flu in Indiana. Ericson says both departments will continue providing information through the service even after the current swine flu situation subsides.

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