Archive for September, 2010

Steven David Named Next Supreme Court Judge

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has announced who he’s chosen as the state’s next Supreme Court judge:  53 year old Boone County Circuit Court Judge Steven David, who will fill the vacancy left by Justice Theodore Boehm, who steps down September 30th.  David used the announcement as a time to credit the process by which he was selected.

“It’s been a rigorous, busy and public transparent process and I want to express my gratitude for the efforts, the hard work, the commitment that the judicial qualifications commission, each one of those members, put forward.”

David was one of three finalists for the job.  There were speculations Governor Daniels would select a woman, since none currently sit on the state’s highest court.  Daniels said that may have been a consideration in a tie breaker, but he felt Judge David was clearly the best nominee.  Daniels pointed particularly to his military service and time spend working in the business sector, as an attorney for Mayflower Transit Corporation, as traits that distinguished David as his final selection.


Constitutional Property Tax Cap Supporters Begin Final Push for Passage

Governor Mitch Daniels with about 50 supporters of constitutional property tax caps, in Beech Grove, IN

About 50 supporters rallying for a yes vote on the property tax cap referendum that will appear on the November election ballot were on the south side of Indianapolis today making their case for why those caps should be placed in the state constitution. 

Question one on the November ballot will ask voters whether they want to put current property tax caps in the state constitution. 

Those caps don’t completely set in stone the dollar amount a property owner pays on his or her taxes, since property assessments used to calculate the tax bills can rise and fall.  Also, lawmakers allowed for referendums that let local governments and schools go above the caps. 

But Governor Mitch Daniels says the key is that they’ll need voters approval.

“When local spending units want to raise more money, they have to get the people’s permission to do it.  It’s no longer the case that they can simply raise it at their own discretion and that’s the way it should be.”

The property tax caps became law in 2008, despite opposition from groups that said it would limit funding flexibility for government programs.  Now opponents, most notably the Indiana Farm Bureau and state Chamber of Commerce say they won’t actively campaign against the measure. 

Fiscal Report Shows Tough Decisions for Next General Assembly

-Marianne Holland, Statehouse Bureau Chief

A report released today by the non-partisan Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute shows major challenges for the next budget session of the Indiana General Assembly. 

After examining the state’s year end financial closeout, there’s at least one thing Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute director John Ketzenburger says is clear: tough choices lie ahead for the General Assembly as they put together the next biennial budget. 

Indiana’s tax revenue fell six point nine percent over the last two fiscal years, putting the state’s revenue collections at about the same level as they were in 2005. 

 The institute report shows the state at a structural deficit going into the 2012-2013 budget, but credits Governor Mitch Daniel’s spending cuts for mitigating the problem for this year. 

It also shows Indiana’s recent property tax changes have meant less funding flexibility during the recession and calls federal stimulus money a bridge across the worst of the revenue losses.

Indiana Legislature Revisits Statewide Smoking Ban

Members of an Indiana legislative study committee are taking up the issue of a statewide smoking again.  As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Marianne Holland reports, this is the fourth attempt to get some comprehensive legislation passed. Hear the Story

State Says Revenue Up for August

State revenue data for August has been released, showing Indiana’s state tax collections are up more than eight percent from the same period last year.  As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Marianne Holland reports, it also indicates state money is considerably higher than what was forecasted.  Hear the Story

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Ellsworth Calls Coats Gitmo Ad ‘Patently False’

U.S. Senate candidate, Congressman Brad Ellsworth says a television ad from his Republican opponent tells lies about his stance on the Guantanamo Bay prison and detainees held there.  Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Marianne Holland reports. Hear the Story