Government

Legislature continues support of We the People program

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana's We the People program, a civics education curriculum that teaches elementary, middle and high school students about U.S. history and government, has received another round of funding from the Statehouse.
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Appeals court sides with EPA on air pollution limits

June 3, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency complied with the law in deciding which areas of the country failed to meet federal limits on smog-forming pollution that can cause asthma and respiratory illness.
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Legislative Council assigns topics to summer committees

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a study to determine the appropriate number of courts in Pulaski County was not assigned to a summer interim committee, the Indiana Legislature may not be finished with making reductions in some state courts.
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New laws shelter attorneys-in-fact from liability in settling estates

June 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
How long heirs have to initiate an action arising from an attorney-in-fact’s final accounting of an estate has been an open question in Indiana, but a recent change in state law settles it. Mostly.
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Expected changes to Patriot Act better, says IU Maurer cybersecurity expert

June 1, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The failure of the U.S. Senate to reauthorize parts of the Patriot Act surprised cybersecurity expert Fred Cate, but he hesitated to describe the expiration of the legislation as a major shift in current policy.
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Legislature turns to attorney to lead new ethics office

May 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A longtime legislative attorney has been tapped to lead the state’s new Office of Legislative Ethics.
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Where the clients ‘are no stoned-out hippies’

May 28, 2015
 Bloomberg News
Small firms, like  Brian Vicente’s in Denver, have been advising clients on marijuana law issues for several years. Now even some bigger corporate firms are tiptoeing into the business.
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Lawsuit says Mourdock gave chief deputy 3-year contract

May 28, 2015
 Associated Press
A lawsuit by former Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock's chief deputy challenging his firing claims the official gave him a three-year, $300,000 contract before he resigned from office last year.
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Obama loses second bid to implement overhaul of immigration

May 27, 2015
 Bloomberg News
President Barack Obama’s bid to make overhauling immigration policy a second-term victory was dealt a serious blow as federal judges ruled the effort must remain on hold while 26 states sue to overturn it.
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Environmental groups sue over Illiana Tollway approval

May 27, 2015
 Associated Press
Illinois environmental groups have filed a lawsuit over the proposed Illiana Tollway. They claim federal approval relied on faulty information and didn't adequately consider environmental impacts.
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Indiana securities commissioner abruptly resigns

May 27, 2015
IBJ Staff
Carol Mihalik resigned as Indiana’s securities commissioner, the state announced.
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KBR, Halliburton win at US Supreme Court on suit deadlines

May 26, 2015
 Bloomberg News
The Supreme Court of the United States tightened the time limits for whistle-blower lawsuits that accuse contractors of overbilling the federal government during overseas conflicts. The ruling is a victory for KBR Inc. and Halliburton Co.
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SCOTUS to consider appeal over electoral districts

May 26, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States agreed Tuesday to hear an important case about whether states must count only those who are eligible to vote, rather than the total population, when drawing electoral districts for their legislatures.
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Gay marriage challenges cost Indiana $1.4M in attorney fees

May 26, 2015
 Associated Press
The state of Indiana had to pay more than $1.4 million in fees to plaintiffs' attorneys in its unsuccessful attempt to maintain a ban on same-sex marriages, the attorney general's office says.
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Study: Local lockups can be more pricey to run than thought

May 21, 2015
 Associated Press
It turns out running a jail can be even more expensive than previously thought. A study released Thursday examining what it actually costs to operate local lockups has found that a whole host of costs aren't always covered as line items in a corrections department's budget.
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ESPN to appeal Indiana judge's ruling on Notre Dame police

May 21, 2015
 Associated Press
ESPN will appeal a northern Indiana judge's ruling that the University of Notre Dame police department is not subject to the state's open records law.
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Fuel company settles claims over air emissions in 3 states

May 20, 2015
 Associated Press
Marathon Petroleum Corp. will pay a fine of nearly $3 million and spend another $2.8 million on pollution controls at its distribution terminals in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.
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Lawmakers eye changes at troubled Bureau of Motor Vehicles

May 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana lawmakers say they're looking for more changes at the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles after an independent audit found numerous troubles and that the agency might have overcharged motorists more than the $60 million previously disclosed.
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AG’s office creates victim services division

May 14, 2015
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General has created the Victim Services and Outreach Division to focus resources on victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, and other vulnerable victims, the office announced Thursday.
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Senate under pressure after House votes to end NSA program

May 14, 2015
 Associated Press
After the House of Representatives' lopsided bipartisan vote to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records, the Senate is under considerable pressure to pass a similar measure. If it doesn't, lawmakers risk letting the authority to collect the records expire June 1, along with other important counterterrorism provisions.
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Tribe chairman says new Indiana law violates US law

May 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The chairman for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians who are seeking to build a casino in South Bend said Wednesday a new law approved by the General Assembly prevents Gov. Mike Pence from negotiating in good faith with the tribe on a compact, voiding the need for such an agreement.
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House votes to block EPA regulation of streams, wetlands

May 13, 2015
 Associated Press
House Republicans on Tuesday voted to block government rules that would clarify which streams, tributaries and wetlands should be protected from pollution and development under the Clean Water Act.
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Indiana senator calls for judicial nominating commission

May 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Sen. Dan Coats is calling for the appointment of a commission to assist in finding and nominating candidates for the vacancies on the federal bench.  
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Farmers worry over reach of EPA water rules

May 12, 2015
 Associated Press
Government rules to clarify which streams, tributaries and wetlands should be protected from development and pollution are fueling political anger in the country's heartland.
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Audit: Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles used ambiguous fees

May 12, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles lacks oversight, uses a complex fee schedule that leads to inconsistent charges for the same transactions and may have overcharged motorists more than previously disclosed, according to an independent audit released Monday.
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