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Committee recommends land-based casinos, live dealers at horse tracks

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Riverboat gambling operations would be allowed to rebuild on land and horse track casinos could use live dealers for table games under a recommendation approved Thursday by a legislative study committee. But the proposal – approved unanimously – would not allow horse track casinos in Anderson and Shelbyville to […]

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Arkansas, other states experiment with Medicaid options

By Christine Vestal Stateline.org Less than a year after low-income Arkansans started receiving health coverage under the Affordable Care Act’s controversial Medicaid expansion, the state is declaring its so-called “private option” experiment a success. Hospitals saw fewer uninsured patients, state coffers were spared millions in health care costs and private insurers reported record-low premium hikes. […]

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How the safety net cuts poverty rates across the country

By Jake Grovum Stateline.org Without Social Security, the poverty rate among senior citizens in the U.S. would be more than 50 percent; instead, it’s just 14.6 percent. For people of all ages, food stamps cut the poverty rate by about 10 percent, and they reduce poverty among those under 18 by even more than that. […]

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Steele seeks death penalty option in decapitation cases

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – A state senator said Monday he’s pursuing legislation to ensure that anyone convicted of beheading a victim could be sentenced to death or life without parole. A case in Oklahoma inspired Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, to check Indiana law to see if decapitation would be an aggravating circumstance that […]

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Feds extend pre-K funding deadline but Pence still says no

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence said Tuesday he still won’t apply for up to $80 million in preschool funding – despite an extended federal deadline and calls from several education officials. Pence said he stands by a decision he made last week not to seek the grant funding, which could have […]

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Unemployment rate ticks down in September but job numbers drop

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in September, even as the state lost jobs overall. The seasonally adjusted rate stood at 5.7 percent last month, down 0.1 percentage points from August. The rate is significantly lower than one year ago when it stood at 7.3 percent. The drop comes even […]

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Legislators need stricter disclosure rules, advocates say

By Hannah Troyer & Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Legislators need to be more transparent about conflicts of interest and should never be lobbying privately or publicly for issues that could impact their finances, an open-government advocate said Monday. The General Assembly should also add some independence to its ethics investigations, said Julia Vaughn, policy […]

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Pence won’t seek federal dollars to expand pre-K

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence has opted to end Indiana’s bid for up to $80 million in federal pre-kindergarten funding, a move that appeases some conservatives as he mulls a 2016 presidential run. Pence says he’s concerned about strings attached to the money. But Democrats complained Thursday that the Republican governor […]

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State distributes $1.2 million to domestic violence shelters

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – The state has approved the distribution of $1.2 million in additional funding for Indiana’s domestic violence shelters. The money had already been earmarked for the programs but the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute board had delayed its distribution to gather more information and confirm the money will be spent to […]

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Education board postpones vote on A-F grades for schools

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – The State Board of Education voted Wednesday to delay approving letter grades for schools because members said they were unsure about the underlying data. The decision came after two school administrators complained about the appeals process for their grades and board members learned that the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency […]

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