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Commentary: Too early for a celebration

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Commentary: Too early for a celebration

By John Krull TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence’s office gave itself a pat on the back, but the pat should have been halfhearted. The news the Pence administration touted was about jobs. Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped in July – down to 4.7 percent, which is below the national average and well below the 5.8 […]

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Department of Education announces income guidelines for free and reduced lunch

Staff Report TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – As the school year ramps for students around the state, the Department of Education has announced the guidelines for free and reduced lunch. It’s part of the National School Lunch, School Breakfast and Special Milk Programs. Students whose families qualify under federal guidelines may receive free or reduced price meals […]

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Department of Child Services to add more than 100 caseworkers to help ease burden

By Amanda Creech TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mike Pence announced on Thursday morning the Indiana Department of Child Services would add 113 additional caseworkers. The move comes just a day before DCS will present their annual report before the state budget committee. “I’m proud of the efforts they have made but nevertheless because we’re talking […]

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ACLU: State is putting children at risk by overloading caseworkers

By Aubrey Helms TheStatehousefile.com INDIANAPOLIS – The American Civil Liberties Union is trying to protect some of the state’s most vulnerable children through a lawsuit meant to ease the burden on overloaded caseworkers. State law prohibits caseworkers from taking on more than 17 children at a time. The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, is on behalf […]

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Low-income families could keep child care help longer under bill moving in Senate

By Andi TenBarge TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – A bill that could help low-come Hoosiers become self-sufficient is one step closer to becoming law. House Bill 1616 – authored by Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany – would allow federal Child Care and Development Fund voucher program participants to continue receiving benefits until the family income exceeds 250 […]

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Bill to promote urban fresh food options passes House

By Aubrey Helms TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – A bill aimed at bringing fresh food to urban areas – often referred to as “food deserts” – passed the House on Thursday evening. House Bill 1248 would require the Indiana State Department of Agriculture to develop and promote urban farming programs, food cooperatives and farmers’ markets. It would seek […]

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Bill to help low-income Hoosiers with child care moves to Senate

By Aubrey Helms TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana families struggling to make ends meet, even as their incomes rise, could get some extra help when it comes to one of the most burdensome expenses of raising children: childcare. House Bill 1616, authored by Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, unanimously passed the House 94-0 on Tuesday. The […]

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No vote on bill to eliminate asset test for food help

By Max Bomber TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – A Senate committee debated a bill Monday that has the potential to provide food assistance to more than 1,000 additional Hoosier families. The Children and Family Services Committee did not vote on Senate Bill 549, which would eliminate a requirement that the state consider a family’s assets in determining […]

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Lawmakers hear concerns about ‘cliff’ effect for child care program

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Lower income Hoosiers could keep their child care aid even as their incomes increased modestly under legislation a Senate committee considered Monday. Senate Bill 129 would eliminate a benefits cliff that supporters say leads some parents to turn down promotions or better jobs to avoid losing up to $8,000 […]

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Bill to fund 211 referral service headed to the House floor

By Deron Molen TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – A service that helps Hoosiers connect to critical health and safety resources could receive state funding if lawmakers support a bill heading to the House floor. House Bill 1010, authored by Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, would appropriate $2 million annually to the 211 phone service. The service is currently […]

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