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Analysis: RFRA fallout far from over

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Analysis: RFRA fallout far from over

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehosueFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – When the General Assembly’s session ended last month, Gov. Mike Pence and legislative leaders insisted that the controversy over the religious freedom restoration act was over. But the state’s jobs agency must not think so. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is paying $750,000 to a New York public relations […]

Analysis: Pence set Democrats up with good campaign fodder

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Analysis: Pence set Democrats up with good campaign fodder

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – It was just hours after the General Assembly adjourned for the year that one Democrat said he planned to run for governor and another said she was thinking about. No surprise. After all, Republican Gov. Mike Pence – who appears poised to seek a second term – gave his […]

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Analysis: Addiction is a societal problem, one that must be tackled

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – There was a time when I looked at addicts as people who made poor choices in their lives and refused to take responsibility for their actions. I had little interest in government-funded programs to serve people I believed had brought their problems on themselves. Today, I believe I had […]

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Analysis: Common construction arguments don’t wash, on either side

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Lawmakers have scrapped Indiana’s common construction wage, an 80-year-old system that set floors for workers’ pay on local projects that are funded with taxpayer money. It was a controversial debate and the economics are tricky – but the discussion became more convoluted than it needed to be in part […]

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Analysis: Postponing anti-discrimination debate is risky

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – The relief seemed almost palpable Thursday as the attacks on Indiana eased – but the break may be only temporary. Republicans and some business leaders had struck a deal on a so-called fix for the divisive Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The goal was simple: Stop the bleeding. And maybe […]

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Analysis: Coats’ decision makes 2016 election more fun

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – When Republican Sen. Dan Coats announced this week that he won’t seek reelection, the 2016 campaign season in Indiana became much more interesting. Almost immediately, a number of current and former public officials acknowledged they were thinking about jumping into the race. And then one candidate – who has […]

Analysis: Questions about corrections funding will persist to session’s end

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Analysis: Questions about corrections funding will persist to session’s end

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – When lawmakers began talking several years ago about an overhaul of the state’s sentencing laws, the goal was to serve more low-level felons in community-based programs. The problem – just about everyone acknowledged at the time – is that those community programs are not set up to suddenly serve […]

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Analysis: Students need more info about the debt they’re piling up

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Years ago, as she was starting her law career, my best friend told me that she wished she’d understood just what it would mean to her future to be borrowing her way through school. By graduation, my friend had amassed more than $75,000 in debt, not including the interest […]

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Analysis: A decade is enough uncertainty for fenced hunting

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – It’s a fight that has gone on too long. And it’s time for the General Assembly to end it. The state and the operators of fenced deer hunting preserves have been at odds for a decade over whether the operations are legal and can be regulated. During that time, […]

Analysis: Pence keeps his opinions about gambling out of the public eye

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Analysis: Pence keeps his opinions about gambling out of the public eye

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Republican Gov. Mike Pence has some strong feelings about gambling legislation that’s been passed by the House and is now headed to the Senate. I mean, I think he does. He’s not actually willing to tell me. Or you. Or apparently anyone who’s not a legislator. We’ll find out, […]

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