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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, […]

Analysis: Republicans & Democrats made good points on school funding

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Analysis: Republicans & Democrats made good points on school funding

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – The results are in – and they are not surprising. Months after House Republicans first said they wanted to revamp school funding, the changes have been translated into actual dollars for districts. As expected, growing districts – those in suburban areas – receive more money under the plan and […]

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Analysis: Five things to expect in the House budget plan

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – After weeks of budget hearings and behind-the-scenes debates, House Ways & Means Chairman Tim Brown is about to unveil a two-year state spending plan likely to mean roughly $35 billion for schools, Medicaid and more. So far, Brown – a Republican from Crawfordsville – has been mum about the […]

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Analysis: Number of women in Indiana legislature lags much of nation

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – One in five lawmakers at the Indiana General Assembly are women, even though just more than half of Hoosiers are female. It’s a number that ranks the state only 35th in the nation in the proportion of women in the legislature. But does that matter? Yes, says Rep. Christina […]

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