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Hate crimes bill defeat remains the big disappointment of 2018 session

By Abrahm Hurt TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — At the halfway point of the 2018 legislative session, members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus see the apparent defeat of bias crimes legislation as one of the biggest setbacks so far. “I think probably a lot of people in the state of Indiana are disappointed that the bias […]

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House drops fees for lifetime gun permits

By Quinn Fitzgerald TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS—Legislation that would eliminate the fee for a lifetime gun permit passed the Indiana House Monday in spite of concerns that it would affect funding for police training. House Bill 1424, which passed 70-20, also changes a four-year handgun license to five years. In its original form, the bill proposed eliminating […]

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Gary officials demand answers for pharmacy closings

By Erica Irish TheStatehouseFile.com  INDIANAPOLIS — For some 80,000 residents of Gary, Indiana, access to medicine is becoming an everyday struggle. Karen Freeman Wilson, the city’s mayor, said this is because three different Walgreens pharmacies and one Fagen pharmacy have closed without warning over the past three years. “This is an issue, and we don’t […]

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Anti-tobacco bill would increase smoking age to 21

By Erica Irish TheStatehouseFile.com  INDIANAPOLIS — Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, has been fighting to reduce Indiana’s high smoking rate for nearly 20 years. On Monday, the soon-to-be retired lawmaker got a little closer to his goal. The House Public Health Committee unanimously approved House Bill 1380, Brown’s newest strategy to reduce smoking rates by raising […]

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House bill would hike cigarette taxes by $2 a pack

By Eddie Drews TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, is proposing legislation to increase the tax on a pack of cigarettes as well as raising the age at which Hoosiers can buy tobacco products. If passed, House Bill 1380 would raise the state’s cigarette tax by as much as $2 per pack and would […]

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Long-time lawmaker Charlie Brown won’t run again

Staff Report TheStatehouseFile.com  INDIANAPOLIS — After holding a seat in the Indiana House of Representatives for more than 35 years, Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election. His political career, however, isn’t over. He said he will seek local office in Lake County. “As a state legislator representing Gary, Hobart, Lake […]

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Ricker’s issue could lead to overhaul of state’s alcohol laws

By Dustin Beach TheStatehouseFIle.com  INDIANAPOLIS – A dispute over who can sell cold beer could push lawmakers to rewrite the state’s alcohol laws. Ricker’s convenience stores began selling cold carry-out beer after obtaining a restaurant license for two of their locations by selling made-to-order Tex-Mex style food. That’s left lawmakers questioning how the Alcohol and […]

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Giving state police the ability to dispose of firearms

By Ashley Steeb TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — State police could soon have procedure for returning or disposing of firearms confiscated for criminal reasons without further court order. Senate Bill 191 passed the House on Wednesday, with a vote of 94-2. State police would be required to hold onto the gun for 180 days and the agency […]

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Abortion ‘reversal’ bill passes out of committee again

By Taylor Brown TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — A controversial bill regarding a possible reversal of a chemical abortion passed out of committee for the second time on Tuesday. House Bill 1128 would require the Department of Health to develop a form that provides women information about a possible reversal of an abortion-inducing drug.  However, the reversal […]

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Amendment would create study of carrying without a license

By Taylor Brown TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — A bill that would allow domestic violence victims a temporary carry permit passed out of committee with a controversial amendment Tuesday. House Bill 1071 would allow a domestic violence victim to carry a gun without a permit for 60 days, but Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, proposed an amendment for […]

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