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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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Gov. Pence expected to sign construction wage bill quickly

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Republicans won another battle against unions Thursday, passing a bill they say will save taxpayers money on public projects. Gov. Mike Pence is expected to sign House Bill 1019 into law quickly, which will eliminate an 80-year-old system that lets local governments and schools set wage floors for projects […]

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Heroin antidote bill passes House

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – A drug that can reverse a heroin overdose would become more readily available to the friends and families of addicts under legislation that passed the House unanimously Tuesday. Senate Bill 406 now moves back to the Senate, which has approved a similar version of the legislation. The Senate will […]

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Young campaign says donations mean he could be competitive in Senate race

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – U.S. Rep. Todd Young’s campaign announced Tuesday that the Republican has raised more than $500,000 since Sen. Dan Coats announced he would not seek reelection. That’s a sign that Young has the support to seek the seat, his spokesman said. “These fundraising numbers show there is an overwhelmingly positive […]

Analysis: Revenue news will determine final budget numbers

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Analysis: Revenue news will determine final budget numbers

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – The Senate has released a two-year, $31.5 billion budget that increases money for education, highways and community-based corrections programs. It boosts university funding by more than either the House or governor’s plans, a move Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley says should prevent colleges from raising tuition. But that budget […]

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Live dealers sticking point in gambling bill

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Riverboat casinos could rebuild on land and a tax break for casino marketing would become permanent under legislation approved by the Senate Thursday. But the bill, which passed 36-13, doesn’t allow live dealers to man table games at the state’s horse track-based casinos in Anderson and Shelbyville – at […]

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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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