Indiana's House of Representatives has approved a proposal that would write the state's gay marriage ban into the constitution.
The Republican-led House narrowly voted 57-40 Tuesday in favor of the measure. The proposed ban now heads to the Indiana Senate.
The vote followed weeks of uncertainty for a measure that swept through the General Assembly with ease just three years ago.
"This amendment has jumped the shark," said Democratic Rep. Mat Pierce, who voted against the measure. "History has really passed it by. And that’s why I think we need to give up on it."
The House measure leaves open the door for approval of civil unions and employer benefits for same-sex couples. It also would potentially reset the clock on Indiana's lengthy process of amending the constitution.
But Senate Republicans could potentially place the measure back on course to appear on the November ballot.
Indiana’s House and Senate Democratic leaders are asking their Republican counterparts to avoid a gay marriage battle during the 2014 session.
House Minority Leader Scott Pelath and Senate Minority Tim Lanane said a fight on the highly charged issue would keep lawmakers from addressing more important matters during their upcoming session. Lawmakers returned Tuesday to the Capitol for a formal, one-day meeting before they begin the 2014 session in January.
Social conservative groups are pushing lawmakers to write the state’s ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution. If they win passage during the session, the issue would go to voters next November.
Opponents of the amendment who include members of the business and higher education communities argue that it will paint Indiana as an unfriendly state.
A report from a pair of bi-partisan former budget and policy officials says the Indiana Department of Education botched the implementation of the new “A to F” grading system for schools.
According to the report, former Indiana schools superintendent Tony Bennett didn’t properly prepare for the different ways schools in the Hoosier State are organized, and was left to make last-minute changes to grading formulas right before the rankings were released to the public.
The Courier-Journal reports that Indiana teachers and administrators had complained ahead of last year’s release of the rankings, which they said wouldn’t accurately reflect the quality of work taking place in schools.
In addition, an Associated Press reporter obtained e-mails showing Bennett ordered his staff to find ways to inflate grades for a charter school he had been touting and whose founder had contributed to his campaign.
Indiana's top lawmakers are creating a task force to review the state's "A-F" school grading system following the revelation former state schools superintendent Tony Bennett changed the grading formula for a Republican donor's charter school.
Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long and Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma announced Friday the creation of an independent task force to review the school grading system. Bennett resigned from his job as Florida's schools chief Thursday after emails obtained by The Associated Press were published.
Those emails detailed his efforts to change the school grading formula for the Christel House charter school in Indianapolis.
Long said Tuesday he would seek an independent audit of the grading system. Democratic state schools superintendent Glenda Ritz says her office is conducting an internal review.
A Spencer County, Indiana, man hopes a replica version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall will bring healing to those in the region who served in that war.
Frank Richey was in the Army for twenty years, including tours in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970. Richey has led the effort to bring to the southern Indiana region a traveling replica of the Vietnam Wall known as "The Wall That Heals."
Richey and a small committee of family members and supporters have raised over $10,000 to pay for the costs associated with bringing the replica wall to the town of Grandview, Indiana.
Richey hopes Vietnam veterans and their family members from southern Indiana and northwestern Kentucky will come to Grandview this fall to see the exhibit.
“That’s what this traveling wall is for. It’s for people who can’t actually make it to Washington D.C. to see the real wall,” said Richey.
You can learn more about The Wall That Heals by clicking here.
Indiana officials say more than 187,000 welfare clients’ personal information —including Social Security numbers — might have been breached. The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration said it’s notifying the clients that their personal information — including name, benefits, monthly income and medical information — might have been disclosed to other clients because of a programming error by contractor RCR Technology Corp.
It says the Social Security numbers of nearly 4,000 clients might have been shared with other clients.
FSSA says the error was made April 6 and affected correspondence sent from then until May 21. It says the error was discovered May 10 and corrected May 21.
Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody is questioning why it took FSSA so long to notify the public of the security breach.
The Indiana Supreme Court has let stand the fines levied by state House Republicans on Democrats for their walkout over a controversial right-to-work bill.
Justices split 3-2 on an opinion issued Tuesday finding that the constitutional separation of powers bars the courts from interfering in internal legislative decisions. The state's highest court approved a request that the case be dismissed.
Chief Justice Brent Dickson wrote for the majority that it is not the court's role to assess punishments within the legislative branch of government. Justices Loretta Rush and Robert Rucker dissented, writing that the House's "discretion to punish its members" doesn't include withholding pay.
Majority House Republicans ordered the state auditor to withhold the fines from Democrats who spent weeks at an Illinois hotel in protest of the right-to-work bill in 2011, and staged another walkout the following year.
The Kentucky and Indiana Planned Parenthood affiliates will merge next month, creating a new non-profit that will operate 28 centers across the two states.
It will be known as Planned Parenthood of Kentucky and Indiana. The centers will offer services such as pregnancy tests, birth control, breast exams and Pap tests.
Planned Parenthood of Kentucky Chairwoman Kim Greene says the combined affiliate will have 190 employees at the centers and its administrative headquarters in Indianapolis, with a few job duplications in IT and finance.
“We have had to consolidate three of those sorts of positions, but other than that, there will be no other employee changes, employee losses.”
Greene says the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has made the merger necessary to more effective serve patients.
Former Indiana governor, now Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, has joined a panel that will make recommendations about the future of the nation's space program.
The Committee on Human Spaceflight is part of the 2010 NASA Authorization Act. Its purpose is to review the space program's long-term goals and direction and suggest ways to sustain it.
Daniels says Purdue has a long history with the space program and that he's honored to serve on the panel. Purdue's alumni include astronauts Virgil `Gus' Grissom, Roger Chaffee, Neil Armstrong and Eugene Cernan. Armstrong was the first man on the moon, and Cernan was the last.
Daniels will serve as co-chairman of the committee through June 30, 2014.