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.
An Indiana law that bans registered sex offenders from using Facebook and other social networking sites that can be accessed by children is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
The 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Chicago overturned a federal judge’s decision upholding the law, saying the state was justified in trying to protect children but that the “blanket ban” went too far by restricting free speech.
The 2008 law “broadly prohibits substantial protected speech rather than specifically targeting the evil of improper communications to minors,” the judges wrote.