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Latest News in Indiana

  • Indiana Republican: guns in schools are fantastic because “abortion!”

    From April 10, 2013:

    In a jaw-dropping moment on Tuesday, Republicans in the GOP-dominated Indiana General Assembly got their wires seriously crossed:

    State Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, who devised the plan, said Indiana schools are vulnerable to armed intruders and suggested mass shootings at Columbine, Colo.; Virginia Tech University; and Fort Hood, Texas, could have been prevented by armed personnel.

    [Democratic state Rep. and former Hammond police captain Linda] Lawson pointed out that Columbine had an armed police officer in the building, Virginia Tech has its own campus police department and that pretty much everyone at an Army base knows how to shoot a gun.

    Lucas responded by arguing abortion results in more annual deaths than gun accidents, at which point Brown, the committee chairman, halted the discussion and asked Lucas to leave the hearing.  [emphasis added]

  • Indiana GOP's New Rule: Go to college, lose your right to vote

    From February 6, 2013:

    Indiana Republican legislators, who've already made their state one of the most difficult to vote in, have proposed a new bill to make attendance at an Indiana college or university a legal impediment to voting.

    According to the Indianapolis Star, "Under House Bill 1311, students who pay out-of-state tuition would not be able to vote in Indiana," effectively establishing a 12-month residency requirement for voting in the state, applicable only to college students and no one else.

  • Indiana Senate Democrats put universal pre-K on the agenda

    If Indiana Republicans had gone this route instead of undermining the middle class and busting unions, they might still be touting the so-called "Indiana Miracle" instead of complaining that their state is suddenly in "survival mode." But the past is the past, and Indiana Senate Democrats have just rolled out a major new initiative to help Hoosier families "survive" the mess Republicans have created:  universal pre-K.

    “The payoff is clear,” said [Senate Democratic Leader Tim] Lanane. “High-quality pre-k programs produce students who are more likely to graduate from high school, earn a higher income, own a home and less likely to require remediation or commit crimes. With this initiative, we can put all Hoosier children on the path toward success.”

  • Indiana Republicans propose slashing prenatal care

    In the oft-quoted words of Vice President Biden, "Show me your budget, and I will tell you what you value."  And that's never been more true than with Indiana Republican legislators, who recently tried to push through a backdoor plan to cut "$40 million through 2020 by limiting the number of low ­income women covered for prenatal care under Medicaid."

    The Republican proposal is not the result of declining need, as Indiana "still ranks near the bottom nationally in first trimester prenatal care and high in the number of preterm births, babies with low birth weights and infant mortality."  And "research that shows reducing funding for pregnant women will lead to poorer care for mothers and their babies, more spending on health problems for the children later in life and higher infant mortality and low birth weights."

    Nor did the GOP plan get any public hearing; its chief supporter urged legislators to insert the cuts secretly, behind closed doors in a House-Senate conference committee.  And the Republican Chairman of the House Public Health Committee noted that "there had been no discussion before this week about cutting Medicaid benefits for pregnant ­women."