Indiana Public Broadcasting News

Indiana Black Caucus Lays Out 2017 Agenda

Jan 26, 2017


The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus’ agenda for the 2017 session is nearly as much about bills they want to halt as measures they hope to pass.

The caucus’ agenda includes bias crimes legislation, a measure to ban private prisons, a healthy food initiative and a bill to improve student discipline and behavior.

And while Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) acknowledges the difficulty in getting many of those bills passed, he says the caucus constantly seeks common ground.


Shannon Eichenauer stands at the front of her classroom, explaining an assignment to her junior English class. Groups of students will debate each other over frequently banned books.

“You’ll be graded on how well did you argue that your book shouldn’t be banned or should be banned,” she tells her class at East Allen University.

Na Da Laing’s group is assigned Animal Farm, and so far, she’s read about half of it.

Senator Backs Off Proposal To Raise Officeholder Pay

Jan 25, 2017


A Republican state senator is backing off a proposed bill to significantly increase pay for statewide elected officials.

Sen. Randy Head’s (R-Logansport) legislation – heard in committee this week – would raise the governor’s salary up to $141,000 a year, a 16 percent increase. Other statewide officials, including attorney general and auditor, would make about $120,000, increases of anywhere between 26 to 52 percent.


This session’s major road funding bill cleared its first legislative hurdle as the House Roads Committee approved the measure, largely along party lines.

Around four dozen people – most of whom represented various stakeholder organizations – testified for more than four hours on the road funding bill.

All Indiana teachers would have to undergo a criminal background check every five years under a legislative proposal gaining momentum at the Statehouse.

On Tuesday, the House Education Committee unanimously approved House Bill 1079 which tightens policies on background checks.

Rep. Jeffrey Thompson (R-Lizton) sponsored the bill.