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February 1, 2019 Courtney Smallwood

Poll shows most Hoosiers support cigarette tax increase, bias crimes law

A new statewide poll shows most Hoosiers support an increase in cigarette taxes and a meaningful bias crimes law. Smoking proposals The two policy proposals are the leading priorities for the Indiana Chamber in 2019. The Chamber advocates increasing the cigarette tax by $2 a pack and raising the legal…

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February 1, 2019 Courtney Smallwood

Legislative Update: Cold Shoulder

Starting off with a weather reference may be really predictable, but it’s pretty amazing that Indianapolis is in the midst of a ninety-degree swing from subzero temperatures to spring-like conditions. We need the same kind of thaw in legislative attitudes on public health and protecting Hoosiers from hate – because at…

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January 25, 2019 Courtney Smallwood

Legislative Update: 100 Miles and Runnin’

This week let’s use a West Coast throwback (N.W.A.’s 1990 follow-up to Straight Outta Compton) to sum up the action on West Washington Street.  The long session can feel like a hundred-mile trek to pass a budget (and deal with hundreds of other bills) before late April.  The legislative schedule turns frenetic…

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January 18, 2019 Courtney Smallwood

Legislative Update: Make Em’ Clap to This

MAKE EM’ CLAP TO THIS Governor Holcomb delivered his third State of the State on Tuesday evening, touching on plenty of issues consistent with our Chamber legislative agenda – education and workforce (of course), physical and information infrastructure, non-stop flights and ex-offender re-entry, among others. But our anticipation was…

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January 17, 2019 Courtney Smallwood

Engaging Employers for Workforce Recovery

Fighting opioid abuse in the workplace. Join us at an event near you. The opioid crisis has dominated headlines across the nation and in our state creating a deep and lasting impact on communities and businesses. A large percentage (58-70%) of individuals in Indiana with a substance use disorder (SUD) are employed,…

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January 16, 2019 Courtney Smallwood

Business, community groups backing Indiana hate crimes law

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Business and community group leaders will be gathering at the Indiana Statehouse as part of their push for adoption of a state hate crimes law. The group Indiana Forward says Tuesday’s event will launch a lobbying campaign for the law that is being backed by hundreds of…

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January 16, 2019 Courtney Smallwood

Lawmakers outline agendas for upcoming legislative session

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Indiana Republicans and Democrats are outlining their agendas for the current legislative session at the statehouse. Republicans in the House are focused on passing a balanced budget fully funding the Department of Child Services, school funding, school safety and teacher pay. Democratic members of the Indiana Black…

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January 16, 2019 Courtney Smallwood

Hate crimes law advocates not fond of bill that doesn’t specify protected classes

About a dozen Indiana lawmakers and several community and business leaders affiliated with a coalition that is advocating for a state hate crimes law to be passed this year made it clear Tuesday afternoon that they think protected classes need to be spelled out in the bills considered by the…

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January 11, 2019 Courtney Smallwood

Legislative Update: Filling in the Blanks

This week, House Republicans unveiled their 2019 priorities (closely aligned with the Senate GOP’s announcement last week) and the State Budget Agency released details of Governor Holcomb’s budget plan, building on his ‘Next Level’ legislative agenda with modest increases in K-12 (thanks to good news on revenues and lower-than-expected Medicaid…

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January 4, 2019 Courtney Smallwood

Legislative Update: Let the Paper Chase Begin

The General Assembly convened this week with a quickly expanding list of bills, but a singular constitutional job – passing a two-year state budget. The state revenue forecast predicts growing tax collections over the next biennium, more than $800 million gained in 2020 and ’21 – but as any ‘90s…

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