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Thursday, October 23, 2014
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Thursday, October 23, 2014 10:24 AM

By BRIAN A. HOWEY
    
INDIANAPOLIS – While House Speaker Brian Bosma is calling for expanded financial disclosure rules in the wake of the conflict of interest surrounding State Rep. Eric Turner, he had a blunt message for all legislators during a Howey Politics Indiana interview on Monday. “Everyone has conflicts,” Bosma said. “That comes with both a parttime and fulltime legislature. We have to have elected officials to have the good judgment about when they should not be involved in a decision. We rely on good judgment with that regard. We apparently need to institutionalize some good judgment as well.”
 

Bosma continued, “A legislator with a substantial and personal interest in a matter shouldn’t be involved in public or private advocacy at the General Assembly on that matter. Just not voting on it isn’t enough. If you’re not voting behind the scene in a reduction of a license or a change in school standards for teachers that results in a substantial profit to you personally in a business deal, run away.” His remarks on the Turner situation were just part of the conversation centered around the House Republican agenda last week which addressed the biennial budget, education funding, ethics and public safety.
    
Bosma called for a reworking of the school funding formula after rural and suburban school corporations found per-student funding either static or dropping. He said he would personally support legal methamphetamine ingredients to be prescribed by doctors. And he expressed surprise at Gov. Mike Pence’s decision to reject $80 million in Pre-K funding, saying at one point, “I’m not certain I would have made the same decision. Our team has advocated preschool funding for a number of sessions.”

    

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  • By MICHAEL HICKS
    MUNCIE – This whole ebola issue is about the size and scope of government. The U.S. government’s response to the ebola crisis offers a case study on some of the central problems of our times. For many months, anyone possessing an elementary understanding of probability and statistics has known that someone with ebola would enter the U.S. What we needed from the CDC was a bit of helpful guidance on how to help afflicted patients while protecting ourselves. In its place, we received a series of anti-alarmist untruths while actual useful information was dangerously neglected. On account of this, at least one person succumbed to the disease (or at least that will be the tort defense of the Texas hospital). The panic and confusion of ebola is instructive in many ways, but there is a lot more to this than simply a series of failures at the CDC. This whole issue is about the size and scope of government. 
  • By DAVE KITCHELL
    LOGANSPORT – We may never know the reasons why Gov. Mike Pence pulled the plug on an application for $80 million in funding. What we do know is that Indiana and one other state were reportedly positioned to receive the funding for pre-kindergarten programs in the state. It may not go down as a political setback for Pence or the Indiana General Assembly, but it certainly will go down as a setback for education. There’s been great debate in this country about how we all need to get children prepared to learn when they enter school for the first time. But this latest setback for pre-kindergarten funding in the state is like what Mark Twain once said about the weather: “Everybody always talks about it, but nobody ever does anything about it.” 
  • By MORTON J. MARCUS
    INDIANAPOLIS – Years ago, as I drove through the north side of Indianapolis, I’d listen on my car radio to a conservative talk show host struggling without a guest. As he tried to coax phone calls from his audience, I might stop in at the radio station. Often I told him, “Mike, you’re too intelligent to believe the things you say.” I no longer believe that is true. Gov. Mike Pence demonstrates a disregard for the economic well-being of Hoosiers. He is dominated by the ultra-right wing of a once proud and effective Republican party. He allows the short-sighted leadership of that party to dictate foolish policies undermining Indiana’s future. We need go back no further than the governor’s refusal last week to apply for $80 million in federal aid for pre-kindergarten programs. This money is not assured, but Indiana had a chance to compete for the funds. The governor declined to have the state apply for the money. 
  • By JACK COLWELL
    SOUTH BEND – ’Tis the season to be debating over debates. Front-running candidates say they just can’t find time for debates in their busy schedules. Their opponents, if seen as trailing in polls and name recognition, call for numerous debates and call the front-runners “chicken” for declining. Let’s consider some questions about the debate over debates in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District, where Republican Congresswoman Jackie Walorski won’t participate in a televised debate and Democratic challenger Joe Bock says she is “trying to hide her horrible voting record” by declining. Q. Should we call Walorski “chicken?” A. No, call her a smart politician. 
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Sen. Ron Grooms talks health care
State Sen. Ron Grooms talks health care in Jeffersonville. He is facing a tough challenge from Democrat Floyd County Commissioner Chuck Freiberger. HPI rates this race a "tossup."
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  • Horse Race: $100k gushes into Sen. Grooms, pre-K issue rising
    By BRIAN A. HOWEY

    INDIANAPOLIS - Senate Republicans flooded the SD46 race with $100,000 on Wednesday, hoping to save freshman Sen. Ron Grooms in a tough reelection bid against Floyd County Commissioner Chuck Freiberger. Other Ohio River Senate races where incumbent Republican Sen. Jim Smith and Democrat Sen. Richard Young have also seen a spike in late supplemental money. The House Republican Campaign Committee, seeking to protect a 69-seat super majority, has put the most late supplemental funding into incumbents Ed Soliday in HD4, Alan Morrison in HD42, Matt Ubelhor in HD62 and Martin Carbaugh in HD81. While the HPI Horse Race is not forecasting an end to the House and Senate GOP super majorities, Gov. Mike Pence’s decision to reject $80 million in federal pre-K money will be exploited by Democratic challengers and could change some of these races in the final two weeks.
     
  • Rep. Brooks surveys ebola, ISIS threats
    By MATTHEW BUTLER
        
    INDIANAPOLIS – Freshman U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks sits at the nexus of two crises facing the United States: The potential spread of the ebola virus, and the terror threat from ISIS. In a Monday interview with HPI, Brooks was in the midst of coordinating the federal government with state and local units on preparedness issues. “I want to hear how  the federal response is coordinating with state and locals,” Brooks told Howey Politics Indiana. “Is the information flowing like it needs to? I’m concerned about that.” Rep. Brooks, R-Carmel, has registered increasing concern and unease about international threats within her district. “I did not anticipate that people would be as concerned about terrorism as they are now,” she said. “People are more anxious about national security and personal security than I would have guessed going into the campaign when I came home in September.”
     
  • Changing school funding formula will be difficult
    By MAUREEN HAYDEN
    CNHI State Reporter

        
    INDIANAPOLIS – Superintendents of high-scoring, high-performing schools have long complained about a convoluted formula that costs them millions of dollars in state funds. Republicans pledge to help, while narrowing the gap between how much flows to those schools and others that don’t do as well. Details have yet to emerge to indicate how the state will change its approach to spending $6 billion in education money, though any decision likely will depend on revenue estimates due in December. Lawmakers are discussing proposals such as lifting minimum funding levels for school districts, which would narrow the $4,000-per-pupil difference between how much the state’s most subsidized schools receive and how much goes to those with the least amount of funding.
     

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  • Delph blasts media as big guns, money come to SD29
    “Liberal media bias is alive and well in Indiana. But I still have confidence in my voters, many of whom like the media less than I do.” - State Sen. Mike Delph, tweeting after refusing to talk to WTHR-TV on a story about how Sen. Joe Donnelly campaigned for his opponent, Democrat J.D. Ford. HPI’s Horse Race has moved this contest from “Likely” to “Leans Delph” as big guns and money pour into the race. Delph received a $4,000 donation from Gov. Mike Pence’s campaign committee last week and is having a fundraiser with donation levels from $2,500 to $250 this weekend. 
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Toll Road

Should the Indiana Toll Road revert back to the state since the bankrupt leasor is not living up to maintenance agreements?


 

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