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Thursday, August 21, 2014
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Thursday, August 21, 2014 11:10 AM
INDIANAPOLIS – If a recent national study is to be accepted, Indiana is one of the worst states in the union for people growing old and frail. Moreover, it’s considered the very worst state in terms of support for family caregivers.
Conducted jointly by the SCAN Foundation, The Commonwealth Fund, and AARP, “Raising Expectations: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Disabilities, and Family Caregivers,” was released in June and ranked Indiana 47th out of all states and the District of Columbia, besting only Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. Minnesota ranked first.
The dubious distinction in a state that in a policy sense has achieved an array of tax cuts that are supposed to create a better business climate went unnoticed by Indiana’s media, whereas other recent studies such as those on childhood wellbeing have received attention. It’s better known, for example, that the state’s infant mortality rate is among the worst (47th), the state’s health ranking is 41st, or that Indiana was one of only a handful of states not funding pre-K (until the most recent pilot program).
The status of long-term care, broadly defined, is especially important because Indiana, like almost all states, is on the cusp of a dramatic demographic shift as Baby Boomers age. Today, Hoosiers 65 and older are 13.7% of the population; by 2030 their share will reach 20% with one in three Hoosiers over the age of 55. Indiana’s population between 2005 and 2040 will see a total growth of 15%, but an astounding 90% increase in those 65 and older. With the elderly living longer, the simple increase in numbers will place unprecedented burdens on Indiana’s health care infrastructure.
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    MERRILLVILLE – Munster is the richest community in Lake County and also the most Republican. When it was learned a week ago that the Munster schools were $8 million in debt and behind on utility bills, political heads began turning. Munster school officials quickly put the blame on the Republican controlled General Assembly, which writes the school-funding formula. The Republican attacks on Democratic state Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz and their disregard for the public education system as a whole are expected to play a major role in the November elections, both on the state and local level. That may be particularly true in the 15th House District where Democrat Jim Wieser is challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Hal Slager. The two are Schererville residents who are part of the Lake Central School Corp. Lake Central receives even less than Munster in per-pupil funding. Wieser said the Republican assault on education is largely what prompted him to seek the state representative post. 
    KOKOMO – Don’t buy the Bayh story that is being sold. Evan Bayh will not run for governor nor any other office in Indiana, in 2016 or thereafter. The reason that Mister Bayh is done with Hoosier politics as a candidate is, most simply, “Been there, done that.” I can’t imagine that Evan Bayh is so bored with his Fox News jet-setting life that he would want to return to the cornfields of Indiana and the governor’s office. Faced with overwhelming Republican majorities in both houses, legislative districts that will be untouched until 2020 and an extremely popular laundry list of accomplishments by the administrations of Mitch Daniels and Mike Pence, Evan Bayh Version 2 would not be nearly as successful nor as popular as Version 1.

    MUNCIE – Among the most malunderstood concepts in public policy is the economic incidence, or burden of taxes. One unfortunate result is a good bit of bitterness and calumny over the subject of who pays their fair share. A bit better understanding is in order. Taxes are collected through an administrative process. Property taxes are assessed against property owners, income and payroll taxes against income earners, inheritance taxes against heirs and sales taxes against consumers. However, the actual economic incidence of these taxes is only modestly influenced by the administrative process. In other words, it is the laws of economics, not government rules, that determine who bears the burden of taxation.
    INDIANAPOLIS – State Republican Chairman Tim Berry calls it “a strange political year” in Indiana, with only one congressional race rated nationally as competitive. And Berry says Democrats aren’t very competitive yet in that one. While Indiana was a battleground for key House races in recent elections, the one race now labeled competitive is in the 2nd Congressional District, Democratic challenger Joe Bock vs. Republican Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. The other eight House races in Indiana? The incumbents, six Republicans and two Democrats, are “safe,” facing token challenges.
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Hoosiers: A New History of Indiana
Indiana University historian James Madison has published a new book on the many changes that have come to Indiana.
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  • Horse Race: Bock begins TV ad campaign
    INDIANAPOLIS — The 2nd CD showdown between U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski and Democrat Joe Bock is now fully enjoined as the challenger began his TV ad campaign on Wednesday. Bock’s ad shows him packing his bags, with the candidate’s voice over: “I’ve been around the world, but it was no vacation.” Instead, Bock describes his missions to earthquakes, terrorism and civil wars. “Now the crisis is here at home,” Bock continued. “Politicians look out for themselves, instead of the middle class. They shut down the government and risk our paychecks, but keep getting theirs. Washington’s a disaster. I’m ready to go to work.”

  • Indiana's economic future is shifting to the cities
    NASHVILLE, Ind. – In the 2008 Indiana gubernatorial campaign, Democratic nominee Jill Long Thompson said she intended to save every Indiana community through what she called a “three-tiered” economic plan that would infuse distressed areas with new jobs. Howey Politics observed in the June 24, 2008, edition: “Indiana is home to dozens of forgotten communities. A town like Attica thrived 150 years ago because it was on the Wabash River. Then the railroads came and cities like my hometown of Peru thrived. Then came the National Road and U.S. highways and places like Greencastle did well. When the natural gas in East Central Indiana ran out, Gas City suffered. Then came the Interstates, and a city like Brownsburg (and now Gas City) does well. While it sounds good, I don’t think every community can be saved.” Recent demographic analysis of Indiana reveals that it will be the state’s cities that will provide the economic thrust in a state that has seen its per-capita income decline by more than 13% in the last decade. Yet, the word “city” is not mentioned in the Indiana Constitution. There is no active “urban caucus” in the Indiana General Assembly, a body that in recent years has been overriding a number of local ordinances.
  • Indiana gaming revenue rushes toward Illinois virtual slots
    CNHI News Bureau

    INDIANAPOLIS – Beer and barbecue aren’t the only draws to Daddy-O’s Bar & Grill in the small town of Paris, Ill., 15 miles from the Indiana border. The prospect of winning pulls in customers, as well. Since the neighborhood bar installed five video gaming terminals in late 2012, patrons feeding $1 bets into the virtual slots have won more than $3 million, in payouts ranging from 40 cents to $500.  The crowds are worrisome for officials back in Indiana, where tax revenues from gaming are plunging faster than predicted. Indiana’s take from gaming has been steadily dropping since the recession of 2008, but the trend appears to be accelerating with increased competition from neighboring states. A July report from the state budget agency showed gaming tax revenues fell more than 50 percent faster in the first six months of this year than analysts predicted in December.

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  • Prof. James Madison on his book 'Hoosiers: A New History of Indiana'
    “Evolutionary, not revolutionary, change has long been the Indiana way. In the last several decades, however, there have been signs of more rapid change.” - Indiana University Prof. James H. Madison, on his new book “Hoosiers: A New History of Indiana.” View Madison discussing the book below under HPI Video Feed. 
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Should Pence run?

Do you believe Gov. Mike Pence will seek reelection in 2016 or run for president?


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