INDIANA HAS CLEAN ENERGY JOB SURGE: The number of clean energy jobs increased by 4.7% in Indiana last year, tied for the highest growth rate among a dozen Midwest states, clean energy advocates reported Tuesday (Francisco, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). The fourth annual Clean Jobs Midwest survey showed that Hoosiers filled 86,900 clean energy jobs in 2018, the fourth largest state total in the region. They accounted for 2.5% of the Indiana workforce, the biggest share among Midwestern states. With 5,349 clean energy jobs, Allen County ranked fourth statewide behind Marion, Elkhart and Lake counties, according to the report, which was published by the nonprofit Clean Energy Trust and the business and investor group Environmental Entrepreneurs. “In Indiana, a big part of the growth has been advanced transportation,” Micaela Preskill, Midwest advocate for Environmental Entrepreneurs, said during a conference call with news media. Preskill said employment in advanced transportation manufacturing, including electric vehicles, expanded by 18.3% in Indiana last year. The segment employs about 17,100 people.

BARR SAYS MUELLER REPORT RELEASE 'WITHIN A WEEK': Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday he will be able to deliver the special counsel’s still-secret report to Congress within a week and vowed to explain his reasons for blacking out parts of the roughly 400-page document, a pledge that did little to mollify demands from Democrats for full access to the report (Wall Street Journal). “I am relying on my own discretion to make as much of it public as I can,” Mr. Barr said, adding that he will color-code the redactions and provide notes explaining the reasons for each. His comments, a reiteration of his promise to release the edited report by mid-April, came during a hearing on the Justice Department’s budget that was immediately overtaken by questions from Democrats about his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

HUPFER BLASTS BUTTIGIEG OVER PENCE REMARKS: Indiana Republican Chairman Kyle Hupfer was critical of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, saying Tuesday he has "bombarded the campaign trail and national media with attacks on Vice President Mike Pence" (Howey Politics Indiana). "These attacks contradict the relationship he shared with Vice President Pence when Pence was governor of Indiana – and also fly in the face of the positive statements Vice President Pence has made about Buttigieg over the years," Hupfer said. “Now that Buttigieg is spending more time in Washington, D.C., Iowa and New Hampshire and neglecting his day job in South Bend, it seems that some of his recent statements have become detached from reality – especially when it comes to Vice President Mike Pence,” said Hupfer. “After years of maintaining a positive, working relationship with Vice President Pence, Buttigieg has decided that it’s now more politically expedient for him to drag that relationship through the mud with personal attacks. As Hoosiers, we know that’s wrong.” Hupfer added that prior to becoming a potential presidential contender, Buttigieg spoke for years on the need for more civility in politics. "These unhinged, mean-spirited attacks from Buttigieg on Vice President Pence are a complete reversal from the relationship they shared while they both held public office in Indiana."

BUTTIGIEG, PENCE FORGED A FRIENDSHIP: South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg called out Mike Pence personally for the vice president's opposition to same-sex marriage during a speech this Sunday—a sharp turn from Buttigieg's previous tone toward Pence (Washington Free Beacon).  "If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade," Buttigieg said at the LGBTQ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch this weekend. "And that's the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand. That if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me—your quarrel, sir, is with my creator." Buttigieg also criticized Pence's role in President Donald Trump's administration during a  speech in March, calling Pence a "cheerleader of the porn star presidency." But when Pence was governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017, he and Buttigieg enjoyed a friendly relationship, despite their opposed views on political and social issues. Pence visited South Bend in 2012 for Dyngus Day, a Polish holiday devoted to sausage-making, celebrated the in the city the Monday after Easter. Although he has no Polish blood, Pence told reporters that he "fell in love with Dyngus Day" and wanted to return, according the South Bend Tribune. Pence did come back for Dyngus Day in 2013, and spent much of his time with Buttigieg. A photoshoot from the Tribune shows the two in an events hall eating sausages together, wearing beaded necklaces, and talking with local political leaders. Pence told reporters that, if possible, he would like to make Dyngus Day a tradition in his tenure as governor. "I think today is really about celebrating the great ethnic heritage and the community that is St. Joseph County," Pence said. "This is only my second Dyngus Day, but I'll tell you what, we're going to make this a tradition."

PENCE COMMENTED AFTER MAYOR ANNOUNCED HE WAS GAY: Alyssa Farah, spokeswoman for Vice President Pence, tweeted on Tuesday, "Since some are asking: the last time we recall Pence even mentioned @PeteButtigieg was in 2015, after news that Pete came out, Pence said: “I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard. I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot."

INDIANA 'LUCKY' ON MEASLES OUTBREAK: Indiana has been lucky to have only one person confirmed with the measles, said Dr. Richard Feldman, an expert on vaccinations and former director of the Franciscan Health Family Medicine Residency Program and former Indiana State Health commissioner (WIBC). Feldman said misinformation that proliferates on the internet and in communities, about supposed dangers of vaccinations, has caused some people to refrain from getting their children their shots. "To keep up what we call the herd immunity or community immunity, we need a large percentage, usually like 90 percent of people in a community to be vaccinated," said Feldman. He said small children who are too young to be vaccinated are protected when most of the community is. It's called cocooning. But, he said a subculture of people who refuse vaccinations endangers that. He said pseudoscience comes from a variety of sources and diffuses into the community. "There are myths out there that are being perpetuated."

TRUMP NOW SAYS HE WON'T REVIVE FAMILY SEPARATIONS: President Trump said he won’t restart efforts to separate children from adults who cross the border illegally, after floating the idea of reviving the controversial policy to address the growing number of Central American families seeking asylum in the U.S. (Wall Street Journal). “We are not looking to do that,” Mr. Trump told reporters on Tuesday when asked at the White House if he was reviving the policy. The comments came a day after a federal court blocked the administration’s efforts to make Central Americans wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are adjudicated. Taken together, the developments send the administration back to the drawing board as it wrestles with how to respond to the tens of thousands of Central American families arriving at the border every month seeking asylum. Mr. Trump has said the situation represents a crisis, and declared an emergency at the border this year, as part of an effort to redirect funds toward extending physical barriers there.

SANDERS TO INTRODUCE MEDICARE FOR ALL TODAY: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will introduce a new version of Medicare for All today that's even more ambitious than his last one — which was already more ambitious than any other health care system on Earth (Allen, Axios). If something like Sanders’ bill did become law, it would "leapfrog the rest of the world," as the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Larry Levitt put it. It would be the most robust system in the world, and one of the most centralized — a sea change from today's largely privatized patchwork. Four of Sanders' fellow senators and rivals for the nomination (Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren) are set to sign onto his plan, AP reports. What it would mean for you: Sanders’ plan would move almost everyone — whether you’re on Medicare or Medicaid, or buy insurance on your own through the Affordable Care Act, or get it through your job — into a single government-run program. You could not keep your existing plan You could keep your doctor. Taxes would go up. A lot. That’s the tradeoff for eliminating premiums and deductibles. Sanders has not said which taxes he would raise.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: It's interesting that Indiana has 86,000 clean energy jobs, compared to 2,700 coal jobs. It sure seems like the economic growth is coming in renewables. That industry's problem at the Statehouse may be on the political donation front, - Brian A. Howey


CRITCHLOW BEGINS SOUTH BEND TV ADS: Democrat South Bend mayoral candidate Jason Critchlow became the first of eight Democrats to begin a TV ad campaign (Howey Politics Indiana). "Because of you and the grassroots support  we have built over the last 3 months, we are proud to announce that our first TV ad begins airing today!" the campaign said. "Our campaign has been focused on the people of South Bend; people just like you and me. People that appreciate seeing the growth happening in South Bend, but also sometimes feel that their voice is being left out of the conversation about that growth. People working hard to provide for their families and making decisions that effect their daily lives. People focused on the safety of their neighborhood, strong and healthy schools to educate our young people and wondering if the potholes on their street will ever get filled."

LGBT DONORS FUEL BUTTIGIEG CAMPAIGN: Jonah Burrell first contributed to Pete Buttigieg's campaign after watching the first prominent openly gay presidential candidate on television. When Burrell later saw him in person in a cramped upstate South Carolina auditorium, he knew he had to do it again (AP). "I felt compelled to help," Burrell, a nursing student who is gay, said after the event. "It makes me proud he's a gay man." Financial support from the LGBT community has helped Buttigieg defy expectations by raking in more than $7 million in just over two months. The money has come from grassroots supporters like Burrell and big-dollar Hollywood donors who hope Buttigieg will make history — or at least the summer debate stage. The Buttigieg appeal was on display again this weekend when the mayor of South Bend and his husband separately headlined galas for two of the country's largest LGBT organizations. And the early haul shows no sign of slowing. Victory Fund, which invested $2 million in LGBT candidates in 2018, expects to endorse Buttigieg shortly after he formally joins the race, President and CEO Annise Parker said.

STATE POLICE PROBE TERRE HAUTE ELECTION DOCUMENT: Indiana State Police are now investigating whether a declaration of candidacy in a Terre Haute City Council race was altered and, if so, who altered it (Taylor, Terre Haute Tribune-Star). At issue is the declaration of Tess D. Brooks-Stephens, who is seeking the Democratic nomination in the Third District on the city’s northeast side. The Vigo County Election Board last week refused a request to list her name ahead of Cheryl Loudermilk, the only other candidate in the race. State law calls for candidates for the same office in primaries to appear in alphabetical order. County Clerk Brad Newman, the board’s secretary, initially agreed to the change but later reversed himself saying correction fluid was used to modify the document after it was filed. A State Police spokesman, Sgt. Matt Ames, confirmed Monday that an investigation is ongoing.

LABOR WITHOLDING ENDORSEMENTS: Organized labor is still traumatized after the 2016 Democratic primary, when several unions endorsed Hillary Clinton early on, only to see the decision backfire when portions of their membership bolted for Bernie Sanders (Politico). This year, they’re determined not to make the same mistake. Even as Democratic contenders are well into the process of courting high-ranking and local labor officials, union leaders plan to delay their endorsements as they take the temperature of members on the ground in an attempt to avoid the top-down approach that caused so much heartburn. “Everybody’s kind of taking a step back,” said Steve Rosenthal, a former political director for the AFL-CIO who is advising unions on 2020 campaigns.

BIDEN TO ANNOUNCE AFTER EASTER: The "personal space" uproar has left Joe Biden undeterred: He plans to announce his White House run toward the end of April (likely after Easter, which falls April 21), friends say (Axios). "Joe knows the field will try to crush him once he announces and he is totally prepared for it," one associate said. Biden plans a couple of big speeches after his announcement, to build a substantive bulwark aimed at defusing claims he's a man out of time.

General Assembly

WAYS & MEANS CUTS CASINO MOVE FEE TO $50M: A potential impediment to relocating Gary's Majestic Star casinos from Lake Michigan to a better trafficked site adjacent to the Borman Expressway was minimized Tuesday by the House Ways and Means Committee. The panel revised Senate Bill 552 by cutting in half the proposed fee Spectacle Entertainment would be required to pay the state to consolidate its two riverboat casinos, which are marketed as one casino, into an actual, single, land-based facility (Carden, NWI Times). State Rep. Todd Huston, R-Fishers, the committee co-chairman, said a $50 million move fee, instead of the $100 million adopted last week by the House Public Policy Committee, is appropriate because merging two casinos into one will end up forcing Spectacle to pay an additional $10.5 million a year to the state and local governments due to how Indiana's gaming taxes are structured. "Ongoing, that's a positive for the state and the local community, but at the expense of the operator," Huston said. "We felt like we needed to acknowledge that, and that's being acknowledged in the reduction from $100 million to $50 million." The money would have to be paid to the state's general fund in two equal installments: $25 million when the relocation is approved by the Indiana Gaming Commission; and the second $25 million exactly one year later. Spectacle also still would be required to surrender the second Gary gaming license, without compensation, as a condition of receiving state approval to move off Lake Michigan. At the same time, the proposal permits Spectacle to operate up to 2,764 gambling games at a land-based casino, to match the maximum combined gaming positions offered at the two Majestic Star boats, instead of limiting the new casino to the gaming capacity of a single boat.

WAYS & MEANS CREATES BIDDING FOR TERRE HAUTE CASINO: Indiana currently has 11 casinos and two horse-track racing casinos, and under the amended bill, the state could theoretically end up with 13 casinos. That’s if Spectacle chooses to operate the two Gary casinos as they are now rather than consolidating the gaming positions into one new casino and a new casino in Terre Haute opens (Erdody, IBJ). If the Gary casinos are consolidated and a Terre Haute casino opens, the state would have 12  casinos and two horse track casinos. “We’ve separated the Terre Haute discussion from the Spectacle discussion,” House Ways and Means Committee Co-Chairman Todd Huston said. “If the operator in Gary wants to move, that’s their decision based upon the parameters that we provide within the legislation.” If Spectacle does proceed with the new Gary casino, the second license would be surrendered to the state and essentially dormant. Any future use of that license would require approval from the Indiana General Assembly.  The bill would create a Vigo County advisory board that would evaluate the companies interested in using the newly created license to open a casino in Terre Haute and, with the help of the Indiana Gaming Commission, select three that would be eligible to bid. The legislation sets the minimum bid at $25 million. If there aren’t three bidders interested, then the advisory board and the gaming commission could choose to move forward with two proposals. If there is only one proposal, the process starts over. “There has to be more than one bidder,” Huston said.

INDY HOTEL OWNERS PREVAIL IN CIB DEAL: A coalition of downtown Indianapolis hotel owners, led by White Lodging of Merrillville, appears to be on its way toward successfully fending off increased competition tied to a planned expansion of the Indiana Convention Center (Carden, NWI Times). The House Ways and Means Committee revised Senate Bill 7 Monday to prohibit state and local tax revenue generated by two proposed Hilton-branded hotels from being used to fund the addition of 80,000-square feet of ballroom and meeting space at the capital city convention center, if the space will be controlled by a privately operated hotel. Instead, tax revenue tied to eight other downtown hotels would be allocated to the Marion County Capital Improvement Board, starting in 2022, to finance the $120 million convention center expansion and Indianapolis stadium improvements through 2040, according to the legislation. "We're trying to provide certainty around revenues to support the CIB bonds. For this reason, we decided to use existing hotels as a financing vehicle, not planned or new hotels to be built," said state Rep. Todd Huston, R-Fishers, the committee co-chairman. "Reading through code words: We are out of whatever discussions there are regarding local hotels." It was not immediately known whether Kite Realty Group Trust will continue moving forward with its plans to construct a 38-story, 800-room Signia Hilton, as well as a second 600-room Hilton-branded hotel, if the tax receipts from the hotels are not needed for the CIB to finance the convention center project, which Kite also was expected to build and possibly manage.

PAYDAY LOAN BILL ADVANCES IN HOUSE COMMITTEE: Even after lawmakers worked hours overnight to craft an amendment to a controversial bill regulating payday and subprime loans, opponents remained frustrated, saying communities will be oppressed if the bill continues to gain traction (Irish, Statehouse File). With the words “USURY IS EVIL” emblazoned on her shirt, Mary Blackburn of the Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation stood defiantly in front of the House Financial Institutions Committee on Tuesday as lawmakers filed into their seats. “Do you see this?” she said, pointing to the message on her shirt. “I want you to see this.” Usury, a term that formally refers to immoral money lending practices that harm consumers and can be traced back to the Bible, is what Blackburn and her colleagues said will prevail under Senate Bill 613, which passed out of the committee in a 7-3 party line vote. Rep. Woody Burton, the Greenwood Republican who is chairman of the committee, opened the hearing by saying he and his colleagues worked on their promised amendment to SB 613 until about 3:45 a.m. While Burton and the amendment’s author, Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne, said the 17-page amendment mitigates abuses in the payday loan industry, it still protects a several new types of loans that would be made available to Indiana consumers if the bill becomes law.

YOUTH MURDER BILL PASSES COMMITTEE: The Indiana Senate approved legislation Monday that allows 12- and 13-year-olds accused of attempted murder to be tried in adult court (Smith, Indiana Public Media). People that age accused of murder can already be moved to adult court – and Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem) says it makes sense to do the same for those tried for attempted murder. “It shouldn’t be that just because the victim doesn’t die that that perpetrator can’t be held to account and justice served for those victims,” Houchin says. The measure comes out of a school shooting in Noblesville, Indiana, last year, where the 13-year-old shooter had to be tried as a juvenile. Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) says the bill is “vindictive justice.” “It doesn’t justify us making a public policy decision for one circumstance,” Taylor says. The legislation heads back to the House.

SPORTS GAMING BILL SETS SEPT. 1 DATE: Indiana is a step closer to legalized, state-regulated sports wagering. On Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee advanced IN sports betting bill (S 552) by a 17-6 vote, sending it to the floor (Berman, WIBC). The Senate already passed a version of this bill in February with minor differences in language and requirements. If successful, Indiana would become the ninth state in the United States with legal sports betting. According to Legal Sports Report, Tuesday’s hearing centered around several amendments, including a comprehensive one filed by Rep. Todd Huston. Huston’s proposal featured some notable changes to the bill’s sports betting provisions: Moves the launch date back to Sept. 1, 2019 (instead of July 1). Reduces the license fee to $10,000 (instead of $100,000). Authorizes a system of temporary licensure. Establishes a tax rate of 9.5% on revenue. Allocates 3.3% of adjusted revenue to problem gambling.

HOUSE APPROVES AUSTIN DRINK/DRIVE BILL: A plan offered by State Rep. Terri J. Austin (D-Anderson) to help encourage people not to drink and drive has been approved in the Indiana House (Howey Politics Indiana). Austin’s proposal allows manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers to provide free or discounted rides to members of the public through taxis and ride-sharing services. The amendment was included with bipartisan support into Senate Bill 179. “Our ultimate goal is to prevent people who are out having a drink from taking the risk of getting behind the wheel and driving home,” Austin said. “My amendment would enable the three-tiered system presently in place – manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers – to join forces to offer customers the chance to get home safely, by offering free or discounted rides from a taxi company or a ride-sharing service such as Uber or Lyft. Such discounts are not allowed under state law, because it falls under the so-called ‘Happy Hour’ provisions that prohibit discounts on any kind of alcohol-related product,” she continued. Senate Bill 179 is now eligible for third reading in the Indiana House.

CORRECTION: In Tuesday's HPI Daily Wire on the House Ethics Committee dropping its investigation of House Speaker Brian Bosma, we had State Rep. Sue Errington listed as a Republican. She is a Democrat. The story also said the committee had hired legal counsel last week. The counsel had been hired earlier, but was reported last week.


BRAUN, BANKS INTRODUCE PELL GRANT BILL: U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) and U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced companion versions of the Pell Flexibility Act of 2019 in both the House of Representatives and Senate (Howey Politics Indiana). The legislation would reform the Pell Grant program to allow for grants to be used by students in skills-based programs, in order to address the widening skills gap in America.  Read the full bill text here. Said Rep. Banks, “There are currently 100,000 jobs in Indiana that are unfilled due to a worker shortage in technical and skilled fields.  We need to do more to equip students with the knowledge and training they need to find a job after graduation, and that begins with restructuring federal grant money to prioritize highly demanded skills.  Pell Grant flexibility is a common-sense step in the right direction, and is a top priority of our Governor, Eric Holcomb.” Said Sen. Braun, “As a business owner who has hired hundreds in my career, I know first-hand there is a workforce skills gap. This legislation will address that crisis, improve job placement and reduce student debt by prioritizing skills-based programs.”

YOUNG INTRODUCES 'FINISH' ACT: U.S. Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) yesterday introduced the Fund for Innovation and Success in Higher Education (FINISH) Act to spur innovation in the higher education system. The bipartisan legislation supports the use of evidence-based innovation grants and the pay for success model to improve student outcomes (Howey Politics Indiana). “Currently higher education is falling short in serving our most vulnerable students,” said Senator Young. “The FINISH Act helps to reform this broken system by using incentives to adopt innovative solutions with a track record of success. This bill works to ensure our students have the tools to finish a credential or degree pathway – not just start. It’s a win-win for our students and educators as well as our economy.”

HOUSES PASSES WALORSKI JOBS BILL: The U.S. House of Representatives today passed bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) to create more opportunities for working families to get ahead (Howey Politics Indiana). The Building on Reemployment Improvements to Deliver Good Employment (BRIDGE) for Workers Act (H.R. 1759) would give states more flexibility in administering existing unemployment benefits to help more Americans re-enter the workforce and find good-paying jobs. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that new investments in re-employment services scheduled over the next decade would reduce the budget deficit by $600 million between 2022 and 2027. The bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 393 to 24. Congresswoman Walorski spoke on the House floor ahead of the vote. Video of her remarks is available here. “The unemployment insurance program plays a critical role in helping workers get back on their feet when they fall on hard times, but it should do more than simply process checks,” Walorski said. “Treating unemployed workers like people, not numbers on a spreadsheet, is the key to helping them find good jobs more quickly. This bipartisan legislation will give states more flexibility to focus on the individual needs of workers to help them get back into the workforce and to help their families thrive.”

GOP OPPOSITION TO CAIN: Herman Cain is in deep trouble. And he hasn’t even been formally nominated to the Federal Reserve yet (Politico). Senate Republicans are warning the White House that the 2012 presidential candidate will face one of the most difficult confirmation fights of Donald Trump’s presidency and are making a behind-the-scenes play to get the president to back off, two GOP senators said. “There are concerns that are being voiced to the administrations about qualifications,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the Republican whip. “They’re probably going to hear from a number of our members about concerns that they have. Whether or not that gets them to make a course change or not, I don’t know.”


GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB TO DECIDE ON CITIZENSHIP EXAM - Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb must decide whether Indiana high school students enrolled in the mandatory American government course will be required to take the U.S. citizenship exam typically administered to immigrants (Carden, NWI Times). The Republican-controlled Senate voted 40-8 Monday to send Holcomb Senate Enrolled Act 132, directing that the naturalization examination provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services be administered as part of the American government class. Senators supporting the measure said the test will ensure students gain badly needed civics knowledge. Opponents criticized the addition of another mandate on Indiana schools. The measure originally passed the Senate in January with a requirement that all high school students correctly answer 60 out of 100 questions on the citizenship test to earn a high school diploma. The Republican-controlled House decided to drop the test as a graduation hurdle and instead ordered that it be administered as a American government course requirement. The legislation also directs high schools to provide an "enhanced" study of the Holocaust in their U.S. history courses, though it does not define the meaning of "enhanced."

STEEL: IMPORTS 19% IN MARCH - Steel imports grabbed just 19% of the U.S. market share in March, far off the record market share of 29% that beleaguered the domestic industry during the height of the import crisis in 2015 (Pete, NWI Times). The United States imported 2.67 million tons of steel in March, a 5% increase from the 2.54 percent tons imported in February, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis data. That included 1.82 million tons of finished steel products that would require no further processing in the United States, a 3.6% month-over-month increase. So far this year, the United States has imported 8.7 million tons of steel, a 0.1% increase over the same period in 2018, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. That includes 6 million tons of finished steel products, an 11.7% increase. With tariffs of 25% in place against all foreign-made steel, imports have grabbed only about 21% so far this year, which is down significantly from recent years.


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP TARGETS TARIFF AT E.U. - The United States wants to tax $11.2 billion worth of EU goods — from airplanes to Gouda cheese — in what some experts say marks another attempt by the Trump administration to use tariffs to reshape global trade in its favor (AP). The World Trade Organization ruled last year that the European Union provided illegal subsidies to plane maker Airbus. The U.S. tariff wish-list, released late Monday, reflects the Trump administration’s calculation of the harm the EU subsidies have inflicted on the United States — and specifically to Boeing. A WTO arbitrator is expected to rule this summer on how much relief the U.S. is actually entitled to. Trade analysts say it isn’t unusual for countries to present a tariff target list before the WTO arbitrator sets actual parameters. In the U.S. case, it allows the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to collect public comments on the potential tariffs. And it lets the EU know which European industries might be hit and perhaps encourage a settlement.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP BLAMES OBAMA FOR BORDER CAGES - Before denying he was looking to revive his administration's controversial "zero tolerance" policy, President Trump falsely accused his predecessor, former President Obama, of implementing a policy to separate migrant children from their families and building "cages" for them (CBS News). "Just so you understand, President Obama separated the children," Mr. Trump told reporters before a White House meeting with Egyptian President al-Sisi on Tuesday. "Those cages that were shown, I think they were very inappropriate, they were built by President Obama's administration, not by Trump." "President Obama separated children, they had child separation, I was the one that changed it," he added. Some activists and Democrats have shared photos from 2014 of migrant children being held in cage-like structures to denounce Mr. Trump's "zero tolerance" policy despite the fact that the pictures predated his administration. But the president's claim that he ended a policy of separating migrant children instituted by Mr. Obama is false.

WHITE HOUSE: MNUNCHIN DISCUSSED TRUMP TAX RETURNS - Treasury Department lawyers consulted with the White House general counsel’s office about the potential release of President Trump’s tax returns before House Democrats formally requested the records, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday (Washington Post). Mnuchin had not previously revealed that the White House was playing any official role in the Treasury Department’s decision on releasing Trump’s tax returns. Democrats are asking for six years of Trump’s returns, using a federal law that says the treasury secretary “shall furnish” the records upon the request of House or Senate chairmen. The process is designed to be walled off from White House interference, in part because of corruption that took place during the Teapot Dome scandal in the 1920s. Mnuchin revealed the discussions during a congressional hearing. He said he had not personally spoken with anyone from the White House about the tax returns, but he said that members of his team had done so. “I believe that the communication between our legal department and the White House general counsel was informational,” Mnuchin told a House appropriations subcommittee. “We had obviously read in the press that we were expecting this. I personally wasn’t involved in those conversations.”

WHITE HOUSE: VERMA SEEKS TO DELAY MEDICARE HIKES - The Trump administration is taking steps that could delay premium spikes for Medicare prescription drug beneficiaries until after President Trump’s 2020 reelection bid (Washington Post). The moves could alleviate a looming problem for Trump in key states. Individual premiums for Medicare prescription drug insurance could jump 19 percent next year under the president’s plan to purge Medicare of the rebates that drug manufacturers pay to firms that manage pharmacy insurance. The monthly cost to individual seniors could rise by about $6, according to government estimates. It is not a large amount but would not go unnoticed by seniors on fixed incomes. Seema Verma, the administrator of the agency that manages Medicare, also advised pharmacy insurance companies to submit bids to provide Medicare drug coverage in 2020 under the old rebate rules. The new rule prohibiting the rebates is still under review and is not expected to be finalized before bids are due in eight weeks, on June 3.

WHITE HOUSE: PENCE TO VISIT BORDER - Vice President Mike Pence plans to visit the US Border Patrol Station in Nogales, Arizona, on Thursday, where he will be briefed by Customs and Border Protection agents and tour the border wall, according to a White House official (CNN). The trip comes amid controversy surrounding the departure of President Donald Trump's homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, reports of additional officials being purged and confusion about Trump's border security plans and policies. Pence has been a staunch supporter of Trump's immigration efforts. Speaking last month at a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Atlanta, Pence said: "I don't have to tell any of the ICE agents gathered here that we have a crisis on our southern border.'

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP/PENCE SCHEDULE - President Trump will leave the White House at 9 a.m. en route to San Antonio. He will hold a roundtable with supporters at the Argyle at 12:35 p.m. Central time. At 1:05 p.m., Trump will deliver remarks at a fundraising lunch. Afterward, he will travel to Houston and then Crosby, Texas. Trump will deliver remarks and sign an executive order on energy and infrastructure at 3:40 p.m. at the International Union of Operating Engineers International Training and Education Center. He will return to Houston and participate in a roundtable with supporters at the Lone Star Flight Museum at 5:40 p.m. before speaking at a fundraiser. Trump will then return to Washington. Vice President Pence is going to New York today to speak "to a Special Session of the United Nations Security Council on the Crisis in Venezuela." He will visit with the U.N. secretary-general and attend a Trump fundraising lunch.

DHS: DEPUTY DIRECTOR LEAVING - The acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security is leaving the department, the latest top-ranking DHS official to exit (CNN). Claire Grady's imminent resignation, announced Tuesday night by outgoing Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, paves the way for President Donald Trump's pick of Kevin McAleenan to lead DHS in an acting capacity. Following Nielsen's forced resignation Sunday night, Grady was statutorily next in line to become acting secretary. "Acting Deputy Secretary Claire Grady has offered the President her resignation, effective tomorrow. For the last two years, Claire has served @DHSgov w excellence and distinction. She has been an invaluable asset to DHS -- a steady force and a knowledgeable voice," Nielsen tweeted.

ECONOMY: BANK OF AMERICA RAISES MINIMUM WAGE TO $20 - Bank of America plans to raise its starting pay to $20 an hour over a two-year period, the bank said Tuesday, starting with a hike next month (AP). The company, with more than 200,000 workers, said it is raising its minimum hourly wage to $17 on May 1 and will continue to increase pay until it hits $20 an hour in 2021. Bank of America raised its hourly minimum wage to $15 in 2017. “If you get a job at Bank of America, you’ll make $41,000 per year,” Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan said during a television interview on MSNBC.

SPORTS: MAGIC QUITS AS LAKER GM - In a stunning move that managed to make LeBron James’s first season in Los Angeles more dramatic and more disastrous, Magic Johnson resigned as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations on Tuesday night, a sudden decision so unexpected that the legendary NBA player hadn’t even told his own boss yet (Wall Street Journal). Johnson called an impromptu news conference before the Lakers’ last game of the season to announce his plans that shocked almost everyone in the league, including Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, who has considered him family since the day they met four decades ago and hired him to restore glory to the NBA’s most glamorous franchise two years ago. The swift announcement came hours before Johnson was widely expected to fire Lakers coach Luke Walton, and Johnson suggested that he didn’t want to damage his relationship with Buss, who fiercely protected Walton from a tidal wave of scrutiny during this lost season.


NETANYAHU REELECTED: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secured a clear path to reelection on Wednesday, with religious-rightist parties set to hand him a parliamentary majority despite a close contest against his main centrist challenger, a vote tally showed (Reuters). With more than 97 percent of votes counted, Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party looked likely to muster enough support to control 65 of the Knesset’s 120 seats and be named to head the next coalition government - a record fifth term as premier.

NEW ZEALAND PASSES LAW BANNING SEMIAUTOMATIC WEAPONS: Less than a month after 50 Muslim worshipers in the city of Christchurch were fatally shot in terrorist attacks on two mosques, New Zealand passed a law banning most semiautomatic weapons on Wednesday — a measure supported by all but one of Parliament’s 120 lawmakers (New York Times). The passage of the bill means temporary restrictions imposed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern six days after the massacre, to prevent New Zealanders from stockpiling guns before the law went into effect, will now be permanent. The swift action by lawmakers stands in stark contrast to similar efforts in the United States, where nationwide gun control proposals have stalled despite a series of mass shootings in recent years. “New Zealand stands apart in its widespread availability of weapons of such destructive nature and force,” Ms. Ardern told Parliament on Wednesday. “Today that anomaly ends.”


CITIES: ZOTEC BRINGING 300 JOBS TO CARMEL - Zotec Partners has broken ground on a new national headquarters in Carmel. The medical revenue cycle management provider plans to invest nearly $47 million into the five-story facility and add up to 300 jobs by the end of 2022. The company, which has about 250 associates in Indiana and 850 nationwide, says the new headquarters will allow for future growth in Indiana for years to come (Ober, Inside Indiana Business). Plans for the 120,000-square-foot facility include an innovation work center and a training facility, as well as corporate offices and a parking garage. The company plans to move into the space by the end of 2020. Founder and Chief Executive Officer T. Scott Law says the facility will ensure employees' work "is not hindered by traditional corporate walls." Zotec says it currently serves around 17,000 physicians and manages 80 million medical encounters in all 50 states. It says the expansion will allow the company to adapt to industry changes and develop new technology to improve patient experience.

CITIES: MOUNDS MALL SOLD AT ANDERSON - The Mounds Mall in Anderson and the land on which it sits have been tentatively sold to new owners. Our partners at The Herald Bulletin report the building and property were sold to different owners Monday at a Madison County certificate sale for a total of $17,000 (Brown, Inside Indiana Business). The building was acquired for $12,000 by Mark Squillante. Two parcels of land that cover the Mounds Mall property were sold for a total of $5,000. The mall property is currently owned by the Cook family, which has been looking to offload the property for more than a year. Last month, the family reached a deal to sell the property to Baumann RE LLC for $3 million.

CITIES: COLLEGE CLOSING IN FORT WAYNE - Students wanting to enroll in International Business College in Fort Wayne are out of luck (Sloboda, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). Declining enrollment in the Summit City has prompted the school to stop accepting new students here and instead invest in renovations and staffing in Indianapolis, according to its website. The campus, which is on the city's southwest side in the Village of Coventry, won't shutter immediately. The college said current students will have the opportunity to complete their programs in Fort Wayne and graduate by the end of February 2020. Graduates seeking career services assistance may can Fort Wayne staff through next April and the Indianapolis staff thereafter. "We are proud of our long history," the college said, "and we look forward to the next chapter for IBC."

COUNTIES: HOWARD SHERIFF'S DAUGHTER KILLED IN CRASH - A Kokomo woman is dead and another is injured following a deadly wreck near US-35 in Kokomo. Indiana State Police PIO Tony Slocum confirmed the woman killed is 21-year-old Jordan Asher, daughter of Howard County Sheriff Jerry Asher, according to the state police (Kokomo Tribune). Indiana State Police and Howard County Deputies responded to the two-vehicle crash around 10:30 Monday night along 450 North and 80 West. Jordan was driving a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix north on US-35 near CR 80 W. Jennifer Eastwood, a 48-year-old from Logansport, was driving a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee southbound in the same area. Investigators say the two cars hit each other head-on, though they don't know yet why. Howard County Coroner Steve Seele declared Asher dead at the scene. Eastwood was flown on a medical helicopter to an Indianapolis hospital, but police couldn't immediately confirm her condition.

COUNTIES: VIGO COMMISSIONERS PASS CONVENTION CENTER - The Vigo County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a special fund for the planned Terre Haute convention center (Terre Haute Tribune-Star). The fund, under state law, will be controlled by the Vigo County Capital Improvement Board. That fund will be fed by money from a county food and beverage tax, a bond issue and committed contributions from the city, the county, the Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Terre Haute Redevelopment Commission. "I believe the convention center is a huge win for the community, as it will enable this community to compete with like-sized communities around the state and other states for that economic driver," said County Attorney Michael Wright.