JOB CREATION STALLS: Employers tapped the brakes on hiring in May, signaling companies are taking a more cautious approach at a time of slowing global growth and trade tensions (Wall Street Journal). The economy added 75,000 jobs in May, marking the 104th straight month of gains, but pulling back from two months of solid hiring, the Labor Department said Friday. The jobless rate held steady at 3.6%, a near 50-year low. Overall, the labor market was on weaker footing than expected. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a gain of 180,000 new jobs and a 3.6% unemployment rate in May. Revised figures showed employers added fewer jobs than previously reported in April and March. Wages were up 3.1% on the year in May. Annual pay gains appear to be stabilizing in the low 3% range rather than accelerating in a tight labor market. Manufacturers added 3,000 workers to payrolls, continuing a weak streak for a sector most tied to trade tensions and slowing growth abroad.

PROGRESS IN MEXICAN TARIFF TALKS: The Trump administration has made significant progress in its border-security negotiations with Mexico, a senior White House official said, but the U.S. remained on track to impose tariffs on the country’s imports next week (Wall Street Journal).  Mexico “came to the table with a few things they wanted to do immediately to try to stem the flow of immigrants,” this person said on Thursday, adding that the Trump administration is “encouraged by steps taken in the last few hours.” The U.S. has called on Mexico to block more migrants at its southern border with Guatemala and to step up efforts against organized smuggling. It has also pressed Mexico to designate itself a “safe third country,” which would mean people entering Mexico from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador wouldn’t be eligible to claim asylum in the U.S. Absent a deal, President Trump has threatened to impose escalating tariffs on Mexico. After a second round of talks at the State Department on Thursday evening, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said that his government was ready to deploy the country’s newly created National Guard to the border with Guatemala. “We have explained that there are 6,000 men and that they will be deployed there,” he told reporters. Talks will continue on Friday, Mr. Ebrard added.

PENCE 'ENCOURAGED' BY MEXICAN TALKS:  U.S. and Mexican officials claim to be making progress as they labored for a second day to avert import tariffs. But President Donald Trump is still threatening to impose them as he tries to pressure Mexico into stemming the flow of Central American migrants across the United States' southern border (AP). Vice President Mike Pence, monitoring the talks from his travels in Pennsylvania, said Thursday the U.S. was "encouraged" by Mexico's latest proposals but that tariffs still were set to take effect on Monday. Pence added that it would be "for the president to decide" whether Mexico was doing enough to head off the tariffs. Pence said that, among other issues, negotiators had been discussing a potential agreement to make it difficult for those who enter Mexico from other countries to claim asylum in the U.S. Mexico has long resisted that request.

FAIR OAKS RELEASES RESPONSE VIDEO: Fair Oaks Farms released its own video response Wednesday following footage showing animal abuse at the company’s operation. In it, the company pledges to improve protections for animals (Horton, Indiana Public Media). Activist organization Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) put out a video recorded by an investigator with the group who went undercover as an employee at Fair Oaks Farms. The images captured show workers abusing calves and using illegal drugs while on the job. In a video released by the company, co-founder Mike McCloskey shared his disappointment in failing to protect the animals on the farm that promotes sustainability. “The way that I have to look at this is that as hard as we try, you can always end up with bad people in your organization,” said McCloskey in the video. “And this is what happened to us.” To take preventative measures going forward, he says cameras will be installed in areas where employees and animals interact to monitor animal welfare. These videos will be seen by the public in a new exhibit on “The Dairy Adventure” tour in hopes of providing more transparency. “I will have in that exhibit all the training, all the practices, but also I will have the screens that are showing the videos from these cameras with a trained individual within that exhibit,” McCloskey says.

SEN. HOLDMAN CALLS FAIR OAKS VIDEO 'POLITICAL': Video exposing animal abuse at a well-known northwestern Indiana dairy farm is politically motivated, said an Indiana lawmaker who drafted unsuccessful legislation in 2013 that would have barred undercover video filming at the state's agricultural operations (AP). A animal-abuse investigative group released disturbing footage Tuesday showing workers kicking and throwing young calves at the Fair Oaks Farm. Retailers subsequently pulled the farm's products from their shelves. State Sen. Travis Holdman, who sponsored the proposal in 2013, said it's too soon to say whether he'll refile the bill during the 2020 legislative session, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported. "Seeing as this is just a one-time incident that we're aware of, I don't think we need a knee-jerk reaction to do something legislatively necessarily," Holdman said. "I'm sure I'll be hearing from Farm Bureau folks about the incident and what they think needs to be done, if anything." Holdman's bill would have made it a misdemeanor crime to photograph or video record any agricultural or industrial activities without the property owner's written authorization. Legislators in at least 10 other states tried passing similar "ag-gag" laws, in part to discourage covert revelations of agricultural operations. But courts subsequently struck down several of those statutes as unconstitutional.

CHAMBER REPORT CARD SHOWS INDIANA REGRESSING: A new report from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce says the state is still seeing several challenges to improving its economic climate. The chamber Thursday released its biennial Indiana Vision 2025 Report Card and President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Brinegar says Indiana did make improvements in many metrics, including business climate issues such as the tax, regulatory and legal environments, as well as K-12 education. However, the chamber says areas such as public health continue to get worse throughout the state (Inside Indiana Business). The results show Indiana's adult smoking rate went from 38th worst to 44th worst in the country, while the state's adult obesity levels went from 36th worst to 39th worst. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Brinegar said the health metrics are a key component for the state. "This is important because it impacts healthcare costs and it impacts the healthiness of our workforce," said Brinegar. "It is estimated that smoking in Indiana costs employers $6.2 billion a year in higher healthcare costs, absenteeism and loss of productivity." Brinegar adds another area of concern from the report is the lack of new business startups. Indiana fell from 44th to 47th in the nation for new business creation and Brinegar says while the state isn't creating new businesses as fast as other states, Indiana is creating new jobs at a quicker rate.

THE MATH OF IMPEACHMENT: 59 House Democrats and one House Republican now publicly support impeachment proceedings against President Trump, according to Axios' Zach Basu. Why it matters: The whip count surged in the aftermath of Robert Mueller's statement last week, but pro-impeachment Democrats still amount to only a quarter of the 235-member caucus. That figure is likely to stay well below the threshold necessary to launch impeachment in the House until the moment — if it ever comes — that Speaker Nancy Pelosi gives her blessing. Impeachment math: 13 of the 24 Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, which would open the inquiry, publicly support impeachment. 21 are needed to refer an impeachment resolution to the House floor.

Of the eight Democrats that Axios identified as "influential" — the three top members of leadership and five committee chairs investigating Trump — only one publicly supports impeachment: Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters. Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler has reportedly pushed privately to open an impeachment inquiry. None of the 17 Democrats running in "toss-up" districts in 2020 are pro-impeachment, according to the Cook Political Report. 41% of the public supported impeachment as of May 31, down from an all-time high of 47% in September, according to a CNN poll.

HPI PUBLISHING SCHEDULE: I'm a couple of time zones west and will be on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation this weekend checking out the severe flooding from last winter. So next week's HPI Daily Wires will come later in the morning. There won't be a Sunday HPI Daily Wire. There will be a weekly edition next Thursday. Our regular publishing schedule will resume the weekly of June 17. Thanks for understanding and your patronage. - Brian A. Howey

AUTOMAKERS URGE SHIFT ON EMMISSION STANDARDS: The world’s largest automakers warned President Trump on Thursday that one of his most sweeping deregulatory efforts — his plan to weaken tailpipe pollution standards — threatens to cut their profits and produce “untenable” instability in a crucial manufacturing sector (New York Times). In a letter signed by 17 companies including Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Volvo, the automakers asked Mr. Trump to go back to the negotiating table on the planned rollback of one of President Barack Obama’s signature policies to fight climate change. The carmakers are addressing a crisis that is partly of their own making. They had sought some changes to the pollution standards early in the Trump presidency, but have since grown alarmed at the expanding scope of the administration’s plan. Mr. Trump’s new rule, which is expected to be made public this summer, would all but eliminate the Obama-era auto pollution regulations, essentially freezing mileage standards at about 37 miles per gallon for cars, down from a target of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The policy makes it a near certainty that California and 13 other states will sue the administration while continuing to enforce their own, stricter rules — in effect, splitting the United States auto market in two.

MERRITT WON'T MARCH IN GAY PRIDE PARADE: Indianapolis Republican Mayoral candidate Jim Merritt—a state senator since 1991—on Thursday said he regretted his Senate vote for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015 and pledged to support the LGBTQ community if elected mayor (IBJ). Merritt, who sparked attention this week by announcing he would walk in Saturday's Indy Pride parade even though organizers said he wasn't welcome due to his Senate votes on LGBTQ issues, also said Thursday he has decided not to march in the parade. “This is Indy Pride’s celebration and I do not wish to dampen it,” he said. “I have come to realize the reality of discrimination, fear and prejudice that has plagued the LGBTQ+ community for far too long.”

IU HIKES TUITION 2.5%: Indiana University is increasing tuition by 2.5% for in-state undergraduate students at all of its campuses each of the next two school years. IU’s Board of Trustees approved the tuition plan Wednesday, while also increasing out-of-state undergraduate tuition by 3% on the Bloomington campus the coming two years. The Bloomington Herald-Times reports this year’s IU in-state tuition and fees cost of $10,680 was less than seven of the 14 Big Ten schools. The IU increases come as Purdue University’s current tuition of $9,992 has been largely frozen since 2013. But IU Board Chairman Michael Mirro says many factors are involved in tuition decisions, such as Purdue having more out-of-state students at its West Lafayette campus who are charged more than at IU’s Bloomington campus.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: It is disturbing and disheartening to hear Speaker Nancy Pelosi talk of wishing to see President Trump "behind bars," just as it has been to hear Trump talk of jailing Hillary Clinton while his supporters chant "lock her up." In banana republics, leaders prosecute and jail their political opponents, but not in the United States. Unless we want to join the banana republics. - Brian A. Howey


BLACK CAUCUS BACKS MELTON FOR GOVERNOR: The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus PAC issued a statement of support for State Senator Eddie Melton and his gubernatorial exploratory committee (Howey Politics Indiana). Melton, who on Tuesday announced the formation of the Committee, has focused on listening to Hoosiers as he travels the state discussing teacher pay, raising the minimum wage, and providing access to quality affordable healthcare. “The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus PAC strongly supports Senator Melton as he launches his gubernatorial exploratory committee," said Caucus Chair Representative Robin Shackleford (HD-98, Indianapolis). “The Indiana Black Caucus PAC’s mission is to work towards greater economic, educational and social opportunities for all residents of Indiana. Senator Melton is the embodiment of that effort. From his time as a social worker, serving the most vulnerable amongst us, to his legislative accomplishments of incentivizing job creation, and increasing educational funding, his thoughtful approach to bring all parties to the table to progress our shared goals, is a testament to his leadership. Leadership which Indiana sorely needs right now."

GOP TRAINING EVENT SET: We're now just one week from the deadline to RSVP for our full-day candidate training seminar, Battleground Indiana: Winning Indiana's Cities & Towns! RSVP now, and you'll have access to: Breakout sessions on important topics like building a campaign plan, using political data, recruiting volunteers, communicating with voters, and more; Panel discussions with Indiana Republican mayors and opportunities to ask questions; Training on the latest campaign technology for voter contact; An evening reception with Governor Eric Holcomb! This municipal election year, it's critical that our candidates have the skills necessary not just to compete in every corner of our state, but to WIN! The seminar -- designed with our 2019 Republican municipal candidates and campaigns in mind -- will be on Saturday, June 15, at the University of Indianapolis.

HOWE ELECTED TO VALPO COUNCIL: Holly Howe is now an at-large member of the city council after being selected by the local Republican Party caucus Thursday night (NWI Times). Howe was elected unanimously by the precinct committee members at the caucus. She was the only one who sought the seat of Trista Hudson, who stepped down last month. Howe will fill out the remaining six months of Hudson's term.

Presidential 2020

MAYOR PETE ADDRESS BLACK FORUM: Mayor Pete Buttigieg spoke to the DNC African American Leadership Summit in Atlanta on Thursday (Howey Politics Indiana). "In so many ways, in our lifetimes, we have seen how a rising tide does not in fact lift all boats. Not when some of those boats are still anchored to the ocean floor," Buttigieg said. "We live in neighborhoods that were intentionally segregated — as a matter of policy. We perpetuate a system of mass incarceration that systematically targets people of color. A healthcare system where bias can lead doctors to literally discount how much pain a black patient may be feeling. Economic opportunity is freedom. As we see in South Bend, diversely-owned businesses help build wealth not just for their owners, but also for their employees. So we have invested every way we know how—from a new entrepreneurship center in a historically black neighborhood to conducting a disparity study to support equitable distribution of opportunities from the city. And we ought to do that at the federal level too. Let’s right historic wrongs, build wealth, and empower black entrepreneurs with the tools to compete and succeed. Because I am not black, it is twice as important that I show up with an agenda for black Americans that remedies racial injustices."

BUTTIGIEG TO SPEAK AT IU AUDITORIUM ON MONDAY: Pete Buttigieg will deliver remarks on foreign policy and national security at Indiana University Auditorium on Tuesday, June 11 at 11 a.m. Former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton, Distinguished Scholar with the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, will introduce him (Howey Politics Indiana). The event is free and open to the public, however tickets are required for entrance. Tickets can be picked up in person only beginning at 1 p.m. on Monday, June 10 at the IU Auditorium Box Office. The line for tickets on Monday will be recognized at 12 p.m. There is a limit of one ticket per person. For questions, please call the IU Auditorium Box Office at (812) 855-1103.

BIDEN RESERVES ON HYDE AMENDMENT: In a dramatic reversal, Joe Biden told a DNC summit in Atlanta last night that he "no longer supports a ban on federal funding for abortions, known as the Hyde Amendment, ... after a day of sharp criticism from campaign rivals," the WashPost's Colby Itkowitz reports. "We’ve seen state after state ... passing extreme laws," Biden said. “[T]hese folks are going to stop at nothing to get rid of Roe. ... Circumstances have changed."

SANDERS CALLS FOR MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE: In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called for the Raise the Wage Act to be brought to the floor of the Senate for an immediate vote (Howey Politics Indiana). The bill, co-sponsored by 32 members of the Senate, would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024 and index it to median wage growth thereafter. “Millions of Americans are sick and tired of working longer hours for lower wages while almost half of all new income goes to the top one percent,” Sanders argued. “I ask that you allow the Senate to take up the Raise the Wage Act to immediately begin improving the lives of working Americans across the country.” Sanders noted that corporations like Amazon and Disney had already conceded to popular pressure and now provide their workers with a minimum wage of $15 an hour. On Wednesday, the CEO of Walmart joined widespread calls for Congress to take action on raising the federal minimum wage, calling the current federal floor of $7.25 an hour “too low.”

DNC CHANGEST DEBATE RULES: The Democratic Party announced Thursday that it would exclude specific polls from the qualification criteria for the first Democratic presidential debate in June, a change in the official rules that could exclude Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (Washington Post). The requirements raise yet more controversy for a debate process that Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez once described as “open and transparent” but which has since fallen under intense criticism. Lesser-known candidates have said the rules are distorting the race by heightening the importance of certain campaign tactics and benefiting certain candidates, with one campaign adviser even threatening to organize rival unsanctioned debates this fall if too many candidates are excluded from the official proceedings. Some party members have also complained about being shut out of the process, which has been overseen by Perez, to qualify for events that are expected to be the highest-profile campaign gatherings yet.


YOUNG BILL SEEKS MEDICARE THERAPIES: U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) have introduced a budget-neutral measure that would provide Medicare beneficiaries more timely access to needed therapies (Howey Politics Indiana). The Medicare Home Health Flexibility Act of 2019 (S. 1725) breaks down barriers for seniors by allowing occupational therapists to perform the initial home health assessment in cases in which occupational therapy is ordered by the physician, along with speech language pathology and/or physical therapy services, and skilled nursing care is not required. In underserved areas where access to physical therapy or speech-language therapy providers is limited, the ability of occupational therapists to perform the initial and comprehensive assessments would prevent delays in home health care and increased costs to Medicare. “Ensuring the health of our seniors begins with timely care,” said Senator Young. “I’m encouraged that the Medicare Home Health Flexibility Act will help the way we approach healthcare home services for patients in rural areas. Our bipartisan legislation would use Medicare to ensure our seniors are quickly and comprehensively assessed in their homes in order to receive proper treatment.”

HOUSE LIKELY TO HOLD BARR, ROSS IN CONTEMPT: The Justice and Commerce departments denied an order from a House committee for more documents about the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, all but ensuring that the House will hold Attorney General William P. Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress (Washington Post). In a letter to Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) on Thursday, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said the agency had tried to be accommodating to the panel, and described as “premature” a vote on contempt over the department’s refusal to comply with this demand. The Justice Department said that certain documents the Democrats subpoenaed are protected by attorney-client privilege and therefore cannot be released. Cummings had given the agency until 5 p.m. Thursday to produce them or he would schedule a vote to hold Barr in contempt.


AGRICULTURE: CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM ON PLANTING - Cautious optimism is the tone for upcoming planting opportunities around Indiana, but there are a few problems beginning to appear in forecast models. In the new planting forecast sponsored by the Indiana Corn and Indiana Soybean Checkoffs and First Farmers Bank and Trust, HAT chief meteorologist Ryan Martin says dry weather finishes the week and starts the weekend (Hoosier Ag Today). “Your Friday is looking dry in most areas, maybe a few scattered showers south of US 50,” Martin says. “Saturday dry over a large part of the state with clouds increasing, but we’re speeding up how fast the moisture gets into southern Indiana on Saturday now. The remains of this tropical wave that have come out of the western Gulf and up across the U.S. are wanting to surge northward a little bit farther, so I’ve got scattered showers afternoon and evening developing south and east of a line from Crawfordsville to Cincinnati, and there we could see upwards of a quarter of an inch.”

AGRICULTURE: McCLOSKEY UNAWARE FAIR OAKS CALVES SOLD AS VEAL - Fair Oaks Farms founder Mike McCloskey says he was unaware calves were being sold to the veal industry, citing a lack of communication between the general manager in charge of livestock sales and himself (NWI Times). “It was not our practice in the past ... and (I) apologize for the unintended false claim made previously," McCloskey said in a statement to The Times. "Our bull calves will no longer go to veal."

EDUCATION: IU PURCHASES SUPER COMPUTER - Indiana University announced Friday it has purchased a new supercomputer—dubbed Big Red 200—to support advanced research in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, and scientific and medical research (IBJ). The $9.6 million computer built by Cray Inc. will give IU the nation's fastest university-owned supercomputer, which will let researchers on the school’s campuses do complex, simultaneous calculations that are six times faster than the computer system it is replacing. How fast is Big Red 200? According to IU, it would take every person in Indiana more than 28 years—performing one calculation per second 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year—to perform the same number of calculations that Big Red 200 can do in just one second.

EPA: STATE GETS BROWNFIELD GRANTS -The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded more than $4 million in funding to address brownfield sites multiple Indiana communities. The agency says the grants will aid underserved and economically-challenged challenged communities in assessing and cleaning up abandoned industrial and commercial properties (Inside Indiana Business). Each of the 10 areas in Indiana received a minimum of $300,000 in funding. The recipients include: Fort Wayne - $455,625, Indianapolis - $600,000, Kokomo - $300,000, Lawrence - $300,000, Lawrenceburg - $300,000, Lebanon - $300,000, Michiana Area Council of Governments (Elkhart, Marshall, Kosciusko, & St. Joseph counties) - $600,000, Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (Gary, Hammond, & East Chicago) - $600,000, and Sullivan - $300,000.

BUSINESS: 3 INDIANA COMPANIES ON BEST WORK PLACE LIST - Three Indiana companies are included in Inc. magazine's list of the "Best Places to Work in 2019." The list was compiled from a survey of employees from nearly 2,000 businesses nationwide on topics including trust, management effectiveness and perks (Inside Indiana Business). The list includes 346 companies that received the best results from the survey. Bloomington-based Hanapin Marketing, Sharpen Technologies in Indianapolis, and Greenwood-based real estate firm The Garrett Companies are the Hoosier representatives.


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP LASHES OUT AT PELOSI - President Donald Trump hit back at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday in his first public comments after she reportedly said she wanted to see the President "in prison" instead of being impeached (CNN). In an interview with Fox News, in which Trump was asked about the comments reported by Politico, the President lashed out at the California Democrat, calling her a "nasty, vindictive, horrible person." Pelosi told Democrats pushing for an impeachment effort that rather than wanting to see Trump impeached, she wanted to see him "in prison," according to Politico. Ashley Etienne, a spokeswoman for Pelosi, said she could not confirm the comment. "I actually don't think she's a talented person," the President said. "I've tried to be nice to her because I would've liked to have gotten some deals done. She's incapable of doing deals."

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP ALLOWS SAUDIS TO USE U.S. TECH ON BOMBS - When the Trump administration declared an emergency last month and fast-tracked the sale of more American arms to Saudi Arabia, it did more than anger members of Congress who opposed the sale on humanitarian grounds (New York Times). It also raised concerns that the Saudis could gain access to technology that would let them produce their own versions of American precision-guided bombs — weapons they have used in strikes on civilians since they began fighting a war in Yemen four years ago. The emergency authorization allows Raytheon Company, a top American defense firm, to team with the Saudis to build high-tech bomb parts in Saudi Arabia. That provision, which has not been previously reported, is part of a broad package of information the administration released this week to Congress.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - If the U.S. is going to levy the 5% tariff on Mexico come Monday, it has to issue a public statement today, sources tell us. President Donald Trump is slated to return from Ireland this afternoon, and will land at Andrews around 4:25 p.m.

MEDIA: SUNDAY TALK - CBS "Face the Nation": Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). CNN "State of the Union": Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Panel: Scott Jennings, Jen Psaki, Bill Kristol and Aisha Moodie-Mills (guest host: Dana Bash). CNN "Inside Politics": Jonathan Martin, Julie Pace, Manu Raju and Annie Linskey. "Fox News Sunday": Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.). Panel: Jason Riley, Anne Gearan, Josh Holmes and Neera Tanden (guest host: Bret Baier). ABC "This Week": Beto O'Rourke.


CITIES: JUDGE RULES IN SOUTH BEND PD TAPE - Henry Davis Jr. did not defame a group police officers involved in the police tapes controversy when he wrote a letter asking the Indiana Department of Justice to investigate potential racial biases, a St. Joseph Superior Court judge ruled (South Bend Tribune). In May 2014, Tim Corbett, Steve Richmond, Dave Wells and Brian Young filed a defamation lawsuit against Davis saying he damaged their reputations with his letter to the DOJ. In his request for summary judgment, Davis, who was representing the 2nd District on the South Bend Common Council at the time, said he sent the letter to the DOJ after many of his constituents expressed concern about how African Americans were being treated by police. Davis said it was his duty as a Common Council member to look into the concerns. The police tape controversy, the demotion and subsequent firing of South Bend’s first African-American police chief, Darryl Boykins, and the death of an African-American man in police custody heightened the community’s concerns, according to Davis. In July 2012, Michael Anderson died by choking while in police custody. Davis sent his letter to the DOJ the following month.

CITIES: INDY COUNCIL APPROVES $5 FOR ROAD REPAIRS - The city of Indianapolis plans to get a jump on $5 million in previously slated road and bridges projects due to an earlier-than-expected burst of funding from the state in the form of returned local income tax dollars (IBJ). The Indianapolis City-County Council’s public works committee on Thursday unanimously approved a plan to spend about $8 million in returned local option income tax dollars in two ways: $5 million to start designing and bidding out previously approved projects planned for 2020 and spending about $2.8 million to abate lead and arsenic found in an Indianapolis public park. The spending proposal will have to be passed by the full council. Dan Parker, the city’s director of public works, said the city was expecting to receive the money from the state, but it arrived earlier than anticipated. “This allows us to get ahead,” Parker said. “In the past, money has been moved in January. Designing and bidding them in 2019, we’ll be jumping in front of the line for access to contractors.”  That could allow the city to get a better deal on its planned projects, Parker said, which include repairing and repaving Keystone Avenue from 39th Street to 65th Street, and parts of Shadeland Avenue, Sherman Drive, and Harding Street. Funds will also go toward fixing a bridge in Geist and a bridge over Crooked Creek, among other projects.

CITIES: BENNETT ANNOUNCES NEW TERRE HAUTE PD BUILDING - It’s been on Mayor Duke Bennett’s to-do list since shortly after taking office in 2008 and this may finally be the year work begins on a new Terre Haute Police Department building (Taylor, Terre Haute Tribune-Star). Redevelopment Director Steve Witt gave departmental commissioners a heads-up last week that a financing plan for the project will soon come before them. Witt said Wednesday he expects the mayor, or a representative, to make a presentation “in the next month or two.” During a May 23 interview with the Tribune-Star on a variety of topics, Bennett said the city’s bond counsel with the Ice Miller law firm was reviewing available options. “My goal is to start construction by the end of this … season,” he said, “and I think we’re going to be able to get there.” Bennett said early this week he had no further update. He later provided information on financing for the estimated $10 million, 30-thousand-square-foot project after his two opponents in the Nov. 5 election questioned whether the city can afford the project.

CITIES: SOUTH BEND TO GIVE DREWRYS OWNER MORE TIME - The city will delay hiring a contractor to remove demolition debris from the former Drewrys brewery site to give the owner more time to clean it up, work that his contractor has been doing this week, the city’s code enforcement director said (South Bend Tribune). The Board of Public Works had planned to open contractor bids at its meeting Tuesday, June 11, but on Thursday decided to remove the item from the agenda until at least July, said Tracy Skibins, code enforcement director. “We have been waiting for years for Mr. Durkee to take care of the property because we definitely don’t want to spend the city’s money doing it, we want the owner to be responsible,” Skibins said. “Because he has not done that, we have had to fall back on step two, which is to have the city take care of it for him, which we never wanted to do in the first place.”

CITIES: JEFFERSONVILLE PROJECTS MIRED IN LEGALIZE - A project that could play a key role in downtown Jeffersonville's revival remains in limbo, as a prominent developer seeks answers and a non-profit board mulls litigation (News & Tribune). At the center of the debate is corner property at Market and Spring streets, where Alan Muncy, president of arc, has agreed to transform a longstanding parking lot into a $3.5 million mixed-use development of apartments and retail. The sticking point is a May 20 vote by the Jeffersonville City Council that denied the issuance of an Urban Enterprise Zone tax credit for the project, which was part of a development agreement between arc and the Jeffersonville Urban Enterprise Association [JUEA], owners of the property. Muncy, who waived the clause in the agreement about the tax credit, moved forward on closing on the property on May 23. Less than a week later, the JUEA board, at a special meeting, approved a resolution to begin the process of filing a lawsuit to "set aside" the closing, believing it violated the terms of the development agreement.

JOB CREATION STALLS: Employers tapped the brakes on hiring in May, signaling companies are taking a more cautious approach at a time of slowing global growth and trade tensions (Wall Street Journal). The economy added 75,000 jobs in May, marking the 104th straight month of gains, but pulling back from two months of solid hiring, the Labor Department said Friday. The jobless rate held steady at 3.6%, a near 50-year low. Overall, the labor market was on weaker footing than expected. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a gain of 180,000 new jobs and a 3.6% unemployment rate in May. Revised figures showed employers added fewer jobs than previously reported in April and March. Wages were up 3.1% on the year in May. Annual pay gains appear to be stabilizing in the low 3% range rather than accelerating in a tight labor market. Manufacturers added 3,000 workers to payrolls, continuing a weak streak for a sector most tied to trade tensions and slowing growth abroad.