SEN. YOUNG TO BACK TRUMP NATIONAL EMERGENCY: U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) issued the following statement regarding the President’s national emergency declaration: “After weeks of careful study and discussion, I have decided to vote to preserve President Trump’s national emergency declaration. It is clear that the President’s declaration adheres to decades-old statutes and procedures laid out in federal law, and there is no question that a national crisis exists at our southern border. I also share the perspective of those who believe presidential declarations of emergency – including the 31 other emergency declarations still in effect – warrant additional scrutiny from Congress. That is why I will be joining several colleagues in the coming days to introduce a bill that would enhance future oversight of the emergency declaration process. Hoosiers can always rely on me to continue to examine every issue closely, to listen to their concerns, and to do what is in the best interest of our state and nation.” The vote is expected Thursday and four Republicans have announced they will vote against the declaration. U.S. Sen. Mike Braun will also back the president on the resolution.

HATE CRIME BILL MAY NOT GET HOUSE HEARING: The fate of a hate crimes bill that has become a focal point of the Indiana General Assembly session may be up in the air amid a rift between Republican legislators and Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (Bauer, South Bend Tribune). Local state lawmakers suggest the bill might not see a full vote in the Indiana House after an amendment last month watered down provisions advocates insist are necessary to get Indiana off the list of states without bias crime provisions. The amendment, which some said "gutted" the bill, raised the specter of the economic and public relations fallout experienced as a result of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015. "Essentially there’s no bill right now," said Rep. Ryan Dvorak, D-South Bend who is on Courts and Criminal Code Committee, where the bill is currently assigned. "There’s one pending in committee, but it’s not scheduled for a committee hearing." Dvorak said he’s not sure the bill will even be brought up during committee, let alone brought to the floor of the House for a full vote. If the bill isn’t heard in committee by April 9, it would be dead for the year unless it is tacked on as an amendment to another bill.

WINDY 'CYCLONE BOMB' AIMING FOR INDIANA: An unusually strong late-winter storm is predicted to intensify explosively in the western Plains on Tuesday into Wednesday, unleashing flooding rains, severe storms, raging winds and blizzard conditions in the middle of the nation (Washington Post). The zone from Texas north through the Dakotas and Minnesota is expected be hit hardest by the powerhouse storm. Winds are expected to be over 60 mph in Indiana on Thursday. It will be the third such wind event this winter in Indiana (Howey Politics Indiana). On Feb. 24, wind gusts over 60 mph were observed, with 66 mph at the Indianapolis International Airport. This was the highest non-thunderstorm wind gust reported there since April 6, 1988 and resulted in thousands of power outages cross the state. Thursday's wind event is likely to meet the criteria of a “bomb cyclone,” its pressure dropping 24 millibars in 24 hours between Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon over the Great Plains. The lower the pressure and the faster it falls, the more intense the storm. Roaring, potentially damaging winds will affect an enormous area. “This is a potentially dangerous wind event,” warned the National Weather Service office in Midland, Tex.

MAYOR PETE GIVES HIS FINAL STATE OF CITY: In Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s previous seven State of the City addresses, the polite applause after his introduction by a common council member had ended by the time he arrived at the podium to begin speaking. When he walked across the Morris Performing Arts Center stage Tuesday night to deliver the annual address for the last time, he seemed more like a popular late night talk show host who needs the crowd to finish applauding, whooping and hollering so that he can begin his monologue (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). While Buttigieg again recapped the administration’s accomplishments over the past year, he spoke more about the city’s progress over his two terms in office. He began by citing some statistics: Unemployment fell to 4.1 percent from 11.8 percent. Population grew by 1 percent from 2012, his first year in office, to 2017, a “modest but very meaningful number for a city that lost a quarter of its population after the 1960s.” 15,000 jobs were added in the South Bend metro area. “When I go on the road, I talk about our experience as a metaphor for what needs to happen in our country,” he said. “America needs to find ways, as South Bend has, to embrace our future without fear. America needs to seek greatness, not by dredging it up from some impossible again, but by looking squarely to the future just as our forebears did.”

PENCE TAKES SHOTS FOR TRUMP: When former Vice President Dick Cheney charged this weekend that Donald Trump treats American foreign policy like a “New York real estate deal,” he demanded an answer not from the president but from Trump’s mild-mannered vice president, Mike Pence (Politico). To the audience of Republican insiders gathered in Sea Island, Ga., Cheney’s grilling of Pence about Trump’s governing style — as well as Pence’s totally on-message defense of the president — may have appeared awkward. But Pence had been there before. In recent months, Pence has repeatedly found himself an even-tempered target for prominent Republicans needing to vent about Trump’s unorthodox style. “When he comes up here, unfortunately for him, he gets to be kind of the person that people take out some of their frustrations out on,” said John Thune (R-S.D.), the Senate’s No. 2 leader. “But that’s a part of the job.”

PELOSI BOOTS PENCE OUT OF HIS HOUSE OFFICE: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revoked the office space reserved for Vice President Mike Pence on the House side of the United States Capitol Building (Business Insider). It's rare for a vice president to have an office on the House side. As president of the Senate, Pence still has an office on the Senate side of the Capitol. Pence's House office was ceremonial and given to him by former Speaker Paul Ryan, who he served alongside during his tenure in Congress.

UNITED HEALTH ACTS ON BRAUN PROPOSALS: A week after U.S. Sen. Mike Braun introduced legislation mandating that healthcare companies end hidden rebates to pharmacy benefit managers and pass those rebates directly to consumers, UnitedHealth Group announced it would be taking action to implement those reforms (Howey Politics Indiana (Howey Politics Indiana). Braun appeared on Fox Business's Varney & Co to discuss UnitedHealth’s decision and the future of his three bills to lower prescription drug prices. Days after Senator Braun’s legislation, UnitedHealth gives drug discounts directly to consumers.  “UnitedHealth said Tuesday all of its new employer-sponsored plans in 2020 will pass discounts paid to so-called pharmacy benefits managers to consumers at the drug store counter. … UnitedHealth said its rebate program has lowered costs for consumers by $130 per prescription on average.  The Trump administration has proposed doing away with the rebate system for Medicare plans but has not gone as far as extending the ban to commercial plans. Drug manufacturers pay PBMs the rebates for getting their drugs covered by Medicare’s Part D prescription plan.  One week ago, Sen. Braun, R-Ind., introduced the Drug Price Transparency Act, which would ban rebates for commercial plans.” 

CARSON TAKES ON MEDICARE FOR ALL 'MISCONCEPTIONS': U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Indiana, is trying to clear up some misconceptions about the Medicare-for-All plan, which was introduced in the House of Representatives last month (WRTV). The proposal in the House would eliminate the age threshold for Medicare (currently at 65) and would not require beneficiaries to pay premiums or deductibles. The big question, of course, is how can the United States pay for it? The 10-year price tag would be between $25 trillion and $35 trillion, according to an Associated Press article . The House bill would come out of taxpayer money. In an interview Monday morning, Carson pushed back against criticism that the plan is "socialized medicine." "We're not other countries, we can pay our debts," Carson said. "We have the capacity. If we can pay for the multitude of wars that we pay for, we can pay for the hundreds and hundreds of studies each year, we can pay for an effective study that will effectively look at and score this process."

TRUMP TO SHUTTER 21 CITIZENSHIP/IMMIGRATION OFFICES: The Trump administration is preparing to shutter all 21 international offices of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a move that could slow the processing of family visa applications, foreign adoptions and citizenship petitions from members of the military (Washington Post). USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna said in an email to staff Tuesday that he is working to transfer those duties — now performed by employees worldwide — to domestic offices and the State Department’s embassies and consulates. He wrote that if the State Department agrees, the agency would move to close its international field offices in coming months “in an effort to maximize our agency’s finite resources.” The shift will ripple to offices in New Delhi, Port-au-Prince, Rome and numerous other cities where the agency has offices that handle emergencies, smooth backlogs in immigration petitions, and provide direct information in foreign languages. USCIS foreign offices also investigate fraud.

JITTERY WASHINGTON AWAITS MUELLER REPORT: Television crews have been positioned outside the offices of the special counsel, the federal courthouse and, at least before they were asked to leave, the McLean, Va., home of the new attorney general, William P. Barr (New York Times). Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are so desperate for hints that they are asking aides to call Justice Department contacts to beg for morsels. Publishing houses are scrambling to produce instant books of the findings. Newspapers are deploying small armies of reporters. At bars, restaurants, cocktail parties and street corners, people are asking one another the same question. When is it coming out? Washington — jittery, full of rumor, like a becalmed ship in the dead air before a coming storm — is waiting for the report of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether President Trump or his aides conspired in the effort or obstructed justice. Real information — actually, any information at all from Mr. Mueller’s astonishingly leak-free team — is almost nonexistent. “The folks who know aren’t talking, and the folks who don’t won’t stop,” said Antonia Ferrier, the former communications director for Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader.

BOSSIE SAYS TRUMP UNPREPARED FOR IMPEACHMENT BATTLE: One of President Donald Trump's closest political advisers, a key combatant two decades ago in the impeachment battle against President Bill Clinton, says the White House and the Republicans in Congress are not sufficiently prepared for the investigative onslaught that he anticipates will dominate the remainder of Trump’s term (ABC News). “We’re not ready,” said David Bossie, a pugnacious Republican operative who served as Trump’s deputy campaign manager and has been counseling both the White House and congressional Republicans. “Do I see a killer team that is ready for the impeachment proceedings that are potentially coming ... do I think the White House is ready? From a staff standpoint -- I would say no,” Bossie said. “Do I believe they are in the process of getting ready? Yes.” Both the administration and the Republican team in Congress now clearly recognize they need reinforcements, Bossie said.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Craig Dunn's poignant column in Tuesday's weekly HPI received more positive feedback than just about any commentary we've published in recent years. That it comes from a former Republican county and congressional district chairman lends gravity to his message as it appears the House is balking at the reforms. It is becoming clear that when Gov. Holcomb returns from Europe, he's going to have to dramatically step up his game on what he has called a top priority. - Brian A. Howey


52% OPPOSE EMERGENCY DECLARATION: On the eve of Congress’ unprecedented rebuke of President Donald Trump, a majority of voters continue to oppose his declaration of a national emergency at the southern border, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll. The poll shows that Trump has failed to build support for his declaration in the face of congressional opposition; the results are essentially unchanged since he signed an order to reallocate military funds toward construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Only 38 percent of voters support the declaration, the poll shows, down 1 percentage point from three weeks ago. In the new poll, 52 percent of voters are opposed to the declaration, up 1 percentage point from last month.

BIDEN HINTS AT RUN: Joe Biden was greeted by a convention of firefighters Tuesday with chants of “Run, Joe, Run!” He hinted he's just about there (Politico). “Be careful what you wish for,” the former vice president said in a speech to the International Association of Fire Fighters legislative conference in Washington, D.C. The members held up "Run Joe Run" and "Fire Fighters for Biden" signs as their longtime ally took the stage. “You know, I’d like you all to know I appreciate the energy you showed when I got up here,” Biden said. “Save it a little longer. I might need it in a few weeks.”

HOW BIDEN WILL RUN: With signs pointing increasingly to a 2020 presidential run by former Vice President Joe Biden, here's the case he'd make, based on our conversations with current and former advisers (Allen, Axios): The great white (voter) hope: I can bring back the rural, white, mostly male voters who sealed the presidency for Donald Trump. Think Wisconsin. I'm liberal — just not that liberal. And too liberal won’t win. Been there, done that: In this dangerous chaotic world, we need a steady hand — not someone who's playing or practicing president. Remember last year when I said: "If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him." Well, game on: Trump won’t intimidate or bully me. If you're looking for a rising star, there's a low-risk place on the ticket — next to me.

BIDEN, BETO WOULD PULL FIELD TO CENTER: Beto O’Rourke is youthful and has little political record to run on. Joe Biden is older and has a decades-long history, featuring both successes and mistakes. O’Rourke brings a viral energy to his campaigns, while Biden, still figuring out how to harness social media, specializes in the traditional stemwinder (Washington Post). Both men are sending increasingly strong signals they will soon enter the presidential race — additions that would instantly reshape the Democratic primary debate. While left-leaning candidates have drawn the bulk of the attention so far, the popular former vice president and the charismatic former Texas congressman share one key characteristic: a more centrist brand of politics.

McCARTHY BELIEVES TRUMP WILL BE REELECTED: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy broke with former Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday, saying he was confident President Donald Trump would win re-election (CNN). "I believe this President will win re-election," McCarthy said in response to a question from CNN at a weekly House GOP news conference. "I believe this President could run on many different items."

General Assembly

REPS. DEAL, STUTZMAN ON HATE CRIME BILL: It’s unclear if there are enough votes in the House to re-insert that list. State Rep. Ross Deal, D-Mishawaka, said his expectations are "somewhat guarded" on getting a re-insertion of the list passed, something he supports (Bauer, South Bend Tribune). "I think that support is lukewarm," Deal said. "I think we have our work cut out for us." One who doesn’t support a specific characteristic list is State Rep. Christy Stutzman, R-Middlebury. Stutzman, wife of former Third-District Republican U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, said she opposes efforts to re-insert a list of characteristics, citing constitutional concerns and existing legal precedent that would allow trial judges to increase penalties in certain aggravating circumstances of a crime. "We’re really facing a dilemma here," Stutzman said. "We’re trying to cover all citizens equally, and we don’t want these (hate crime) cases to go unpunished." Stutzman said she believes the state constitution precludes the legislature from writing a law she says would create a "protected class" of citizens. The bill, as written now, is something Stutzman said she would support. "I hope we get a chance to vote on that," Stutzman said. "But I don’t know that we will."

EXONERATION BILL FACES SENATE CHANGES: A bill to provide payouts for people who were wrongfully incarcerated faces significant changes (Smith, Indiana Public Media). Lawmakers hope to address issues raised around the legislation. The bill would create a fund that pays people imprisoned for a crime they didn’t commit $50,000 for each year they were locked up. It also bars people from suing the state if they take from the fund. Roosevelt Glenn spent 17 years in prison for a rape of which he wasn’t guilty. He doesn’t want to drop his lawsuit. “Because of all the wrong that happened and what’s been found to have happened through the police department,” Glenn says. The measure also says the agency that will handle the fund must investigate each case to determine if the person applying should get the money. Beth Powers works for the Innocence Project, a national group that works to overturn wrongful convictions. “To prove their innocence again to get compensation – we just urge you to make it as straightforward and streamlined process as possible,” Powers says. A Senate committee will consider changes to the bill as early as next week.

DECATUR WOMEN MAKES CASE FOR EXONERATION PAY: Hoosiers who have been wrongfully convicted and put in prison would be eligible for a payment from the state under a bill being considered by the Senate (Kelly, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). House Bill 1150 already unanimously passed the House. “When I walked out I got nothing,” said Kristine Bunch, who was wrongfully convicted of arson that led to the death of her young son in Decatur County in 1995. She spent 17 years in prison before she was proved innocent. She told a Senate panel Tuesday that there are exonerees in the state looking to rebuild with no credit or job history, social security or pensions. “If I didn't have my family, I would have been homeless,” she said. “And while no amount of money could ever make up for the time I lost, legislation to compensate wrongfully convicted people would provide the necessary financial compensation to wrongfully convicted Hoosiers like me who needlessly lost their freedom.” The bill generally would allow someone exonerated of a crime to seek a payment of $50,000 per year they were incarcerated. To receive the money, they would have to dismiss any existing civil lawsuit or agree not to sue in the future. Indiana is one of 17 states nationally that currently provides no compensation for exonerated prisoners.

REP. SHACKLEFORD OPPOSES SB279, SB613: State Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis), chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC), today issued the following statement on Senate Bill 279, which would decrease the age courts can prosecute children charged with attempted murder from 14 to 12, and Senate Bill 613, which would enable payday and subprime lenders to charge interest rates on small loans at levels above what is considered felony loan sharking (Howey Politics Indiana): “As the Indiana House begins to consider these proposals, the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus wants to make it clear that Senate Bills 279 and 613 would have a disastrous impact upon minority communities across our state. We understand the sentiments behind SB 279 are stirred by the horrible shooting in Noblesville last year, but those who support this bill must pause to consider the long-term implications of what is being proposed here. It paves the way for younger children to be inserted into the adult court and prison systems, rather than giving them the chance to receive treatment and rehabilitation. This legislation would only serve to reinforce the fears so many minorities already have regarding a criminal justice system that we believe demonstrates a substantial prejudice against people of color. When black youth in Indiana are placed in juvenile facilities at a rate about four times higher than white youth, those fears are honestly realized."

ROSE-HULMAN PRESIDENT PUSHES SB12: Robert A. Coons, president of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, has joined 15 other leaders from the state’s independent colleges and universities in submitting a letter to Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma seeking stronger language in hate crimes legislation (Terre Haute Tribune-Star). On Feb. 19, Senate Bill 12 was amended and stripped of language that would have extended protections to specific at-risk peoples. A few days later, the stripped-down bill was passed by the Indiana Senate by a 39-10 vote. The letter signed by Coons read in part: "We were deeply disappointed ... to see the Indiana Senate pass a bias crimes bill without the policy teeth it needs to be a real bias crimes law. Senate Bill 12 does not meet the standard of a comprehensive bias crimes bill, nor does it meet the needs and expectations of more than 74 percent of Hoosiers who have voiced their support for meaningful action on this issue.


McCONNELL SCHEDULES EMERGENCY VOTE FOR THURSDAY: The Senate will vote on a resolution disapproving of the president's national emergency declaration Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced in a brief news conference Tuesday, teeing up the first veto of Donald Trump's presidency (CBS News). Four Republicans — Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina — have already announced they will vote with Democrats to disapprove the president's emergency declaration over the border wall, enough for a simple majority. More Republicans could defect.

YOUNG, BANKS PRAISE TRUMP BUDGET: Two federal lawmakers representing northeast Indiana offered varying degrees of praise Monday for President Donald Trump's federal budget proposal (Francisco, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, said in a statement that Trump's plan “is a step in the right direction toward fiscal sanity. I applaud the President's commitment to border security, rebuilding our military, and getting serious about the bloated budgets and out-of-control domestic spending.” Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., said in a statement, “I'm encouraged to see national security, veterans, and our workforce prioritized in this outline. As Congress evaluates our federal spending priorities in the coming months, we owe it to Hoosiers of every generation to put our federal budget on a more sustainable path.”

BRAUN WILL EXAMINE BUDGET: Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., said he will examine Trump's proposal but did not comment directly about its contents (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). “This week, the Senate Budget Committee will review this budget and I will make it known that, as a business owner, I believe any serious plan to balance our budget must include across-the-board spending cuts,” Braun, a member of the committee, said in a statement.

BANKS INTRODUCES PROTECT OUR UNIVERSITIES ACT: U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (IN-03) released the following statement regarding new legislation he introduced called the Protect Our Universities Act of 2019.  This legislation is designed to reduce the spread of sensitive information to nations like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, by limiting access to the United States’ most sensitive national security-related academic research. (Howey Politics Indiana). Said Rep. Banks, “Foundational research for key U.S. defense technologies lacks the proper safeguards at our institutions of higher education. Adversarial companies, often influenced by foreign governments, are eager to take advantage of U.S. technological advances and vibrant university research efforts. Countries like China may use subversive tactics to gain footholds in major STEM programs in U.S. universities to create a pipeline of data and information back to the mainland."

BAIRD INTRODUCES STEM ACT: U.S. Reps. Haley Stevens (D-MI) and Jim Baird (R-IN) today re-introduced H.R. 1665, the Building Blocks of STEM Act, a bipartisan bill to ensure that children, and especially girls, are introduced to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) earlier and more effectively (Howey Politics Indiana). “I’m proud to join my colleague, Representative Stevens of Michigan, in introducing this legislation. As one of only two members of Congress with a PhD in science, I understand how important it is to start children off on the right foot, by teaching STEM concepts and principles at an early age,” notes Representative Baird. “Equally important is ensuring that we get more girls involved in the STEM fields, so that we have as many people as possible contributing to the knowledge base of our society. Hoosiers know that to grow as a nation, we need everyone involved.”


GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB VISITS U.S. CEMETERY IN LUXEMBOURG - Gov. Eric Holcomb visited a U.S. military cemetery in Luxembourg on Tuesday (Howey Politics Indiana). "This afternoon #INEurope reminds us how special our country is. From visiting the cemetery in Luxembourg to meeting Hoosiers currently serving @RamsteinAirBase, generations of American service members have sacrificed so much so that we can be free," the governor tweeted. Some 159 Hoosiers along with Gen. George S. Patton Jr., are buried there. Among the 159 Hoosiers buried at the Luxembourg American Cemetery are Medal of Honor recipient William McGee and Alex Penkala, a member of Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry, 101st Airborne. Easy Company was featured in the HBO film series "Band of Brothers." Traveling to Germany, Holcomb visited Hoosier airmen and women at Ramstein Air Base. "We’re so grateful for their service and can’t wait to welcome them back home again in Indiana when they return," Holcomb said, adding he planned to watch an Indiana Pacers game from Germany. He quoted Hoosier author Kurt Vonnegut, who was a POW in Germany during World War II: "Wherever you go there is always a Hoosier doing something very important there.”

GOVERNOR: SCHELLINGER COMMENTS ON BELGIUM TRADE STOP - An Indiana delegation led by Governor Eric Holcomb and Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger is continuing its economic development trip in Europe. The group most recently visited Brussels to meet with business and government leaders with ties to Belgium and the European Union (Ober, Inside Indiana Business). Schellinger says only two Belgian companies are invested in Indiana, but believes "there is tremendous opportunity to attract even more investment and jobs to the Hoosier state." He says he is encouraged by the interest chief executive officers there are showing in Indiana. The trip included a roundtable with executives of Belgium-based businesses interested in expanding to the United States and a visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels to meet with U.S. Ambassador to NATO Bailey Hutchinson.

GOVERNOR: HOLCOMB APPOINTMENTS - Gov. Eric Holcomb made several new appointments and reappointments to various state boards and commissions. They include the State Fair board, the Indiana Arts Commission and the Midwestern Higher Education Commission. The appointments are:

Board of Directors of the Department of Financial Institutions: The Governor made one new appointment to the board, with a term expiring June 30, 2020: Benjamin Bochnowski (Munster), president and CEO of Peoples Bank.

Graduate Medical Education Board: The Governor made four reappointments to the board, with terms expiring Dec. 31, 2020: Dr. Steven Becker (Evansville), director and associate dean of the Indiana University School of Medicine–Evansville. Dr. Peter Nalin (Carmel), associate dean and interim director of the Bloomington Regional Medical Campus of the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Donald Sefcik (Indianapolis), dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and vice-president of Health Professions at Marian College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Thomas Sonderman (Columbus), vice president and chief medical officer at Columbus Regional Health.

Historic Preservation Review Board: The Governor made three reappointments to the board, with terms expiring March 31, 2022: Scott Keller (Indianapolis), president of Blackard & Geiger, Ltd. Daniel Kloc (Fishers), associate director of facility planning and management at Eskenazi Health. Dr. April Sievert (Bloomington), director of the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archeology at Indiana University Bloomington. The Governor also made two new appointments to the board, with terms expiring Dec. 31, 2021: Chandler Lighty (Indianapolis), executive director of the Indiana Archives and Records Administration. Anne Shaw Kingery (Kokomo), principal investigator of architectural history and historical archeology with NS Services.

Indiana Arts Commission: The Governor made two new appointments to the commission: Chad Bolser (Richmond) chancellor of Ivy Tech Richmond. His term expires June 30, 2022. Dave Haist (Culver), chair of the board of Parkview Health. His term expires June 30, 2021.

Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission: The Governor made one reappointment to the commission, with a term expiring March 31, 2023: David Ziegner (Greenwood).

Midwestern Higher Education Commission: The Governor made one new appointment to the commission, with a term expiring Feb. 28, 2020: Dr. David Wantz (Indianapolis), president and CEO of the Independent Colleges of Indiana.

Retirement Home Guaranty Fund Board: The Governor made one new appointment to the board, with a term expiring Feb. 28, 2021: John Dattilo (Zionsville), president and CEO of BHI Senior Living.

State Board of Nursing: The Governor made two new appointments to the board, with terms expiring June 30, 2022: Jennifer Miller (Danville), director of the Emergency Department, EMS Services, Emergency Preparedness, and Community Paramedicine at Hendricks Regional Health. Dianne Murphy (Carmel), clinical nurse at the Wellness and Preventative Care Institute at St. Vincent Hospital.

State Ethics Commission: The Governor made one new appointment to the commission, with a term expiring Dec. 31, 2021: Kenneth G. Todd (Monticello), former judge of the Monroe Circuit Court. The Governor also appointed Katherine Noel (Kokomo), attorney with Noel Law, as chair of the commission.

State Fair Board: The Governor made one reappointment to the board, with a term expiring Sept. 30, 2022: Olgen Williams (Indianapolis), former deputy mayor of the City of Indianapolis.

Statewide 911 Board: The Governor made one new appointment to the board, with a term expiring July 31, 2021: Sheriff Dwane Ford (Jay County).

SUPREMES: RULING IN CELLPHONE CASE - The Indiana Supreme Court has refused to grant a new trial to an Ohio man serving 61 years in prison for robbing two southeastern Indiana liquor stores, despite acknowledging that police searched his cellphone location records without a warrant (Carden, NWI Times). Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Carpenter v. U.S., written by Chief Justice John Roberts, a former LaPorte County resident, that police must procure a search warrant from a judge to access historical customer location records held by telephone companies. The nation's high court then ordered the Hoosier justices to take a second look at their 2017 decision involving Marcus Zanders, 36, in light of Roberts' pronouncement that Americans have a reasonable expectation of privacy in location records that are almost continuously generated, whether or not a wireless phone is in use, as the device pings nearby towers looking for the strongest signal. In a 5-0 decision, the Indiana Supreme Court last week concluded that admitting Zanders' warrantless cellphone location records at his trial was harmless error, and there's no reasonable doubt that the jury still would have convicted him based on all the other evidence in the case.

SUPREMES: WON'T HEAR APARTMENT CASE - The Indiana Supreme Court has narrowly decided that it will not hear an appeal from a Hammond landlord who was ordered by the city to tear out the five apartments he's rented to tenants in what once was a single-family home (Carden, NWI Times). In a 3-2 decision announced Monday, the state's high court declined to grant transfer to Jose Andrade, thereby leaving intact rulings from the Indiana Court of Appeals and Lake Superior Judge Calvin Hawkins that affirmed the order of the Hammond Board of Public Works and Safety for Andrade to remove the apartments.

EDUCATION: ND LAW RANKING UP; IU FALLS - The U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 list of the best law schools brought mixed results for Indiana, with two institutions slipping in the rankings and all three having well over 60 percent of students graduate with average debt of more than $90,000 (Odendahl, Indiana Lawyer). Notre Dame Law School climbed to the 21st slot, up from its 2019 ranking of 24th. Both Indiana University Maurer School of Law and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney fell from last year’s ranking as the Bloomington school sunk two places to the 34th position while the Indianapolis school stumbled 10 slots to 108th place.

WORKFORCE: OPIOID STRATEGRIES EXPLORED - The director of Indiana Workforce Recovery says an event today in Indianapolis aims to help businesses assist employees dealing with substance use disorder. Mike Thibideau says the Employer Opioid Strategy Meeting creates an employer-focused conversation with a goal of providing businesses with the tools they need to help employees who need assistance (Brown, Inside Indiana Business). In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Thibideau said the first thing employers need to to is make sure they have clear and consistent policies. "One of the things that we've seen time and time again with our groups that are providing really great assistance to their people is that an employee knows what will happen if they come forward and that an employer also feels equipped to be transparent and public about that conversation," said Thibideau.

MEDIA: TULLY WILL BE IN JOURNALISM HALL - Late columnist Matthew Tully of The Indianapolis Star heads a class of five inductees this year onto the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame (AP). Tully died of cancer at age 49 in October. He began his career as a reporter for the Gary Post-Tribune and later wrote for the Congressional Quarterly. Also being honored in a ceremony May 18 in Indianapolis are Indiana University lecturer and Indianapolis Star deputy managing editor Nancy Comiskey, Fort Wayne television broadcaster Richard Florea, reporter/editor Andrea Neal, and San Francisco and Terre Haute columnist Stephanie Salter.


WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP WANTS TO CUT GREAT LAKES CLEANUP FUNDS - President Donald Trump is making another attempt to slash federal funding that goes toward cleaning up major U.S. waterways including the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay, even though Congress has thwarted his previous attempts, according to budget documents released Monday (AP). Trump's 2020 spending blueprint for the Environmental Protection Agency proposes cutting most or all federal support for the programs, which benefit waters degraded by years of pollution, overdevelopment and exotic species invasions. His administration has argued repeatedly that state and local governments should foot the bill for nursing the waters back to health. The biggest recipient is the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which was launched under former President Barack Obama in 2010 to deal with longstanding environmental problems in the lakes, which hold nearly one-fifth of the world's fresh surface water. It has distributed about $2.4 billion in support of more than 4,700 projects, including the removal of sediments laced with industrial toxins in harbors and tributary rivers.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP EYES COLLEGES FOR STUDENT LOANS - The White House is weighing a measure that would require colleges and universities to take a financial stake in their students’ ability to repay government loans, an effort that could squeeze loan availability to students and reduce defaults (Wall Street Journal). For several months, Trump administration officials have been discussing enacting such a mechanism or making a push for one in Congress as part of a broader effort to combat rising college costs. In the administration’s budget proposal released Monday, officials made brief mention of a “request to create an educational finance system that requires postsecondary institutions that accept taxpayer funds to have skin in the game through a student loan risk-sharing program.” Such a proposal could be included in a coming executive order addressing higher education, several officials said. A draft of the order isn’t final and the specifics of exactly how a skin-in-the-game provision would work haven’t been laid out. It also isn’t clear whether the White House will back an administration proposal or urge Congress to take one up.

WHITE HOUSE: DEBT UNDER TRUMP POISED TO GO UP 50% - In March of 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump told The Washington Post he could eliminate the entire U.S. debt in eight years. Now that he’s president, Trump is doing the exact opposite (Washington Post). Trump’s budget — his own budget — projects debt held by the public will hit $22.8 trillion by 2025, more than 50 percent higher than the year he took office. (Debt held by the public was $14.7 trillion in 2017.) That’s the rosy forecast. Trump’s budget relies on “gimmicks” to keep the debt rising by “only” that much, experts across the political spectrum say. Trump predicts the economy will grow at a home-run pace with no recessions for the next decade, and he proposes massive cuts to education, health care and other nondefense parts of the budget that will not be enacted.

WHITE HOUSE: NEW YORK AG SUBPOENAS BANKS ON TRUMP PROJECTS - New York Attorney General Letitia James' office issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank late Monday night as part of an inquiry into a set of major Trump Organization projects and Donald Trump's effort to purchase the NFL's Buffalo Bills in 2014, a source familiar with the investigation told NBC News. Regarding Deutsche Bank, state investigators subpoenaed records including loan applications, mortgages, lines of credit and other financing transactions in connection with the Trump International Hotel in Washington, Trump National Doral in South Florida and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, the source said. Additionally, investigators requested records from Deutsche Bank on Trump's failed bid to buy the Bills, as Trump provided the bank with limited personal financial information in 2014 when he tried to purchase the team. The Bills were ultimately sold to businessman Terry Pegula.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - President Trump will be briefed on drug trafficking on the southern border at 1:45 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room. Trump will meet with Senate Republican lawmakers on trade at 3 p.m. in the Cabinet Room. He will take a photo with the 2019 spring White House internship class at 5 p.m. in the East Room.

STATE: U.S. WITHDRAWS PERSONNEL FROM VENEZUELA - The U.S. is withdrawing its remaining diplomatic personnel from the embassy in Venezuela, citing the "deteriorating situation" given days of blackouts, increased water shortages, and the threat of further protests (ABC News). The decision also comes amid growing concern that American diplomats could become a pawn in the battle with President Nicolas Maduro as the U.S. tries to push him from power.

TRANSPORTATION: E.U. GROUNDS BOING 373MAX - The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has grounded the Boeing jet involved in two crashes that have killed more than 300 people (Washington Post). The move follows action earlier Tuesday by the United Kingdom, France, Germany and at least 10 other countries to break with the Federal Aviation Administration and ground the U.S.-made Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, which was involved in a crash Sunday that killed 157 people in Ethiopia. “Following the tragic accident of Ethio¬≠pian Airlines flight ET302 involving a Boeing 737 Max 8, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency is taking every necessary strop to ensure the safety of passengers,” the agency said in a statement.

MUELLER: MANAFORT FACES SECOND SENTENCING TODAY - Paul Manafort is scheduled to receive his second — and final — prison sentence Wednesday morning, bringing an end to Robert Mueller’s most public legal battle and capping a spectacular fall for the globetrotting GOP consultant and former chairman of the Trump campaign (Politico).

LEGAL: STORMY DANIELS CUTS TIES WITH AVENATTI - Attorney Michael Avenatti announced Tuesday that he was no longer representing adult film star Stormy Daniels, cutting ties with a client who had propelled him into the national limelight (Fox News). In a statement posted to Twitter, Avenatti said he had informed Daniels "in writing" last month that his firm was terminating its representation of her "for various reasons that we cannot disclose publicly due to the attorney-client privilege."

CRIME: DOZENS CHARGED IN COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL - Federal prosecutors charged dozens of people on Tuesday in a major college admission scandal that involved wealthy parents, including Hollywood celebrities and prominent business leaders, paying bribes to get their children into elite American universities (New York Times). Thirty-three parents were charged in the case and prosecutors said there could be additional indictments to come. Also implicated were top college coaches, who were accused of accepting millions of dollars to help admit students to Wake Forest, Yale, Stanford, the University of Southern California and other schools, regardless of their academic or sports ability, officials said. The parents included the television star Lori Loughlin and her husband, the fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli; the actress Felicity Huffman; and William E. McGlashan Jr., a partner at the private equity firm TPG, officials said.


CITIES: OPPONENTS OF CARMEL MOSQUE LOSE APPEAL - The Carmel zoning board’s approval of the construction of an Islamic community center was affirmed Tuesday as an appeals court determined opponents of the planned mosque failed to timely file the necessary paperwork to make their case (Stancombe, Statehouse File). On Feb. 27, 2018, the Carmel Board of Zoning Appeals voted 3-2 to issue a special-use zoning permit to the Al-Salam Foundation Inc. to build an Islamic community and worship center at 141st Street and Shelborne Road. The decision came after a five-hour meeting attended by hundreds of people at the Palladium concert hall, including almost 200 attendees who spoke in favor and against the project.

CITIES: NEW INDY PARKING METER HOURS - As of Monday, the City of Indianapolis has changed the hours and days of operation for its parking meters (Fox59). If you park in a metered space, you’ll have to pay between the hours of 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. This is a change from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Metered parking has also been expanded to Saturdays outside of downtown. Parking meters will remain free on Sundays.

CITIES: WESTFIELD COUNCIL APPROVES NEW PARK - The Westfield City Council on Monday night voted to issue a $35 million bond for Grand Junction Plaza in a tight vote (Quinn, IBJ). The 4-3 decision followed a public hearing during which more than a dozen residents spoke for and against the financing plan. Last month, the city presented a funding plan for the six-acre public plaza that calls for a $35 million bond that will be repaid with local income taxes and tax increment financing. City leaders have been planning to construct a downtown park southwest of Main and Union streets for more than a decade. The project arose from a comprehensive land-use plan first approved in 2008 when stakeholders developing the plan called for making downtown Westfield a more vibrant destination.

CITIES: INDY COUNCIL PASSES TIF FOR INFOSYS SITE - A  City-County Council committee granted tentative approval Monday night of proposals that would create two tax-increment financing districts on the west side of Indianapolis—one to encompass the Infosys site at the airport and another to try to spur economic activity in a nearby distressed commercial area (Colombo, IBJ). The council’s Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee voted unanimously to approve the creation of the allocation areas, which would capture new tax revenue generated within the sites and spend it on items such as infrastructure improvements and brownfield remediation. The full council still needs to vote on the proposals.

CITIES: LILLY SEEKS $10M TAX BREAK - Eli Lilly is asking the city of Indianapolis for a $10 million tax break, and they may get it. A City-County Council committee approved the tax break after hearing from Eli Lilly reps Monday night (Davis, WIBC).  While the company won't say whether there will be more jobs created, they are planning to build another $90 million facility. The tax abatement would apply to the new building, which will be used primarily for research into insulin products. "They are being courted by other entities, other countries. It is refreshing to know their commitment to Indianapolis remains steadfast," said Angela Smith-Jones, the deputy mayor for economic development in Indianapolis. The company has been in Indiana for 144 years. Company representatives talked about their commitment to the state, including charity donations. Lilly provides about 30 percent of the United Way of Central Indiana's budget. A brief exchange between a councilor and Lilly representative Michael O'Connor involved that councilor saying she is concerned about "layoffs". O'Connor stated that there were no layoffs and some people took early retirement in 2017.

CITIES: SOUTH BEND COUNCIL REJECTS SOBER HOUSING - Despite acknowledging that the community needs drug treatment aftercare in the midst of the opioids epidemic, the city’s Common Council on Monday night sided with fearful neighbors in rejecting a proposed sober living house on East Jefferson Boulevard (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). The council voted 5-3 to deny a rezoning and special exception request from Battle Creek, Mich.-based TIA Corp. to open a sober living house at 2610 E. Jefferson Blvd.

COUNTIES: ST. JOE TO SPEND $3M ON VOTING MACHINES -  The St. Joseph County Council unanimously decided Tuesday to budget $3 million for new voting machines across the county’s 146 polling locations (Booker, South Bend Tribune). The decision to budget the money came after the county election board, which administers elections, told the council that software updates are no longer available for the current M100 machines, which are more than 15 years old and have been increasingly plagued by maintenance issues. The county Board of Commissioners is expected to consider approving a contract this spring for the machines with the county’s election vendor, Chicago-based RBM Consulting. The vendor is a dealer for California-based Unisyn Voting Solutions, which manufactures the voting equipment. To cover most of the equipment cost, officials plan to tap the county’s local income tax fund, which had a balance of $8.2 million at the end of 2018. The purchase plan also calls for using $264,000 in leftover federal grant money earmarked for election equipment, along with $236,000 that was budgeted for the maintenance of old machines but will no longer be needed for that.

COUNTIES: WORLD WAR II SOLDIER COMING BACK TO PERRY - Seventy-five years after enemy forces shot down his Army Glider over Germany, Pvt. 1st Class Clifford M. Mills is coming home to Perry County (Evansville Courier & Press). The resident of Troy, Indiana, was the oldest of seven children born to Robert and Myrtle Van Winkle Mills and the husband of Ethel Siscel. Mills and his wife had no children. He enlisted in the Army in 1942 after working as a letter carrier and coal hauler. Mills was 29 on Oct. 18, 1944, when he was reported missing in action near Wyler and Zyfflich, Germany. He served with the 319th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division. After a process that involved taking DNA from Mills' brother in Perry County and studying family dental records, Mills’ remains finally were identified on Jan. 29.

COUNTIES: HAMILTON IMPLEMENTS OPIOID ADDICTION PROGRAM - An opioid overdose prevention program has been started in a central Indiana county (Indiana Public Media). Officials say Hamilton County Community Opioid Prevention Efforts Quick Response Teams have been established in Carmel and Westfield as pilot programs. Other parts of the county will be added throughout the year. Each team will be made up of a law enforcement officer, a medic and a peer recovery counselor. Teams hope to meet with patients within 48-72 hours after opioid overdoses to check on them and provide details of available services. Services include counseling by a peer recovery coach and information on treatment to stop repeat overdoses.

COUNTIES: BROWN CHANGES NAME OF PERFORMING ARTS CENTER - Maple Leaf Performing Arts Center is being renamed to the Brown County Music Center. Executive Director Dana Beth Evans says that the name suits the identity of the venue (Ceylan, Indiana Public Media). "We’re taking the name from Brown County, which is our huge market and we’re already branded as Brown County," Evans says. "So why not just take that brand and keep going forward with it?" This is the second name change the venue has undergone in the past month. The board voted in favor of “Sundown at Salt Creek” in mid-February. The board decided to change the name after it created public outcry due to its negative connotations. Historically, sundown towns were towns that banished non-white individuals after sunset.

COUNTIES: BARTHOLOMEW GRAPPLES WITH JAIL OVERCROWDING - Indiana’s recent criminal justice reforms are contributing to overcrowding and rising costs at county jails across the state, including Bartholomew County, jail officials said (Columbus Republic). A recent surge in the number of inmates housed in local county jails mirrors a statewide trend that is due, in part, to the state’s criminal justice reform efforts over the past few years, when the number of felony classes and mandated that certain low-level felons be sent to county jails instead of state prisons. “(The county jail population) just keeps going up,” said Maj. John Martoccia, Bartholomew County Jail commander. “It’s been a struggle. I think any jail would tell you that. Most of the (county) jails are overcrowded.”

COUNTIES: BARTHOLOMEW RESIDENTS FACE FLOODING - Weeks after heavy rains flooded many parts of Indiana, people living in two Bartholomew County neighborhoods still have water in their homes and yards (Indiana Public Media). They say drainage issues are to blame and want the county to fix them.  People living in the Armuth Acres and North Cliff neighborhoods gathered more than 50 signatures urging the county to install a drainage system. But at a meeting on Monday night, the Bartholomew County Drainage Board said it’s not enough — they need signatures from owners of at least 25 percent of the assessed value of the property affected. County Commissioner Carl Lienhoop says even if the county agrees to help pay for a new drainage system, it will likely still be costly for residents.

COUNTIES: DELAWARE COMMISSIONERS SIGN JAIL AGREEMENT - In a special meeting Monday afternoon, the Delaware County Commissioners formally signed off on the "build operate transfer" agreement that will allow for the construction of a new jail (Ohlenkamp, Muncie Star Press). While the commissioners had already approved the plan in December, they had to formally sign off on the agreement. County council, in the second step in the process, approved the plan to enter into a deal with Delaware County Justice Partners LLC in building the jail under the BOT on Feb. 26. The council also approved the funding the commissioners needed to enter into the agreement. The jail proposal will be a $45 million, 500-bed jail in the former ASONS/Wilson Middle School building. The new jail aims to address overcrowding issues with the current jail, which was judged inadequate by the state.

COUNTIES: GREENE SEEKS INVASIVE SPECIES PROGRAM - Greene County residents are collaborating to form a new Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area to help mitigate the county’s issues with invasive plants (Indiana Public Media). Residents at a public meeting Monday night said they want to better identify and control the invasive species they’ve spotted on their properties. Amber Slaughterbeck is a Regional Specialist for the Indiana Invasives Initiative. She says the volunteer taskforce can help bring awareness about the dangers of invasive species. "One of the things that we really want folks to do is to educate yourself before you purchase plants," Slaughterbeck says. "Before you put your shovel in the ground, make sure you know what you’re planting."

COUNTIES: LAKE REMOVING BEAVER DAMS - Beavers, who live among us in Northwest Indiana by the thousands, are popularly thought of as hardworking and adorable enough they populate children's literature and cartoons (Dolan, NWI Times). But not to Lake and Porter County surveyors, who are among other state and local officials who set trappers on dozens of the semiaquatic rodents annually. Lake County government calls it their beaver relocation program. They are being relocated to that great beaver lodge in the sky. "A state restriction that you must relocate within your county is part of the problem. There is no sanctuary we can take them to in Lake County. We don't want to relocate a live beaver to another area to cause problems. So our contractor euthanizes them," Lake County Surveyor William Emerson Jr. said. Lake County has bagged 141 beavers from 2016 through 2018.