INDIANA PHONE BAN WHILE DRIVING COMING JULY 1: Indiana next week becomes the 22nd state, including Illinois, to prohibit drivers from holding or using a handheld mobile device while operating a moving vehicle (Carden, NWI Times). Under House Enrolled Act 1070, which takes effect July 1, drivers still are free to use their phones if the device is mounted on a dashboard, another surface in their vehicle, or otherwise operated in hands-free mode. Motorists also can hold and use a mobile device while their vehicle is stopped. But a driver with a phone in his or her hand while their vehicle is moving — regardless of whether the device is being used — can be stopped by police, fined up to $500, and potentially lose their driver's license for repeat violations, according to the statute.

SUPREME COURT RULES IN UNLOCKING PHONE CASE: A Carmel woman who was held in contempt when she refused to unlock her smartphone for police during a criminal investigation is protected by the U.S. Constitution, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a decision that could impact how law enforcement uses technology to gather evidence (South Bend Tribune). The court reversed the contempt order against Katelin Seo, finding that forcing Seo to unlock her iPhone for police would violate her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. “By unlocking her smartphone, Seo would provide law enforcement with information it does not already know, which the State could then use in its prosecution against her. The Fifth Amendment’s protection from compelled self-incrimination prohibits this result,” the court said.

BRAUN INTRODUCES QUALIFIED IMMUNITY REFORMS: U.S. Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) will introduce the Reforming Qualified Immunity Act (Howey Politics Indiana). “Without any direction from Congress, our judicial branch has unilaterally created and defined qualified immunity," Braun said. "It’s time Congress does their job to establish a qualified immunity law that defends law enforcement, while protecting the rights of the people. To claim qualified immunity under the Reforming Qualified Immunity Act, a government employee such as a police officer would have to prove that there was a statute or court case in the relevant jurisdiction showing his or her conduct was authorized: a meaningful change that will help law enforcement and the citizens they protect.”The modern doctrine of qualified immunity has been used to protect law enforcement officers who: Assaulted and consequently broke the collarbone of an unarmed and nonviolent woman; Released a police dog on an unarmed person who had surrendered; The Reforming Qualified Immunity Act re-instates the original qualified immunity standard. Government employees, including law enforcement officers, would be permitted to claim qualified immunity when sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 only when: Conduct alleged to be unlawful had previously been authorized or required by federal or state statute or regulation. 

NFIB SAYS HOOSIER BUSINESSES UNDER DURESS: The NFIB Research Center released a survey with an update on the state of small business and the progress with federal loan programs. Twenty-seven percent of owners reported experiencing a significant or moderate increase in sales due to eased restrictions in the states. Another 27% reported a slight increase and 42% of owners said sales levels did not change (Howey Politics Indiana). “The economy is showing signs of life and small businesses are reporting increased sales. However, we are far from out of the woods,” said NFIB State Director in Indiana, Barbara Quandt. “Many who’ve received assistance are saying it was helpful short term but they will need more to help them survive this crisis.”

FAUCI SEES 'DISTURBING' COVID TREND: Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told House lawmakers that the nation is experiencing a “disturbing surge” of coronavirus infections as states reopen too quickly and without adequate plans for testing and tracing the contacts of those infected (New York Times). In a break with President Trump’s relentlessly positive assessments of the pandemic’s trajectory in the United States, Dr. Fauci told the house Energy and Commerce Committee that the picture is a “mixed bag,” with some bright spots but many dark clouds and unknowns. Some states like New York, are “doing very well” in controlling the spread of the virus, he said, but called the surge in other states “very troublesome to me.” “The next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surges we are seeing in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and other states,” Dr. Fauci told the panel as he and other leaders of the White House coronavirus task force appeared together for the first time in more than a month to brief Congress.

NOTRE DAME MUM ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: University of Notre Dame officials declined Tuesday to say whether they’ll proceed with plans to host the first presidential debate Sept. 29 between Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, after the University of Michigan announced it had canceled its debate (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). On Tuesday, Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown declined an interview request, referring The Tribune to the commission, even though the commission doesn’t make the decision.

BIDEN SURGES TO 14% LEAD OVER TRUMP IN NYT/SIENA POLL: Joseph R. Biden Jr. has taken a commanding lead over President Trump in the 2020 race, building a wide advantage among women and nonwhite voters and making deep inroads with some traditionally Republican-leaning groups that have shifted away from Mr. Trump following his ineffective response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new national poll of registered voters by the New York Times and Siena College. Mr. Biden is currently ahead of Mr. Trump by 14 percentage points, garnering 50 percent of the vote compared with 36 percent for Mr. Trump. That is among the most dismal showings of Mr. Trump’s presidency, and a sign that he is the clear underdog right now in his fight for a second term. Mr. Biden leads Mr. Trump by enormous margins with black and Hispanic voters, and women and young people appear on track to choose Mr. Biden by an even wider margin than they favored Hillary Clinton over Mr. Trump in 2016. But the former vice president has also drawn even with Mr. Trump among male voters, whites and people in middle age and older — groups that have typically been the backbones of Republican electoral success, including Mr. Trump’s in 2016.Most stark may be Mr. Biden’s towering advantage among white women with college degrees, who support him over Mr. Trump by 39 percentage points. In 2016, exit polls found that group preferred Mrs. Clinton to Mr. Trump by just 7 percentage points.

TRUMP WANTS 2ND ROUND OF STIMULUS CHECKS: President Trump has told aides he is largely supportive of sending Americans another round of stimulus checks, expressing the belief that the payments will boost the economy and help his chances at reelection in November, according to three people aware of internal administration deliberations (Washington Post). However, leading congressional Republicans and some senior White House officials remain skeptical of sending more checks, creating a rift within conservative circles that could have significant consequences for the stimulus package set to be taken up by lawmakers in July. The White House has not officially taken a position on the matter.

JACKSONVILLE RESIDENTS DON'T WANT RNC IN CITY:  Jacksonville voters don’t want the Republican National Committee’s convention to come to town, with most expressing concern that the event could spread the coronavirus (Politico). A poll by the University of North Florida found that 58 percent of Jacksonville voters surveyed oppose the RNC convention, and 42 percent support it. Seventy-one percent said they were concerned the coronavirus would spread due to the convention, and 65 percent said they worried about “social unrest,” the poll showed.

HISTORIC LANDMARKS TO HONOR JUDY O'BANNON:  In recognition of more than 50 years of personal involvement and public advocacy, Judy O’Bannon is the recipient of Indiana Landmarks’ 2020 Williamson Prize for outstanding leadership in historic preservation (News & Tribune). For five decades, the former first lady of Indiana has been a relatable leader, hands-on preservationist and vocal champion for the value of historic places. A news release issued by Indiana Landmarks noted that O'Bannon helped launch the Indiana Main Street program, played an instrumental role in saving individual meaningful structures, engaged countless Hoosiers in preservation efforts, and produced an award-winning TV series demonstrating the impact preservation can have on communities. “Judy O’Bannon has been a powerful advocate and ally, really humanizing historic preservation and bringing it down to a personal level,” said Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks. “She’s been uniquely effective in messaging and using her position to reach people.”

MLB TO PLAY 60-GAME SCHEDULE BEGINNING JULY 23 - Major League Baseball issued a 60-game schedule Tuesday night that will start July 23 or 24 in empty ballparks as the sport tries to push ahead amid the coronavirus following months of acrimony (AP). Each team will play 10 games against each of its four division rivals and four games vs. each of the five clubs in the corresponding division in the other league, according to details obtained by The Associated Press. A team is scheduled to make only one trip to each city it visits in MLB’s shortest season since 1878.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: In Thursday's weekly edition of Howey Politics Indiana, we'll analyze where the presidential and INGOP attorney general races stand. We'll also examine the coming fiscal storm facing Indiana municipalities. Look for it around 9 a.m. Thursday. - Brian A. Howey


MYERS UNVEILS CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMS: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Woody Myers unveiled a criminal justice reform plan that mandates new training for police, shifts funding to social services and decriminalizes marijuana (Smith, Indiana Public Media). The plan includes reducing the prison population, investing in minority communities, measures to address police brutality and more oversight of law enforcement. He does not agree with the phrase “defund the police” – though parts of his plan align with some who advocate that policy. He wants to reprioritize funding toward "holistic, inter-sectional approaches in public safety" – for instance, helping mental health professionals address what he views as mental health challenges. “I would just prefer that we do more of that so that our police can truly deal with the violent crimes that are out there,” Myers said.

BANKS OPPONENT CRITICAL OF SCHOOL FUNDING BILL: Rep. Jim Banks’ opponent Chip Coldiron told WANE 15 that Banks’ Reopen Our Schools Act is irresponsible (WANE-TV). “They are already strained to the max, and to threaten to take any money away I think it is very irresponsible for someone who says he wants to do the best for the students,” said Coldiron. “If you want to do the best for the students get out there and talk to the superintendent and find out how you can actually help them.” The legislation, authored by Banks and Rep. Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin, would prohibit schools (elementary to university) from receiving federal funds unless they reopen by Sept. 8. Only in-person classes count as re-opening, the bill suggests.

McGRATH LEADING IN KY DEM SENATE RACE: Early results from Kentucky's primary election Tuesday showed former fighter pilot Amy McGrath with the lead over state Rep. Charles Booker in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, but it'll be a while before Kentucky and the nation will learn who will take on Sen. Mitch McConnell in the fall (Louisville Courier-Journal). Partial voting results had come in for 1,873 of 3,685 precincts statewide as of about 10 p.m. Tuesday. McGrath led Booker 45% to 36%, with retired Marine and Kentucky farmer Mike Broihier the next-closest candidate with about 6.5% of the vote. However, the full results of the election aren't expected to be released until June 30, including returns from Jefferson and Fayette counties, the state's largest population centers.

TRUMP ENDORSED CD CANDIDATE LOSES IN NC LANDSLIDE: President Donald Trump’s perfect endorsement record in GOP primary elections crashed with a thud Tuesday night when his choice for an open seat in Western North Carolina was drubbed by a 24-year-old first-time candidate (Politico). The result of the GOP primary runoff in North Carolina's 11th Congressional District was a major embarrassment for Trump’s new chief of staff, Mark Meadows, with many senior Republicans punting the blame toward him. Trump and Meadows went all in for Lynda Bennett, a real-estate agent who is a close friend of the Meadows, only to see her routed by Madison Cawthorn, a businessman who was partially paralyzed in a car accident. Cawthorn led Bennett by around 30 points when The Associated Press called the race.

BUTTIGIEG AID JOINS DNC: Chris Meagher, former Pete Buttigieg press secretary, is joining the DNC as deputy communications director (Politico Playbook).

WINRED RAISES $450M FOR GOP: WinRed, the online Republican fundraising platform designed to counter Democrats' ActBlue, has raised $450 million since launching a year ago today (Axios). Why it matters: WinRed takes an ecumenical approach, sweeping in everyone from the Trump campaign to congressional leaders to GOP renegades. By the numbers: 850 campaigns currently raise money through the platform. 100% of state Republican parties and 85% of House and Senate members use WinRed. Average donation: $38. 370,000 donors were converted to volunteers. The 24-hour record: $14 million on June 14, President Trump's birthday.

INGOP HIRING INTERNS: The Indiana Republican Party is seeking interns (Howey Politics Indiana). "We are currently hiring political interns to work in the field across Indiana! Interns play a critical role in the Indiana Republican Party team. This is your opportunity to work for a great cause, while also gaining professional and knowledgeable experience." Political Intern Job Description: Gain first-hand experience in implementing a grassroots plan including phone banks and door to door activities; Manage candidate and campaign information; Research for various projects; May need to travel. To apply, please submit your resume to

Presidential 2020

TRUMP APPEARS BEFORE PACKED CROWD IN AZ: After a disappointing showing at his campaign rally over the weekend, President Donald Trump renewed his performance for a packed crowd of students on Tuesday, telling his Arizona audience that they were guardians in a cultural war over the heritage of the country (Politico). “We’re here today to declare that we will never cave to the left wing and the left-wing intolerance,” the president said at a Students for Trump event in Phoenix. The appearance, at the Dream City megachurch, was one of his first rallies since taking a three-month hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic. Images from the event showed a large crowd tightly packed together, with almost no one wearing protective masks. There were no temperature checks for the estimated 3,000 cheering attendees who, like many of Trump’s staunchest fans, ignored a new local ordinance requiring them to wear a mask, despite a public-health plea from the Democratic mayor on Monday.

OBAMA RAISES $4M FOR BIDEN: Former President Barack Obama raised more than $4 million from 120,000 individual donors ahead of his first fundraiser for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden (Politico). The small-dollar fundraiser Tuesday night will be held online and offers a fresh test of Obama's ability to transfer his popularity to Biden, his former vice president who is now seeking the White House on his own. It's a kickoff of what Obama’s team says will likely be a busy schedule heading into the fall, as he looks to help elect not just Biden but Democrats running for House and Senate.

MIAMI DEBATE MAY BE WITHOUT AUDIENCE: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez says he would welcome the presidential debate moving to his city in October, but he has doubts about whether it can be held with an audience because of coronavirus (Politico). The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Tuesday that it would move the Oct. 15 debate to Miami after the University of Michigan canceled it, citing safety concerns. But the Miami area has been a coronavirus hotspot for months in Florida, and Suarez — who had contracted coronavirus in March — isn’t so sure about having a large debate move to his city. “Right now, we are not in Phase 3 so I can’t see it today being hosted with people in the audience. Impossible to predict where we will be on October 15,” Suarez said in a text message to POLITICO. “It’s possible that we may already be in Phase 3 by then, and it’s also possible that the debate can be held without people in the audience.”


AFP BACKS BRAUN QUALIFIED IMMUNITY BILL: Following Senator Mike Braun’s introduction of the Reforming Qualified Immunity Act, Americans for Prosperity-Indiana announced its support of this bill that takes a needed step toward improving policing standards (Howey Politics Indiana). AFP-IN State Director Michael Chartier issued the following statement: "Sen. Braun’s quick introduction of legislation to reform qualified immunity is a necessary first step toward achieving greater accountability and trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. For too long, qualified immunity has eroded the trust between the majority of good officers and Hoosiers by shielding some bad officers from being held accountable. Everyone should be equal under the law. We commend Senator Braun for working to increase accountability in the justice system and we’ll work to educate Hoosiers on this issue and mobilize support for this common-sense reform.”

YOUNG URGES JUSTICE ACT PASSAGE: Indiana Sen. Todd Young is co-sponsoring the Justice Act, which is the Senate GOP plan to tackle police reform throughout the United States (WIBC). The bill was authored by Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who is the Senate’s only African-American Republican. The bill seeks several provisions and rules that police departments across the country would be expected to follow if the bill becomes law. “From South Bend to Indianapolis, down to New Albany, what I consistently heard was ‘Todd, we don’t want outrage, we want outcomes,” Young said. “We want Congress and the president to act and here we are poised to act.”

General Assembly

REP. PORTER PUSHES FOR CARES ACT TRANSPARENCY: State Rep. Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis) again pushed for meaningful transparency and oversight of the federal stimulus money allotted to Indiana in the Coronavirus Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act at a State Budget Committee hearing on June 17 (Howey Politics Indiana). Porter stressed the unparalleled importance of delivering this relief in the targeted and effective manner this crisis demands, and expressed his discontent for the Governor's decision to not involve the legislature or State Budget Committee in the decision-making process. He urged his colleagues on the State Budget Committee to work within their purview to oversee the nearly $1.9 billion still left to be allocated. "I sincerely believe that transparency and accountability are key characteristics of the duties and responsibilities carried out by the State Budget Committee," Porter said. "Unlike the leadership in almost all other states, the Holcomb administration has not provided real transparency or accountability in regards to how CARES Act funding is being allocated. It is past time for the State Budget Committee to get involved and ensure the will of the people and the Indiana General Assembly is being upheld. The workings of the State Budget Committee are public record and subject to scrutiny, unlike the Governor's Economic Relief and Recovery Team which meets behind closed doors, doesn't keep meeting minutes, or make decisions public record."

NEW LAWS TAKING EFFECT ON JULY 1: Gov. Eric Holcomb signed 167 new state laws approved by the Republican-controlled Indiana House and Senate during the 2020 legislative session (Carden, NWI Times). While a few "emergency" laws took effect immediately, such Senate Enrolled Act 2, holding schools harmless from the impact of lackluster student performance on the new ILEARN standardized test, most of the new statutes enacted by the Republican chief executive take effect July 1. Here's a look at notable new laws Hoosiers should know about:

911 fee: The Statewide 911 Board is authorized to increase the fee paid by all telephone users for access to 911 emergency services to $1.10 per month, from $1. (HEA 1235)

Abortion: Women completing a pill-induced abortion away from a clinic or hospital are encouraged — but not required — to collect the embryonic remains and return them to the abortion provider for burial or cremation. (SEA 299)

Breast prostheses: Health insurance sold in Indiana that provides coverage for mastectomies must also provide coverage for custom fabricated breast prostheses, including one additional breast prosthesis per breast affected by the mastectomy. (SEA 239)

Cancer screening: Health insurance companies, in most circumstances, are obligated to cover colorectal cancer screening beginning at age 45, instead of 50, in accordance with a recent recommendation by the American Cancer Society. (HEA 1080)

Child sex crimes: The statute of limitations for filing charges against perpetrators of sex crimes against children can be extended five years beyond the victim's 31st birthday if prosecutors discover new DNA evidence, a recording of the crime or the perpetrator confesses. The deadline for victims to seek assistance from the Violent Crimes Victim Compensation Fund also is extended. (SEA 109)

Chinese tech: Every state agency and department, including universities, and every local unit of government in Indiana, is barred from spending public funds to purchase services or products, including 5G networking equipment, produced or provided by Huawei Technologies or ZTE Corporation, due to their alleged surveillance and espionage work on behalf of the Chinese government. (SEA 197)

Gary schools: The Indiana Distressed Unit Appeals Board may suspend the $550,000 in monthly debt repayments of the Gary Community School Corp. to the state's Common School Fund and instead use the money for school building repairs or demolition. (HEA 1065)

Griffith: The town of Griffith has until June 30 to voluntarily join either North or St. John townships, otherwise Griffith automatically becomes part of North Township. The town's voter-approved transfer out of Calumet Township becomes final Jan. 1, 2022. (SEA 365)

Health pricing: Hospitals, same-day surgery centers and urgent care clinics are required by March 31, 2021 to post on their websites the costs of their most frequently used services. The Indiana Department of Insurance is directed to begin the process of creating an all-payer claims database to improve health care pricing transparency. (SEA 5)

Indigency: Judges in all 92 counties must consider the same criteria — assets, income and necessary expenses — to determine whether a criminal defendant lacks sufficient financial resources to hire a private attorney and is entitled to use the public defender. (SEA 302)

Insulin: A prescription no longer is required to purchase insulin in Indiana beginning Jan. 1, 2021. (SEA 255)

Lake Michigan: The shoreline of Lake Michigan up to the ordinary high-water mark is, and always has been, owned by the state, and Hoosiers have a right to use the shoreline for walking, fishing, boating, swimming and any other recreational purpose for which Lake Michigan ordinarily is used. Adjacent private property owners are not entitled to exclusive use of the beach or the water. (House Enrolled Act 1385)

Marriage: The minimum age to marry in Indiana is increased to 16 years old from 15. Children ages 16 and 17 only can marry if their partner is no more than four years older and a juvenile court judge grants permission for the marriage. (HEA 1006)

Medical billing: Most health care providers must prepare, upon request, a good faith estimate of the costs of nonemergency health care services ordered or scheduled for a patient to minimize surprise medical bills. The requirement takes effect July 1, 2021, though providers may voluntarily comply sooner. (HEA 1004)

Microchipping: Employers are prohibited from mandating the implantation of any identity or tracking device in a worker or job candidate, unless the person voluntarily consents to having something put into their body. (HEA 1143)

Online eye exam: Hoosiers between ages 18 and 55 may procure a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses through telemedicine, so long as they've undergone an in-person eye exam and/or contact lens fitting in the previous two years. Only two online eye exams are permitted in a two-year period before a subsequent in-person exam is required. (SEA 19)

Organ donation: Hoosiers may indicate intent to donate their organs upon death on a state-issued hunting, fishing or trapping license, in addition to a driver's license, state identification card or donor registry. (SEA 288)

Out-of-state prescriptions: Indiana pharmacists are obligated to fill a prescription issued by an advance practice registered nurse or physician assistant licensed in another state, just as they would fill a prescription written by an out-of-state physician, podiatrist, dentist or veterinarian. (SEA 21)

RDA transit: Three members are added to the board of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority solely to vote on issues relating to transit development districts. The new members — one each from Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties — are appointed by the governor from a list of candidates nominated before July 1 by the commissioners in each county. (SEA 367)

Resource officers: School corporations and charter schools must annually report to the Indiana Department of Education the number of school resource officers they employ for building and student protection. The department also is required to compile a statewide total of school resource officers. (SEA 132)

School water: Officials responsible for a school building must have its water fountains and taps tested for lead by Jan. 1, 2023, unless it previously has been tested and found in compliance since 2016. In Lake County, the water equipment in every school building must also be tested for lead at least every other year starting in 2023. (HEA 1265)

Sex assault victims: Victims of sexual assault have a statutory right to a no-cost forensic medical exam, the right to speak with a victim advocate or social worker during a hospital visit for the exam, and a law enforcement officer investigating the assault must provide notice of those rights to the victim. (SEA 146)

Small claims: The maximum value of a case eligible for judgment in a small claims court is increased to $8,000 from $6,000. (HEA 1313)

Smoking age: Hoosiers under age 21 are prohibited from buying or possessing cigarettes, electronic cigarettes or vaping products under state law, as well as federal statutes. Indiana retailers who sell tobacco products to underage purchasers may face fines of between $400 and $2,000, double the previous fines. New tobacco retailers cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a school. (Senate Enrolled Act 1)

Teacher evaluations: A state mandate that annual teacher evaluations and linked pay increases be largely based on student ILEARN test results is eliminated. (HEA 1002)

Unemployment: Indiana businesses will continue paying the same unemployment insurance rates to the state through at least 2025, instead of the rates automatically being reduced sometime after July 1, 2021. (HEA 1111)


ISDH: TUESDAY STATS - The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) today announced that 331 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. That brings to 42,871 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s total. Intensive care unit and ventilator capacity remains steady. As of today, nearly 38 percent of ICU beds and more than 81 percent of ventilators are available. A total of 2,377 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of 14 over the previous day. Another 192 probable deaths have been reported based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record. Deaths are reported based on when data are received by ISDH and occurred over multiple days. To date, 426,376 tests have been reported to ISDH, up from 418,916 on Monday.

ATTORNEY GENERAL: HILL SEEKS SUPREME COURT REVIEW OF CHILD ABUSE CASE - Attorney General Curtis Hill has asked the Indiana Supreme Court to provide greater clarity to trial courts regarding their discretion in deciding whether to grant pretrial release to defendants and at what levels to set bail (Howey Politics Indiana). Specifically, Attorney General Hill asked for a review of a Jefferson County case involving a man accused of four felonies in connection with the physical abuse and neglect of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son resulting in extensive head, neck, and body injuries. The trial court in that case set bail and denied a subsequent request for a bail reduction, citing the lengthy sentence faced by the defendant and his risk to the safety of the victim and community. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed, judging the trial court was prohibited from considering the child victim’s injuries, the defendant’s alleged conduct, and the possible sentence if the defendant is ultimately found guilty. The appellate court’s decision took too narrow a view of state law, Attorney General Hill said.

ATTORNEY GENERAL: HILL SEEKS POLICE SUPPORT FROM CONG DELEGATION - Attorney General Curtis Hill this week called on congressional leaders to assist in tempering anti-police rhetoric that is endangering officers across the United States (Howey Politics Indiana). Attorney General Hill, along with 10 other attorneys general and two sheriffs associations, asked congressional leaders in a letter this week to discourage dangerous disinformation and help restore Americans’ faith in law enforcement nationwide. The letter was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “The tragic and preventable death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers shined a national spotlight on bad actors within the law-enforcement profession,” the letter states. “At the same time, data simply does not support claims that law enforcement is systemically racist or structurally biased.”

FBI: KEENAN TO HEAD INDY OFFICE - FBI Director Christopher Wray has named Paul Keenan as the special agent in charge of the Indianapolis field office, the agency announced Tuesday (IBJ). Keenan succeeds Grant Mendenhall, who became Community Security Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis in April. Keenan most recently was chief of the Investigative and Operations Support Section in the Critical Incident Response Group in Washington, D.C. Among other responsibilities, he led the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, which is comprised of five Behavioral Analysis Units, popularized on the CBS drama “Criminal Minds.”

EDUCATION: BSU OUTLINES REOPENING PLAN - Ball State University is planning for students to return for the fall semester with new safety and instruction guidelines. Plans are still being formalized, but all classes will still commence on August 24 with more class sessions in the evenings and possibly on weekends. Larger classes may also be divided into smaller sections or taught online (Parker, Inside Indiana Business). Faculty have been instructed to prepare courses to allow for face-to-face instruction and online learning, based on current conditions. Faculty will front-load instruction to be able to complete activities before Thanksgiving break. Classes after break, including final projects and exams, will be completed online. The originally planned two-day Fall break will be canceled and class sessions will be held on Labor Day to allow for a full 13 weeks of in-person classes. Students will be expected to wear face coverings during in-person classes, with some exceptions. The entire policy on student/faculty face mask/shield wearing and other safety guidelines can be found in the university's full return plan.

EDUCATION: PURDUE STUDENTS TO GET HEALTH KITS - Purdue University is continuing to prepare for the fall semester. Part of those preparations include providing kits for each student (WLFI-TV). Purdue President Mitch Daniels says each student will receive a kit with health supplies when they arrive to campus.The kits will be distributed as part of the normal orientation process for all students. Some of the supplies in the kits will be a mask, hand sanitizer and thermometers. "It has a thermometer, their own Purdue thermometer, because taking your temperature every day is a great way to catch the symptoms on the front end," said Daniels.

EDUCATION: PURDUE EXPELS STUDENT FOR RACIST COMMENTS - Purdue University issued a statement Tuesday that Purdue President Mitch Daniels announced the immediate expulsion of undergraduate student Maxwell Lawrence for racist texts and video comments made online (WLFI-TV). According to the statement:  "The president determined that, in addition to being racist and despicable, repeated statements posted on social media by Lawrence appear plainly intended to incite others and therefore create a risk of public safety issues in the current environment." The issue was first brought to the attention of the University last week and officials had concluded that the statements made by Lawrence were protected speech under the First Amendment and University policy. However, after reviewing the incident, President Daniels decided to take action on the issue, calling Lawrence’s conduct "completely and utterly unacceptable by a member of the Purdue community and cited the danger Lawrence poses to public safety."

EDUCATION: VIRTUAL ENROLLMENT FOR 21ST CENTURY SCHOLARS - To assist students and families in enrolling in the state’s 21st Century Scholars program, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education is hosting virtual enrollment events on June 25 and June 29 ahead of the June 30 enrollment deadline (Howey Politics Indiana). Students and families can access help through the Commission’s Learn More Indiana social media platforms, which will be staffed by Commission employees during the live events. Staff will be answering questions related to enrollment and program requirements. The deadline to enroll in the 21st Century Scholars program is June 30 of a student’s eighth grade year.

INDOT: I-70 BETWEEM SOUTH SPLIT, AIRPORT REOPENS - The Indiana Department of Transportation has reopened the eastbound lanes of I-70 from the west side to downtown nearly a week ahead of schedule (WTHR-TV). The interstate was expected to be closed between the Indianapolis International Airport and the south split until June 28 as crews worked to patch concrete and work on bridge joints and decks during the closure. Tuesday evening, INDOT tweeted photos of crews removing orange barrels from the worksite, which stretched from Ronald Reagan Parkway to downtown.

INDOT: CHANGES ON REAGAN RAMP TO I-74 - The Indiana Department of Transportation announces the I-74 westbound exit ramp to Ronald Reagan Parkway (Exit 68) will be re-striped to add dual left turn lanes.  This work should take place on or after Wednesday, June 24 (Howey Politics Indiana). When completed the lane use will be a left turn only for one lane and the other will be a shared left, through and right turn lane. 

SPORTS: IU ATHLETES TEST NEGATIVE FOR COVID - Indiana University Athletics has conducted nearly 200 COVID-19 tests on IU athletes, coaches and staff without a single positive result so far (Indiana Public Media). According to a Tuesday news release, doctors have administered 187 tests for the virus since June 9. Members of IU's men's and women's basketball teams and football team were allowed back on campus starting June 15 for voluntary workouts and have since been completing daily medical checks and abiding by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. The news release said IU Athletics' pandemic response and protocols were determined by IU Athletics Medical Advisory Group.


WHITE HOUSE: FAUCI SAYS NO TESTING SLOW DOWN - The federal government’s top infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Tuesday that he and colleagues haven’t “ever been told to slow down on testing” for the coronavirus, a statement that ran counter to what President Trump recently said at a rally Saturday (Wall Street Journal). Mr. Trump said at the rally in Tulsa, Okla., on Saturday that he had asked the government to slow testing because higher numbers look bad. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday cast the remark as a joke and said the president didn’t direct his staff to slow the rate of testing. Dr. Fauci said at the hearing Tuesday, “it’s the opposite. We’re going to be doing more testing, not less.” The president spoke out against greater levels of testing, saying it was time to “slow the testing down, please.”

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SAYS 'I DON'T KID' ON TESTING SLOW DOWN - President Donald Trump on Tuesday insisted he was serious when he revealed that he had directed his administration to slow coronavirus testing in the United States, shattering the defenses of senior White House aides who argued Trump’s remarks were made in jest (Politico). “I don’t kid. Let me just tell you. Let me make it clear,” Trump told reporters, when pressed on whether his comments at a campaign event Saturday in Tulsa, Okla., were intended as a joke. “We have got the greatest testing program anywhere in the world. We test better than anybody in the world. Our tests are the best in the world, and we have the most of them. By having more tests, we find more cases,” he continued. Administration officials as high ranking as Vice President Mike Pence have scrambled in recent days to clean up Trump’s statements from his weekend rally, where he reprised his dubious logic regarding testing rates before an arena of supporters.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP VOWS TO ARREST PROTESTERS - President Trump tweeted Tuesday that protesters will be met with “serious force” if they establish an autonomous zone near the White House and said that federal officials would seek long sentences for anyone toppling statues or vandalizing monuments (Washington Post). The comments in early morning tweets and statements came after a chaotic day of protest in the District on Monday, during which protesters unsuccessfully attempted to pull down a statue of President Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square and tried to cordon off a section of a street near the White House before police removed them.

WHITE HOUSE: PENCE TAKES A SPILL WHILE BOARDING AF2 - Vice President Mike Pence took a spill while he was climbing the stairs to board Air Force Two on Tuesday morning but appeared to be just fine, recovering and indicating that nothing was wrong (Fox News). As he reached a landing near the top of the portable staircase, Pence tripped and fell but quickly gathered himself and gave a thumbs up to observers. Pence was en route to Wisconsin, where he is scheduled to attend a roundtable discussion on school choice with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

WHITE HOUSE: PENCE IN LORDSTOWN THURSDAY - Vice President Mike Pence will be visiting the Valley this week (WYTV). Pence will be in Ohio and part of his trip will include a stop for the reveal of the Lordstown Motors Endurance all-electric pickup truck Thursday. He is expected to speak at the reveal before participating in an event with law enforcement and community leaders.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - President Trump will participate in the arrival of Polish President Andrzej Duda at 2:15 p.m. in the West Wing lobby. Trump will participate in a bilateral meeting with Duda at 2:20 p.m. in the Oval Office, followed by an expanded bilateral meeting in the Cabinet Room at 2:45 p.m. Trump and Duda will participate in a joint press conference at 3:30 p.m. in the Rose Garden.

KENTUCKY: LOUISVILLE COP FIRED FOR TAYLOR SHOOTING - The Louisville Metro police department has fired one of the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, more than three months after the 26-year-old Black woman was killed in her home (AP). A termination letter sent to Officer Brett Hankison released by the city’s police department Tuesday said Hankinson violated procedures by showing “extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he “wantonly and blindly” shot 10 rounds of gunfire into Taylor’s apartment in March. The letter also said Hankison, who is white, violated the rule against using deadly force.

SPORTS: FBI DETERMINES NOOSE HAD BEEN IN WALLACE'S GARAGE - The noose found hanging in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway had been there since at least last October, federal authorities said Tuesday in announcing there will be no charges filed in an incident that rocked NASCAR and its only fulltime Black driver (Politico). U.S. Attorney Jay Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. said its investigation determined “although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week.”


EVANSVILLE: COUNCILMAN CALLS COLLEAGUES 'DIXIECRATS' - An Evansville city councilman is calling for Council President Alex Burton to step down after a comment Burton posted on social media. “The city’s number one problem is the person sitting in that President’s chair,” at-large council member Jonathan Weaver stated (Gorman, WFIE-TV). City Council President Alex Burton wrote on Facebook that he has nothing nice to say about how Monday night's meeting played out. Burton ended his comments by saying, “The two Dixiecrats are awful and are an embarrassment to our city. Period.”

ANDERSON: FOP SAYS OFFICERS DIDN'T GET DUE PROCESS — The union representing the two Anderson Police Department officers placed on administrative leave with pay contends due process was not followed (de la Bastide, Anderson Herald Bulletin). Officers Brandon Reynolds and Ashley Gravely were placed on administrative leave with pay on June 15 by Chief Jake Brown and Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. after a video surfaced showing one of the officers appearing to apply a chokehold during an arrest.  “One of the primary functions of the Anderson FOP is to support our membership,” Anderson Fraternal Order of Police president Mike Anderson said in a press release. “That membership includes Officers Ashley Gravely and Brandon Reynolds." An edited 42-second video shows Reynolds using a chokehold on Spencer Dakota Nice, 21, as the two officers arrested Nice on June 13, two days after Broderick and Brown announced a ban on the use of chokeholds.  The officers later charged Nice with resisting arrest. “Like those whom we proudly serve, due process is an essential mandate for police officers,” Anderson wrote. “To accuse either of a violation of departmental policy before reviewing all the facts and evidence would be both short-sighted, and irresponsible.”

INDIANAPOLIS: REED FIRED GUN TWICE — New details obtained by Call 6 Investigates in the shooting death of Dreasjon Reed by an IMPD officer last month show that the officer-involved fired his gun more than 10 times and the gun found next to Reed’s body was also fired twice (Sanchez, WRTV). Call 6 Investigates has learned that the weapon found lying next to Reed had been fired twice and two casings were found at the scene. The investigation also showed that Officer Mercer fired his gun more than 10 times during the exchange.

INDIANAPOLIS: CITY TO PROVIDE PPE TO NFPs — Indianapolis is providing details on a grant program for nonprofits to get personal protective equipment (WTHR-TV). The $2 million program uses money from the CARES Act and will award grants in amounts between $200 and $5,000. Indianapolis nonprofit organizations can use the money for reimbursement of purchases of personal PPE, disinfectant products and capital improvements needed to maintain safety measures for social distancing.

INDIANAPOLIS: INDY CONTINUES LITTER PICKUP - The Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) will continue to deploy contracted Keys to Work crews out across the city after teams began working regularly last week to remove roadside litter and illegal dumping. While this work was temporarily suspended this spring due to COVID-19, DPW has coordinated with Keys to Work to ensure that extra precautions as well as social distancing guidelines will be in place to protect crew members (Howey Politics Indiana). Starting last week crews began cleaning up litter within the public right-of-way along Massachusetts Avenue and they will continue litter abatement efforts north up to 38th Street. Workers will continue to clean-up litter throughout Indy from a previously selected list of areas. The next area to be addressed will be a segment along Binford Boulevard.

NEW ALBANY: COUNCILMAN CALLS FOR POLICE FUNDING REVIEW — Defunding the police, a phrase touted by some as unrest and protests have dominated the national landscape in recent weeks, is a “non-starter” for New Albany City Councilman Al Knable (Suddeath, News & Tribune). But Knable does believe that the city council owes it to constituents to closely review police spending and ensure that taxpayer investments in public safety are bringing about the desired outcome. “If you want to talk about relocating or scrutinizing the budget with different options on the table, I’m all ears,” said Knable as he emphasized he does not support drastic cuts to police spending.

NASHVILLE: BREWERY TO MOVE, EXPAND - Quaff ON! Brewing Co. in Nashville is planning to relocate and build a new 20,000-square-foot brewery at Hard Truth Hills in Brown County. The brewery says the decision is a result of increased product demand and company growth (Inside Indiana Business). Construction for the new brewery is expected to begin next spring. The brewery says beer production and tours will start fall 2021. “By moving the brewing company to our destination distillery campus, we now have a one-of-a-kind facility in southern Indiana with unforgettable experiences for our visitors. Everything from Big Woods at Hard Truth Hills, craft spirits and craft beer are all made onsite,” said Jeff McCabe, co-founder and executive chairman of BWQOHT Inc. “Our main priority has always been to ‘wow’ our guests, and this move will take our offerings at Hard Truth Hills to the next level.”

MONTICELLO: GARTH BROOKS TO APPEAR VIRTUALLY AT DRIVE-IN - Country music legend Garth Brooks will be making a virtual stop in Monticello Saturday. It's all part of his drive-in concert series (WFLI-TV). The music icon will be performing his pre-recorded concert at 300 different drive-ins across the country including White County's Lake Shore Drive-In. Organizers for the event say out of 500,000 total tickets, almost 250,000 have already been sold. Tickets are $100 per vehicle. That includes general admission for the show. The concert runs from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

COLUMBUS: MALL MAKEOVER PAUSED - A project to repurpose FairOaks Mall, Donner Center and the surrounding area has been placed “on pause” as the city and Columbus Regional Health evaluate how to navigate economic and public health uncertainties due to the coronavirus pandemic (Columbus Republic). The project, which will transform FairOaks Mall into a community wellness, recreation and sports center, and determine new potential uses for Donner Center and connectivity with the surrounding areas, will likely be delayed at least a few months because of anticipated drops in tax revenue.

KENTLAND: TOWN BOLDLY MOVING FORWARD - With more than 100 people in attendance, the new branding for the Town of Kentland was unveiled during a presentation on June 17 at the Kentland Community Center. The new branding for the town included a new tagline or slogan “Boldly Moving Forward”, and a redesigned logo (Newton County Enterprise). “This is just the tip of the iceberg,” stated Joseph Gonzalez, Creative Director of Vast Creative, which was hired by the town’s Opportunity Zone Task Force to help with strategic planning. “We are also going to revamp the town’s website to showcase what this town has to offer.” The June 17 presentation covered several topics including the new branding, economic development ideas, current projects, discussion on the Opportunity Zone, and possible future projects.

LaGRANGE: LAKELAND SCHOOLS ANNOUNCE REOPENING PLAN - With the start of the new school year scheduled to begin in less than two months, Lakeland School Corporation Superintendent Eva Merkel announced Saturday the school system is formulating plans for starting the 2020-21 school year, as well as a plan to get the school’s fall athletic programs back up and running (Redmond, KPC News). Merkel made the announcement by email to school parents. She said Lakeland will start the 2020-21 school year on Aug. 12. However, the first thing out of the blocks will be reopening fall sports. Starting on July 6, the school system will start allowing students to return to school for conditioning, following an ISHAA-issued phased approach that outlines a return to fall sports.

MADISON COUNTY: TAX REVENUES DECLINE BY $600K - Spring property tax collections for the operation of Madison County government are expected to be down by $600,000 (de la Bastide, Anderson Herald Bulletin). Rick Gardner, Madison County auditor, said last week the general fund operating balance was at $1.3 million and there was $900,000 in the public safety fund. He outlined to the Madison County Council the timeline for establishing a county budget for 2021. Gardner said last year the county received approximately $11 million in the spring tax distribution; this year’s estimate is $10.4 million. He said there was a distribution of property tax revenues to local units of government on June 10 and a second will take place by July 10. “We’re dealing with reduced revenues,” Gardner said.

ELKHART COUNTY: COMMISSIONER AWAITS IMPACT OF MASK ORDER - Wait and see, as well as make your own decisions. That’s the course of action and advice Elkhart County officials have for the ongoing growth of local positive COVID-19 numbers (Goshen News). As Elkhart County’s COVID-19 tests numbers have pushed the county into the third spot for the most infected counties in Indiana, the county’s health officer said it will be two weeks or so until the impact of the county commissioners plea to residents to wear masks in public has helped reduce infections. In the past, commissioners and Health Officer Dr. Lydia Mertz have not made the wearing of masks mandatory, indicating such an order is not enforceable. Monday, they confirmed that stance. “Most counties across Indiana do NOT have face-covering mandates and yet the COVID -19 incident rate is declining,” said commissioner Mike Yoder in a Monday Facebook post.