David Long

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday not to hear appeals from Indiana and four other states, the clock again started ticking on same-sex unions in the state.

They were legal for about two days in June after a ruling from Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Young invalidating the state's gay marriage ban. But that decision was stayed, even after a three-judge panel from the Seventh Circuit sided with Young later in the summer.

Kim Davies / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kjd/2502535352

Delegates gather in Indianapolis next month to lay the groundwork for a constitutional convention.   Indiana is one of more than 20 states to call for a convention to consider amending the Constitution.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) has backed the effort, in hopes of drafting an amendment to realign the balance between state and federal power, and, in his words, bring the national debt under control.

Opposition group confident it can kill HJR-3

Feb 25, 2014

When opponents of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage announced the formation of a group to fight the amendment, few observers gave them much of a chance.

But now the amendment is on hold for at least another year, and the leaders of Freedom Indiana are confident of killing it altogether.

Campaign manager Megan Robertson says having a single group directing strategy made it easier to keep everyone on message.

She maintains passing the amendment would have damaged the GOP politically.

Preschool voucher bill to be considered in state Senate

Feb 11, 2014

A bid to expand state financial aid for preschool gets a hearing in the Senate tomorrow, with better prospects than it found a year ago.   

Last year, the Senate sharply scaled back a House proposal for preschool vouchers for low-income students.

But this year, Senate President Pro Tem David Long has joined Minority Leader Tim Lanane in endorsing the idea.

Governor Mike Pence has also made it one of his priorities, calling it an "idea whose time has come."

Republican senator Pete Miller is sponsoring the bill in the Senate.

HJR-3 switches committees in the Senate

Jan 30, 2014

The constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage has switched committees again.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long says he will assign the amendment to the Rules Committee, not Judiciary as he‘d originally planned.

Long chairs the Rules Committee and notes it is larger, with an extra Democratic and Republican member.

He says with the revision to the amendment, it‘s taken on an even higher profile, and this committee is better equipped to deal with the issue‘s heavy scrutiny and lobbying.

Two outside policy analysts have concluded former State Superintendent Tony Bennett’s last-minute changes to the state’s A-F grading formula were “plausible.” You can read the full report HERE.

Speaker of the House Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) commissioned the report amid controversy the former state superintendent had boosted the school letter grade of a favorite Indianapolis charter school.

Top state lawmakers will meet at the Statehouse this week to establish the General Assembly’s top priorities for this summer’s study committees.

The Indiana Legislative Council, which governs the legislature when it’s not in session, is meeting earlier than usual this year. Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says it’s partly to encourage study committees to begin their work earlier as they face what he says is “an inordinate number” of topics.

The Indiana Senate budget proposal unveiled Thursday does include an income tax cut, but not nearly as large as Governor Mike Pence proposed. 

Last year, then-congressman Mike Pence made a 10% income tax cut proposal the centerpiece of his campaign.  But when House Republicans presented their budget earlier this session, Governor Pence’s tax cut was nowhere to be found.  Senate Republicans have added a 3% cut to their budget.

Leaders in the General Assembly are postponing  action on a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.  They say it’s the U.S. Supreme Court causing the delay.

After easily passing the General Assembly in 2011, the proposed marriage amendment requires passage by the legislature again either this year or next before potentially landing on the 2014 election ballot for ratification by voters.

Republican leaders in the Indiana House and Senate say they’re close to deciding whether a proposed state constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage will get a hearing this year in the legislature.

Indiana’s proposed marriage amendment cleared its first hurdle in 2011, as members of the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed it.  In order to go on the election ballot in 2014, the legislature needs to approve the measure again either this session or next.