Government News

An ordinance requiring some Lafayette bar and restaurant owners to obtain a license for entertainment events is going back to the drawing board.

Police Chief Don Roush withdrew the proposal that would make it mandatory for these establishments to acquire permits before hosting such things as concerts.

He says the goal is to enhance public safety, but says there are still some parts of the measure that need fine tuning.

The annual license would be required for venues with 250-people or more, and establishments also would need special event permits.

County starts 2012 with more cash than expected

Jan 10, 2012

Tippecanoe County is starting off 2012 with a little more cash-on-hand than expected.

Auditor Jennifer Weston says the county currently has about $1.7-million in uncommitted funds.

She says the County Council will have to decide what to do with the money.

Options include spending it, putting it in the rainy day fund, or giving some back to tax payers.

Weston says she is recommending officials wait until later in the year before making any decisions.

Right to Work passed a House committee today, but not without controversy.

The House Labor Committee voted along party lines to send the Right to Work bill to the floor. 

Right to Work legislation bans union contracts requiring that non-union employees pay fees for representation.

Democrats tried to offer amendments and allow testimony on the bill, but were overruled. 

Chairman Doug Gutwein explained that last Friday’s joint committee hearing took care of testimony, and said amendments had not been filed in time. 

Electrician License Passes First Hurdle

Jan 9, 2012

Electricians may soon need a license to operate in Lafayette.

The city council unanimously approved a measure requiring those in the profession to become certified.  Currently, anyone can do electrical work.

City Engineer Jenny Miller says the change protects the city, businesses, and residents.

The Ordinance Committee will review the proposal over the next 30-days prior to the second reading.

Miller says the group will aim at clarifying some of the language and make sure the policy is as thorough as possible.

Klinker Wants Referendum for Right-To-Work

Jan 9, 2012

Work at the Statehouse in Indianapolis is underway.

Democrats have returned to the House Chamber after preventing the start of the session last week in an effort to block the Right-To-Work bill from moving forward.

Democratic Lafayette-area Representative Sheila Klinker says she is discouraged by the combative nature of the debate.

Klinker wants lawmakers to put the issue on the November ballot as a referendum.

She says this will allow Hoosiers to have a greater voice in determining if Indiana becomes the 23rd Right-To-Work state.

Indiana and Agree to Sales Tax Deal

Jan 9, 2012

Indiana’s Department of Revenue estimates the state will generate an additional $20-to-$25-million because of a new deal. agreed to collect Indiana sales taxes for purchases made through the online retailer.

Paul Meisner is the company’s Vice President of Global Public Policy.

He says the next step is the Federal Government taking similar action.

The state DOR reports Indiana loses about $75-million annually by not collecting online sales taxes.

The deal with Amazon begins in two-years, unless a federal law takes effect sooner.

For the third day in a row, Democrats prevented the House from doing business by staying off the floor. 

The holdout is over Right to Work legislation, which bans union contracts from requiring non-union employees pay fees for representation.  With their third consecutive day of absence, House Democrats could now be fined up to one thousand dollars each day under an anti-bolting statute passed last session.  Speaker Brian Bosma says he hasn’t taken the necessary legal step to level the fines yet.

Right to Work took its first step towards passage Friday as a committee passed it to the Senate floor. 

A joint House and Senate committee met for more than five hours, hearing testimony on both sides of the controversial issue.  Right to Work legislation bans union contracts that require non-union employees pay fees for representation.

State Senator Carlin Yoder (R-Middlebury), the bill’s sponsor, says the issue boils down to whether Right to Work is good for Indiana

A short-term loan might be needed to help a West Lafayette tax increment finance (TIF) district meet its obligations.

The Sagamore TIF has roughly $15,000 after a payment was made for the Yeager Road construction.

Redevelopment Commission President Larry Oates says that’s not enough to pay future bills. He says the commission will decide on borrowing from another TIF later this month, until the county distributes tax collections.

A local group fighting against proposed Right-To-Work legislation is calling for more input on the issue.

Lafayette Working Families is holding a news conference at 3 p.m. Friday at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse to encourage legislators to hold statewide hearings on the proposed bill.

Republican Randy Truitt supports Right-To-Work and says there is benefit to these types of information sessions, but adds that with the session underway, those events will delay progress.

House Democrats are trying to stall voting on the measure by preventing a quorum.