Government News

IN House Approves Right-To-Work Bill

Jan 26, 2012

Despite five members voting against it, Indiana House Republicans still garnered enough votes to pass Right-To-Work legislation.

The bill passed by a 54-to-44 vote.

It goes to the Senate, where last week members there approved an identical measure, and then is expected to go to Governor Mitch Daniels desk.

His signature would make Indiana the 23rd state in the nation to adopt a bill banning unions and companies from charging dues to non-union members.

A bill passed by a state senate committee would tell doctors how to administer medications they use to perform abortions. However, some doctors disagree with the legislatively-prescribed protocol.

The bill mandates that drugs used in so-called chemical abortions be administered according to Food and Drug Administration guidelines only.  But some physicians say they prefer using evidence-based, off-label practices, while the F.D.A. protocol requires a dose three times higher than those doctors prefer using.

Indiana Senate Passes Right-To-Work Legislation

Jan 24, 2012

Indiana is closer to becoming a Right-To-Work state.

The Senate passed a measure that would prohibit unions from charging dues to non-members by a 28-to-22 vote.

Nine republicans and 13 Democrats voted against it.

There are currently 22-states with similar laws in place, but Democrats in the House are trying to stop the bill from moving forward.

Party members walked out of the session again Monday in an effort to halt the legislation.

They are pushing for it to be put on a referendum during the November election.

WL's online effort to get a boost

Jan 23, 2012

West Lafayette is close to filling its new Information Technology Director position.

Mayor John Dennis says the job was created to identify and improve some of the city’s technological deficiencies. He says it's taken three years to coordinate what needs to be done and move to writing a job description for someone who can achieve the city's goals.

The position includes overseeing technology with emergency services, utilities, and the website outreach programs.

An amendment by House Democrats to place Right to Work on a statewide referendum has been redrafted and filed, but Democrats remained off the floor Friday.

An initial referendum amendment was thought by legislative attorneys to be unconstitutional.  Democrats then vacated the floor all this week to redraft it.

Friday morning Minority Leader Pat Bauer said he wanted assurances from the Republicans that they believe the new amendment passes constitutional muster.  But Speaker Brian Bosma will only promise to hear, debate and vote on the amendment.

WL Welcomes New Fire Chief

Jan 20, 2012

The City of West Lafayette introduced its new Fire Chief, Friday.

Timothy Heath is replacing Phil Drew who stepped down at the end of last year at the request of Mayor John Dennis.

He says he views the department as a family and hopes to build on that relationship, but in a different capacity.

The city held a pinning ceremony for Heath Friday, but he officially took office Thursday.

The 22-year veteran of the department previously worked as the Lieutenant of firehouse number two.

Faith Church Presents Mixed Use Complex Details

Jan 20, 2012

West Lafayette residents are getting a better understanding of a proposed $10-million mixed use development along Northwestern Avenue between Lindberg Road and Windsor Drive.

Faith Church is putting together plans for the project which would include a community center, apartments, and a restaurant and presented them during a public meeting Thursday night.

Pastor Steve Viars  says the development aims at meeting multiple needs of members of the community.

Engineer Joe Blake says community input has been important in putting together designs for the facility.

WL names new fire chief

Jan 18, 2012

West Lafayette's next fire chief will have an insider's knowledge of the department.

Mayor John Dennis promoted Timothy Heath to the position. Heath has been with the city since 1990, and served as a sergeant and lieutenant.

Dennis says he chose Heath from an internal pool of applicants, because of his training and certifications, which include leadership and command courses.

He takes over for Phil Drew, who served as chief for eight years and stepped down last month at the request of the mayor.

Fiber Optic Network Gains Support

Jan 18, 2012

The city of West Lafayette is a little closer to endorsing a proposed fiber optic network throughout the county.

The Redevelopment Commission has given its approval for Metronet to move forward with an engineering study on the project.

Commission President Larry Oates says he originally was inclined to vote against the measure, but admits his opinion changed after getting more background about the company.

Oates says public comment at a meeting last week was overwhelmingly in favor of the fiber-to-the-premises effort.

Bosma Vows Fines for House No-Shows

Jan 18, 2012

If Indiana House Democrats don’t show up for work Wednesday, they will be fined.

Speaker Brian Bosma says he will penalize members who abstain from participating in the session $1,000 for every day they are absent.

Democrats didn’t show up to the floor Tuesday in protest of Right-To-Work legislation, even though, according to Bosma, Minority Leader Pat Bauer promised his party would.

Bauer insists Democrats need more time to draft a new amendment because he says the proposal to put the issue to a statewide referendum may be unconstitutional.