Indiana Senate

Jefferson Shreve / Facebook

Two current Indianapolis city-county councilors will go head-to-head in pursuit of a seat in the state Senate.

Jefferson Shreve is kicking off his campaign for the seat being vacated by Sen. Brent Waltz (R-Greenwood), weeks after fellow Republican Jack Sandlin threw his hat in the ring. Shreve praises Sandlin's work on the council, but argues his own credentials are better suited to the legislature than Sandlin's public-safety resume.

Jack Sandlin / http://www.jacksandlin.net/

An Indianapolis city-county councilor is the first entry into the race for an open state Senate seat.

Republican Jack Sandlin is emphasizing his two decades with the Indianapolis Police Department, including a stint as deputy chief. He says he can bring an important perspective to debates over how to control spiraling meth and heroin traffic.

Sandlin says the state needs to go after heroin suppliers while making it easier for users to get treatment. He says the latter has too often been neglected.

Brandon Smith / IPBS

Eric Holcomb steered former Gov. Mitch Daniels’ 2008 reelection campaign, led the Indiana Republican Party and most recently served as State Chief of Staff to Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN).  But Thursday, Holcomb announced a personal first: a run for office:

“And that’s why today, ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud, I’m excited to announced my candidacy for the United States Senate,” Holcomb says.

Despite never serving in elected office, he says he’s not worried about making the jump all the way to a Senate run:

Legislators Criticize New Energy Efficiency Plan

Mar 26, 2015
Claudio Schwarz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/purzlbaum/131322462/

 Indiana is on the brink of enacting a new energy efficiency plan to replace one repealed last year.

The House has approved a bill requiring electric companies to submit plans every three years for how they‘ll encourage more efficient energy consumption.

Utilities and Energy Chairman Eric Koch (R-Bedford) says the state had some form of efficiency requirement from 2004 until this year, when Governor Mitch Daniels‘ "Energize Indiana" program was formally abolished.

Senate Budget To Follow House, Increase School Funding

Feb 25, 2015
Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

Senate President Pro Tem David Long says the Senate’s version of the budget will follow the House’s lead in steering more money to schools.

House Republicans’ budget gives schools a nearly half-billion-dollar increase over two years, double what Governor Pence proposed.

Long (R-Fort Wayne) suggests the governor lowballed the figure to give legislators room to increase it. Long says legislators will give schools as much as they can while keeping the budget balanced.

Education Bill Proposes ISTEP Replacement

Jan 26, 2015
Benjamin Chun / https://www.flickr.com/photos/benchun/

The Senate may take up a bill to scrap Indiana schools’ state-mandated tests.

Sens. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) and Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen) have proposed junking the Core 40 end-of-course assessments entirely, and replacing ISTEP with something shorter, cheaper, and easier to grade.

President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says students and teachers are frustrated with how much time is spent either taking tests or getting ready for them. And he says he‘s still hearing complaints from schools in his district about problems with McGraw-Hill‘s administration of ISTEP.

Indiana Senate Republicans / https://www.flickr.com/photos/insenategop/9667357984

Democrats are mounting a full-court press to unseat one of the most conservative members of the Indiana Senate.

Carmel Republican Mike Delph won his last reelection race by 18 points, narrowly winning the district‘s Indianapolis precincts while piling up most of his seven-thousand-vote margin in conservative Hamilton County.

Since then, Delph‘s L-shaped district has been slightly redrawn, adding Zionsville and more of Indy‘s westside.

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.

Lawmakers have reached a compromise on a statewide smoking ban.

The measure was passed by the House late last night and is expected to be voted on by the Senate today.

The proposed ban includes exemptions for bars, casino gaming floors, cigar and hookah bars, tobacco stores and private clubs.

But it eliminated exemptions for bingo halls and health-care facilities which had been added by the Senate.

Senate supporters of the bill are uncertain whether they have the votes to win passage for the compromise version.

Changes made to police entry bill

Feb 23, 2012

Changes to a bill regarding warrantless police entry have not stopped criticism from state law enforcement.

The Indiana Senate voted to spell out circumstances in which homeowners can legitimately respond with force if police barge into their home.

The bill is in response to an Indiana Supreme Court ruling that a lawsuit is the only proper way to challenge such an entry.

But opponents are concerned the bill could encourage violence toward police officers.

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