Indiana Senate

Senate Budget To Follow House, Increase School Funding

Feb 25, 2015
Noah Coffey /

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 /

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 /

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.

Senate committee approves smoking ban

Feb 23, 2012

The Indiana Senate will take up a statewide smoking ban next week, for the first time ever.   

A year after killing an exception-laden smoking ban 8-1, the Senate Public Policy Committee approved a tougher version 8-2.    

Supporters contend the public health benefits trump any arguments against the measure.

The bill exempts gambling facilities, cigar and hookah bars, tobacco shops, and social clubs. 

Bars and taverns are also exempt, but only for the first 18 months.

Indiana’s Senate has passed a bill that would require all students to complete one virtual course before graduating from high school.

The measure is currently under debate in a House Committee.

Lafayette School Corporation Superintendent Ed Eiler believes there needs to be more concrete clarifications before implementing the policy.

He also says added costs may come as the result of the bill and thinks that needs to be examined more thoroughly before anything is done.

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.