Archive for June, 2009
The House passed a $27.8 billion budget just before 5:00 pm, averting a government shutdown.
The bill calls for a 1.1-percent increase in education in 2010 and a .3-percent increase in 2011. However, the Dept. of Education will be able to use stimulus money for school operations.
As far as the Capital Improvement Board goes, the state will invest $9 million between 2009 and 2011. A hotel tax increase will begin in 2010, but an admission and car rental tax won’t start until 2013.
We got two very different reactions to the budget passed by the House tonight:
‘There’s winners and losers, but one thing in the process, I think the 2,000 or more teachers who would have lost their jobs are winners. The 6,000 workers that might have lost their jobs if that retroactive tax had stayed in there are winners. I think a lot of students that are going to college are winners because I think that minus four-percent cut the governor had for higher ed will now help them not increase tuition as much,’ said House Speaker Pat Bauer (D-South Bend).
‘This is a Band-Aid for the Capital Improvement Board. There’s gonna have to be some very serious work done by the city and the mayor to revamp that organization. They’re gonna have much fewer means to work with. I think the program that was adopted tonight is a good short-term measure but they’re going to have to put together a long-term plan to solve the city’s problems,’ said House Minority Leader Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis).
The current craze in fitness right now is the resurgence of Bootcamps designed to whip people in shape and get rid of weight/bodyfat in a short amount of time!
The current craze in fitness right now is the resurgence of Bootcamps designed to whip people in shape and get rid of weight/bodyfat in a short amount of time! I just visited Survival Fitness in Carmel and they had a really cool bootcamp class going on that had people doing everything from slinging sledgehammers on truck tires to running with bungee cords attached to them. It was controlled-madness and the class members were loving it! There was a mix of people of all types and ages and Josh, the owner was keeping them on pace and pushing their limits. Nowadays, people are looking for workouts that offer results in a short amount of time because schedules are tight. Second, the class format is cheaper than personal training sessions and allows for much more interaction with others. If you are bored with your current workouts or not interested in starting a normal type of workout routine, you might want to consider a bootcamp. They usually offer free trial sessions so try one out and see what you think. Success starts with exploration so get out there!!! Go Getem!
For some time now, it seemed to me the budget debate has been very professional. You would only get brief glimpses of frustration or passion. That changed on Wednesday when the governor spoke to the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce.
‘The next few days are very pivotal,’ he told the crowd. ‘We will decide between solvency and bankruptcy. Low taxes and high taxes. It’s not policy. It’s not opinion and it’s not point of view. It is arithmetic.’
He said Speaker Bauer gave us the Bauer budget.
‘They raided the teachers pension fund, they raided the next generation trust fund, they built a billion dollar cliff, wiped out all the reserves and will take us straight to a tax increase.’
Then later he added this gem.
‘We will not be blackmailed into bankruptcy and we will not be bullied into a tax increase on Hoosiers. I hope you agree.’
The crowd did not respond to an obvious applause line but he barely left time for them to react before he asked Democrats in the House to ‘summon the courage to do it in which case I will be the first on the scene to praise them for being willing to cross the boss on behalf of Hoosier taxpayers.’
He went on.
‘I refuse to believe that they really want to follow Bauer into bankruptcy.’
That wasn’t the governor’s only reference to Speaker Bauer as a political boss. This one came at the news conference following the speech.
‘He is the most powerful boss we have seen legislatively. No one crosses the boss.’
And the governor said the Senate’s contingency bill to fund state government in case the two sides can’t come to any agreement on the budget puts the blame squarely on the speaker’s shoulders.
‘It will be one hundred percent a Bauer shutdown and he won’t do that.’
The governor is taking this show on the road with stops in Terre Haute and Evansville Wednesday and stops in New Albany, Madison and Lawrenceburg on Thursday. Meanwhile, the budget conference committee will meet at the Statehouse on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
– Kevin Rader
Thanks to everyone who donated money or canned goods to the Senator Dick Lugar/Channel 13 Community Food Drive during the Strawberry Festival. It took place on Thursday, June 11th on Monument Circle. We have joined with Senator Lugar to sponsor food drives for Gleaners Food Bank for a few years now, and we plan to continue supporting two to three drives a year in efforts to help feed the hungry. We can’t do it without the wonderful generosity of Hoosiers, so thank you for joining WTHR Cares in caring about your community.
Channel 13 is also busy sponsoring the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s ‘Walk for Wishes’ Saturday, June 20th, in Fishers. Click here for details. And we have been sponsoring the American Cancer Society’s ‘Relay for Life’ events – 24-hour walking vigils at area tracks – for several years now. The relays honor cancer survivors and those who’ve lost their lives. They largely take place in May and June all around Central Indiana. Click here to find a relay near you.
I am also busy preparing for our seventh annual ‘Shattering the Silence’ campaign. This campaign helps bring the issue of domestic abuse out of the shadows. Each year during July and August, News Anchor Scott Swan and I produce news series detailing the problem of domestic abuse in Central Indiana. Domestic abuse is not always physical – sometimes it’s mental, verbal, emotional or sexcual abuse. This year we will look more closely at how domestic abuse between parents impacts the children. If you have any thoughts about domestic abuse, please blog with me. We may share some of your thoughts during the campaign. More details about ‘shattering the silence’ in July and August.
If you have any ideas for our Noon Focus segments, which profile community issues,organizations or events, please blog with me and share those ideas, too. This week on Focus, we’re profiling the 90th annual Summer Reading program from the Indianapolis Marion County Public library which encourages kids to read in the summer – and get prizes. That’s Monday’s segment. On Tuesday, we’ll give you a preview of the next season of Broadway Across America shows coming to Indianapolis. Wednesday, we’ll talk to ‘Carol the Coach’, a life coach and therapist, who will have more tips on how you can survive these tougher economic times. On Thursday, find out how you can take part in a special celebration that recognizes volunteers. And on Friday, we have a Father’s Day gift idea for families. Find out how you can give the man in your life ‘the gift of health.’
We hope to hear from you!