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2013 General Assembly Comes to a Close

The Indiana Legislature has wrapped up its 2013 session by passing a $29 billion budget, which is now on its way to Governor Pence for a signature.

The House and Senate adjourned just after 1:00 AM Saturday after approving the spending plan which increases road and school spending.

The Legislature also agreed to cut income taxes by five percent.

A bill that would have made it a crime to secretly take pictures or videos at a business with the goal of harming that business died in the Legislature Friday.

The proposal that became known as the "ag gag" bill was withdrawn from the House without a vote.

Opponents argued the bill was so broad it would have put anyone trying to expose wrongdoing at risk for criminal charges.

Supporters said the bill was to protect farming operations from people using video to discredit them.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has gotten the financial help it wanted from the state, and other motorsports businesses will share the wealth.

The state will loan the Speedway five-million dollars a year for 20 years to help it issue bonds for planned improvements at the 100-year-old track.

Another five-million will be available to other motorsports businesses.  

Opponents of the measure questioned a funding mechanism which lets the Speedway pay back the loan through the expected increase in tax collections at the track.

Both sides are claiming victory in the debate over the Common Core curriculum standards.

Legislators gave final approval to a bill requiring the State Board of Education to halt implementation of Common Core, and adopt new standards after a fresh round of hearings.

Opponents to Common Core charge the federal government has hijacked what began as a multi-state compact to agree on curriculum standards, leaving Indiana at risk of losing control of its own standards.

Schools will receive financial help to upgrade security under a bill on its way to Governor Pence.

The House and Senate gave overwhelming approval to a bill setting aside 10-million dollars in matching grants to help schools to hire security officers, conduct threat assessments, or make physical improvements to security.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who supported the bill, says it will produce "safer schools and a greater appreciation for law enforcement."

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Topics : Business_Finance
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Locations : Indiana
People : Greg ZoellerPence