WBEZ | mike pence http://www.wbez.org/tags/mike-pence Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Rauner puts Illiana Expressway on hold http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-puts-illiana-expressway-hold-111394 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Illiana 3 (2).JPG" alt="" /><p><p>SPRINGFIELD, Ill. &mdash; A planned 47-mile expressway between Illinois and Indiana is on hold after new Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an executive order aimed at addressing the state&#39;s deep budget problems.</p><p>In his first act after taking office Monday, the Republican suspended planning and development of any major interstate construction projects pending a &quot;careful review&quot; of costs and benefits. Rauner spokesman Lance Trover said Tuesday the planned Illiana Expressway is among the projects that fall under the executive order, adding that it&#39;s part of &quot;a broader review to maximize taxpayer investment in infrastructure.&quot;</p><p>It was unclear Tuesday how long that review may take.</p><p>The $1.5 billion project would provide an east-west link between Interstate 65 in Indiana and Interstate 55 in Illinois.</p><p>Supporters, including Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, say the expressway would relieve traffic congestion on Interstate 80 south of Chicago and create much-needed jobs.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re ready to build the Illiana whenever Illinois is,&quot; Christy Denault, communications director for Pence, said Tuesday.</p><p>Opponents have called the project unnecessary and say it could become a boondoggle, leaving taxpayers on the hook if toll revenue falls short. Among those who have been critical is Randy Blankenhorn, Rauner&#39;s pick to lead the Illinois Department of Transportation.</p><p>Blankenhorn, who currently leads the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, couldn&#39;t be reached for comment Tuesday. But he&#39;s said publicly he wasn&#39;t sure Illiana was a good deal for Illinois and could expose taxpayers to undue risk.</p><p>Environmentalists also oppose the project, saying it will spoil rural areas in Illinois&#39; Will County.</p><p>Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, supported the expressway. Last month, the Federal Highway Administration approved plans for the project, giving officials the green light to begin looking for public-private partnerships to construct, maintain and operate it.</p><p>Opponents have vowed to continue a fight against it, and a lawsuit is pending.</p></p> Tue, 13 Jan 2015 18:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-puts-illiana-expressway-hold-111394 LGBT members in NW Indiana fight against same-sex marriage amendment proposal http://www.wbez.org/news/lgbt-members-nw-indiana-fight-against-same-sex-marriage-amendment-proposal-109682 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Indiana LGBT two-way.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Indiana is a step closer to cementing the state&rsquo;s ban on same-sex marriage for possibly years to come. The state already outlaws same-sex marriage.</p><p>On Monday a senate committee passed a measure that would enshrine the ban in the state&rsquo;s constitution. Pushed by Governor Mike Pence, it goes before the full Senate later this week.</p><p>But not everyone supports the constitutional ban, known as House Joint Resolution 3. The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce says it could hurt in attracting top talent to the state.</p><p>And some members of the LGBT community wonder why the Hoosier state is moving in the opposite direction of neighboring Illinois.</p><p>They recently sat down for a conversation with WBEZ&rsquo;s Michael Puente at our bureau in Crown Point, Ind.</p></p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 11:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/lgbt-members-nw-indiana-fight-against-same-sex-marriage-amendment-proposal-109682 Indiana seeks ban on same-sex marriage despite historic ruling http://www.wbez.org/news/indiana-seeks-ban-same-sex-marriage-despite-historic-ruling-107885 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Indiana DOMA.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Despite the Supreme Court&rsquo;s ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is supporting a measure that would ban gay marriage as part of the state constitution.</p><p>Same-sex marriage is already outlawed in Indiana, but Pence says voters should decide whether to solidify that with a vote on a state constitutional amendment in 2014.</p><p>&ldquo;Now that the Supreme Court has had its say on the federal government&rsquo;s role in defining marriage, the people of Indiana should have their say about how marriage is understood and defined in our state,&rdquo; Pence said Wednesday. &ldquo;Given that opportunity, I am confident that Hoosiers will reaffirm our commitment to traditional marriage and will consider this important question with civility and respect for the values and dignity of all of the people of our state. I look forward to supporting efforts by members of the Indiana General Assembly to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot for voter consideration next year.&rdquo;</p><p>Legislative leaders say they will push ahead with the effort after the Supreme Court handed down a pair of rulings leaving the marriage question with the states. Pence said he continues to support defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.</p><p>&ldquo;Marriage matters. I believe marriage is the union between a man and a woman and is a unique institution worth defending in our state and nation. For thousands of years, marriage has served as the glue that holds families and societies together and so it should ever be,&rdquo; Pence said in a statement.</p><p>If the constitutional ban passes the General Assembly next year, it would be placed on the Indiana ballot in 2014.</p><p>Indiana state Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, says there are more important things the Governor and others should be worried about, like reducing unemployment.</p><p>&ldquo;We need to fight for changes that make people&rsquo;s&nbsp; lives better not waste our people&rsquo;s vitality on still more division,&rdquo; Pelath said.</p><p><em>Follow WBEZ&rsquo;s Northwest Indiana reporter Michael Puente on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews" target="_blank">@MikePuenteNews</a>.</em></p><p><em>The Associated Press contributed to this report. </em></p></p> Thu, 27 Jun 2013 13:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/indiana-seeks-ban-same-sex-marriage-despite-historic-ruling-107885 Gov. Pence wants to bring trauma center to Northwest Indiana http://www.wbez.org/news/gov-pence-wants-bring-trauma-center-northwest-indiana-107561 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Pence 1.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>In Northwest Indiana, home to more than 800,000 residents, victims of car accidents or violent crime such as gunshots, often end up having to be transported to Chicago, South Bend or even Indianapolis. That&rsquo;s because the region has no trauma center of its own.</p><p>Indiana Governor Mike Pence soon hopes to change that.</p><p>&ldquo;Our biggest obligation is to see the health and well-being of the people of our state,&rdquo; Pence told WBEZ during a visit to Gary&rsquo;s City Hall on Wednesday.</p><p>Pence arrived to sign Senate Bill 585.&nbsp;Known as the &ldquo;Gary Bill,&rdquo; Senate Bill 585 encompasses a number of provisions to boost economic development in Gary and the surrounding area.</p><p>One provision frees up state money to pay for a study to see if Northwest Indiana does indeed need a trauma center.</p><p>It&rsquo;s the first step toward actually establishing one.</p><p>&ldquo;When you look at a map of Indiana, you can see there is a huge void in Northwest Indiana where we have the crossroads of the America a lots of serious (auto) injuries that take place,&rdquo; said Indiana State Sen. Ed Charbonneau, a Republican from Valparaiso, who supports the idea and was a sponsor of the bill. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s critical that we have this study done to determine in fact that the numbers are there. I think most of think that we do.&rdquo;</p><p>Charbonneau says the issue isn&rsquo;t a question of the quality of care given at local hospitals but the level of care provided, given that some severe injuries require more expertise.</p><p>During his visit to Gary City Hall, Pence recognized an Indiana State Trooper who helped save the life of a child recently. The child had difficulty breathing while traveling with her mother in the car.</p><p>Had the child suffered injuries from a car accident or gunshot wound, she likely would have been transported to the nearest trauma center -- about 40 miles away in Chicago.</p><p>&ldquo;As we reflected today on some public safety heroes, the most most important obligation we have as a state is to see to the safety and well being of the people of our state,&rdquo; Pence said.</p><p>Proponents say Gary would be the logical place for a trauma center because of its proximity to major highways and a high-crime rate.</p><p><em>Michael Puente covers Northwest Indiana for WBEZ. Follow him on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews" target="_blank">@MikePuenteNews</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 08:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/gov-pence-wants-bring-trauma-center-northwest-indiana-107561 Pence signs bill for tighter abortion pill rules http://www.wbez.org/news/pence-signs-bill-tighter-abortion-pill-rules-106933 <p><p>INDIANAPOLIS &mdash; Planned Parenthood officials say they anticipate a court challenge to a bill signed into law by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence that tightens the state&#39;s regulations on distribution of the abortion pill.</p><p>The governor&#39;s office says Pence on Wednesday signed the bill that cleared the Republican-dominated Legislature last month. The new law will also require clinics that provide only drug-induced abortions to meet the same standards as clinics that perform surgical abortions.</p><p>The law&#39;s opponents contend the restrictions are aimed at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lafayette that&#39;s the only site in the state providing the abortion pill but not surgical abortions.</p><p>Planned Parenthood of Indiana president Betty Cockrum says the law is meant to chip away at women&#39;s access to abortion, She says a lawsuit is &quot;very likely.&quot;</p></p> Wed, 01 May 2013 14:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/pence-signs-bill-tighter-abortion-pill-rules-106933