WBEZ | David Long http://www.wbez.org/tags/david-long Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Indiana budget now in hands of state Senate http://www.wbez.org/story/budget/indiana-budget-now-hands-state-senate-84636 <p><p>After a five-week layoff, the Indiana House is racing to approve bills --- including the state budget --- to make up for lost time.</p><p>With Republicans firmly in control, the Indiana House approved a $28 billion two-year spending plan this week.&nbsp; The Indiana Senate, also controlled by Republicans, is now considering the budget, and should have no problem adopting it despite objections from Democrats.</p><p>One of those Democrats, State Representative Mara Candelaria Reardon of Munster, decries cuts to education funding.</p><p>“I think the budget reflects the different priorities that we have as a party. The Republican budget reflects that in their continued cuts to education,” Candelaria Reardon said. “Three Hundred million dollars worth of cuts that they are using as a base for the school funding formula and it hurts children.”</p><p>House members voted 60-37 on party lines to advance the spending plan that was stalled during the month-long boycott by Democrats.&nbsp; House Republican Ways and Means Chairman Jeff Espich told the House the budget was prudent with no tax increases, but changes in the distribution formula will cut funding to some urban and rural districts.</p><p>Democratic Rep. William Crawford of Indianapolis said he expected many districts would seek approval of property tax increases in referenda because of the funding limitations.</p><p>The Senate Appropriations Committee will start hearings on the budget next Thursday, April 7.</p><p>Senate President Pro Tem David Long, a Republican from Fort Wayne, said the long delay in the House caused by the Democratic boycott undermines the budget approval process.</p><p>“Lawmakers went into the session aware of the severe financial crunch felt by states due to the prolonged national recession. However, the work stoppage by Indiana House Democrats has made a difficult session nearly impossible,” Long said.</p></p> Fri, 01 Apr 2011 21:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/budget/indiana-budget-now-hands-state-senate-84636 Nuclear power bill on hold in Indiana http://www.wbez.org/story/david-long/nuclear-power-bill-hold-indiana <p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->An initiative in Indiana to provide incentives for companies to invest in clean energy, including nuclear power, is stalling because of recent events in Japan.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The incentives could have lead to the building of Indiana&rsquo;s first nuclear power plant.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But any such plans may have to wait.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Indiana Senate President David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says his state will need additional sources of energy in the coming years.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But Long says the earthquake in Japan that caused extensive damage to a nuclear plant there is forcing more review of Senate Bill 251.<span style="">&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;We need to take a step back, try to understand how this happened, what the circumstances were, was it human error, was it all caused by the natural disaster? If so, what part of it, was it the tsunami, was it the earthquake,&rdquo; Long says. &ldquo;We don't have the answers to that right now, and we need to have some answers.&rdquo;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Past nuclear attempts in Indiana included the building of a nuclear power plant in Porter County.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) proposed building the Bailly Nuclear 1 Power Plant in the 1970s and 1980s along Lake Michigan.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But opponents and the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island forced NIPSCO to scrap its plans just two years later.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Indiana continues to need additional sources of energy since a study group told state legislators that the state will likely need 30 percent more electricity by 2015.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">This at a time when the Obama administration plans to clamp down on coal-fired power plants to reduce pollution.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Indiana gets most of its energy from coal.</p></p> Tue, 15 Mar 2011 21:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/david-long/nuclear-power-bill-hold-indiana