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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

This Week

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Saturday, March 22, 2014 12:01 am
March 31 may be a significant – and very expensive – date in your life.Don’t know why? That is not unusual. Tens of millions of Americans do not, according to public opinion polls.

By the end of this month, many people are required to be signed up for Obamacare health insurance. Failure to do so means paying a tax intended to punish those who do not go along with the president’s pride and joy.

At minimum, that tax is $95 per person in your family. That is the number that liberals prefer to use.

But the tax actually is $95 or 1 percent of your income – whichever is higher. Millions of people who fail to comply with the Obamacare deadline will be paying much, much more than $95

What about all those delays Obama has approved? Good question.

MondayIf we were grading the just-ended session of the Indiana General Assembly, we’d give it a solid B. It improved our lives a little in a few areas and did no real lasting harm. And it cut taxes a tad – never a bad thing. “A little” and “a tad” perfectly describe this session – however big the issue tackled, legislators took only small steps.

This approach doesn’t please everyone, of course. An Indianapolis Star editorial, for example, lamented the General Assembly’s “inability to see the big picture, to move the state forward swiftly when necessary,” resulting in a session of “modest achievements” in a state “that desperately needs big victories.”

But how certain can legislators be of what is needed for those “big victories”? What if they’re wrong? Isn’t a modest achievement better so the effects can be studied before going big and grand?

TuesdayIf you’re searching for a reason to vote in the primary election in May, try this: “Shall the county government of Allen County be reorganized to place all executive powers in a single county executive and to place all legislative and fiscal powers in the county council?”

That’s the referendum language approved by the General Assembly. You won’t see the question on a ballot until the general election in November, but the primary will give you a chance to vote for candidates based on how they feel about this proposal in particular and changes to government operations in general. If you don’t know where certain candidates stand, you should find out. (And, yes, we’ll do our part to keep you informed.)

This will be a unique opportunity for Allen County voters, a chance to decide whether to remodel a form of government.

WednesdayA number of Indiana editorial pages are disappointed state legislators made such a big, silly fuss about ditching the Common Core academic standards that so many states have rushed to adopt in recent years.

“It leaves open the question of what standards the state will now use and ensures that the arguments will continue for months, if not years, to come,” laments The Indianapolis Star. “Meanwhile, the need to dramatically improve Indiana’s 42nd in the nation ranking in workers’ education attainment is more urgent than ever.” The standards aren’t federal, the Times of Northwest Indiana says, but were created by governors to “provide fair comparisons of students across the nation with their peers.”

But a study from the Brookings Institution lends more support to legislators than editorial pages.

ThursdayLast year, it was reported that powerful Republican Rep. Eric Turner had pushed a measure to benefit a client of his daughter, who is a Statehouse lobbyist, prompting House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, to say he’d review how the House handles conflicts of interest.

He must not have looked very deeply into it, and if he gave anything resembling a warning or even a lecture to Turner, it was not heeded, because the same kind of conflict of interest is in the news again. If Bosma doesn’t get a handle on it this time, he risks great damage to the reputation our part-time Legislature must have to earn the trust of Hoosiers.

Turner, The Associated Press reports secretly lobbied colleagues in the final hours of the 2014 session to kill a measure that would have been disastrous for his son’s nursing home business.



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