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Indiana Statehouse Update

Supporters and opponents of the proposed amendment banning same sex marriage are still waiting on a committee to vote on the measure. And Governor Mike Pence made a definitive statement on the  marriage amendment in his State of the State.

The proposed amendment known as HJR-3 made its first legislative stop in the House Judiciary  Committee Monday. Lawmakers heard more than three hours of testimony, but did not take a  vote.

Committee chair Greg Steuerwald says he wants to give members plenty of time to digest the  testimony. He has not said when a vote will take place. Legislative leaders say they’re also using the time to evaluate their options regarding the marriage amendment.

Those options include taking out  the amendment’s second sentence, which some are concerned will prohibit domestic partnership  benefits. But Governor Mike Pence in his State of the State address called for the debate to end this  year, and changing the amendment’s language would likely restart the process, potentially putting  the measure on the ballot in 2016, when Pence would be running for reelection.

The House Ways and  Means committee heard testimony this week on the House GOP tax cut plan that would allow local  governments to exempt the business personal property tax on new purchases. But local officials say any  move to decrease their revenues will damage already tight budgets. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.