Keith Klein (Photo: IndyStar.com)
The COVID-19 pandemic will loom large over the Indiana Legislature’s new session starting next week.
They will face debates about Republican Gov. Holcomb’s public health orders over the past 10 months and must figure out a new state budget with questions about how the coronavirus-sparked recession will impact state tax collections as they try to boost school funding – again.
Legislative budget-writers are anticipating little additional money will be available as they work on a new two-year spending plan, even though state tax collections have largely stabilized from the plunges seen early in the coronavirus-caused recession.
The Republican-dominated Legislature will use data from the 2020 census to redraw congressional and legislative district maps to reflect population shifts.
Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker issued 9,000 pardons to Illinoisans convicted of low-level marijuana charges, and State Police expunged 492,000 cannabis-related arrests. It’s all part of a state law legalizing the sales of marijuana, which began in 2020.
“Statewide, Illinoisans hold hundreds of thousands low-level cannabis-related records, a burden disproportionately shouldered by communities of color,” Gov. Pritzker said. “We will never be able to fully remedy the depth of that damage. But we can govern with the courage to admit the mistakes of our past.”
Indiana’s life sciences sector attracted a record $257 million in venture funding during 2020. The figures come from BioCrossroads. The numbers show Indiana’s life sciences venture funding tally for 2020 was more than triple the previous year’s amount.