Leslie Bonilla Muñiz

Leslie Bonilla Muñiz

Leslie covers state government for the Indiana Capital Chronicle with emphases on elections, infrastructure and transportation. She previously covered city-county government for the Indianapolis Business Journal. She has also reported on local, national and international news for the Chicago Tribune, Voice of America and more. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

pence crouch endorse governor

U.S. Rep. Pence endorses Crouch for governor

By: - May 9, 2023

GOP U.S. Rep. Greg Pence on Tuesday threw his support behind Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch in her bid for governor, calling her a “proven conservative.” In a statement, Pence said Crouch “will protect Hoosier values, stand up for families, faith, life and will always support law enforcement.” “I am proud to offer her my […]

Secretary Diego Morales speaks at anti-‘woke’ conference in Hungary

By: - May 9, 2023

Indiana Secretary of State Diego Morales jetted to Hungary last week to speak at a right-wing conference, but it wasn’t on the state dime, according to his office. The Conservative Political Action Coalition has hosted annual conferences in the United States for decades, but went global last year with a Hungarian edition — and continued […]

Budget earmarks top $500 million

By: - May 8, 2023

Spending on specific local projects climbed to $536 million in Indiana’s newest two-year budget, which Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law Thursday. Such earmarks, routed through the State Budget Agency, have risen steeply in recent budget cycles — up from just $18 million in 2015. The SBA is always allocated money for leases, like for […]

After passing gas tax increase, lawmakers to tackle long-term road funding

By: - May 5, 2023

Indiana’s gas tax will continue to rise with inflation — up to one penny a year — while key figures gather for a long-term look at how the state funds its roads: inflation, electric vehicles, local road woes and all. The three-year extension of the annual tax hike, inserted into the state budget, comes alongside […]

Former budget chief Bob Meeks dies at 89

By: - May 1, 2023

Longtime former lawmaker and law enforcement officer Bob Meeks — who became known for warning his colleagues, “There is no money” during budget discussions — died Wednesday. He was 89. Meeks, a Republican, served in Indiana’s Senate for two decades beginning in 1988. As chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee, he was a key architect […]

Indiana House of Representatives

The big wins — and some losses — of Indiana’s 2023 legislative session

By: , and - May 1, 2023

Of the 1,154 bills filed, Indiana lawmakers approved 252 of those in the 2023 legislative session, with many still waiting for a final signature from the governor. The Republican-controlled General Assembly convened for 110 days, during which education, health care and taxes dominated much of the discourse.  The highlight, however, was the passage of Indiana’s […]

Legislature backtracks, offers some property tax relief

By: and - April 28, 2023

Indiana’s Senate stripped out the House’s solution to high property tax bills more than two weeks ago. But on Thursday, lawmakers reversed course, offering up what they said was more than $100 million worth of property tax relief in compromise provisions. They also — late Thursday and early into Friday — finalized several more proposals: […]

firearms training

“Not a solution”: Lawmakers finalize state-funded teacher gun training bill

By: - April 27, 2023

Both chambers of Indiana’s General Assembly voted to accept the final version of a state-funded teacher firearms training proposal on Wednesday, along with an omnibus health bill featuring some significant provisions. Several key measures await action Thursday, the last day of session. They include movement on alcohol rules, library materials, public health and property taxes. […]

Pro- or anti-capitalism? Lawmakers finalize anti-ESG pension investing bill

By: - April 25, 2023

Indiana’s House on Monday signed off on the final version of a controversial proposal cracking down on the state’s pension investment managers — which its author said would “preserve” a free market while Democrats called it the “opposite of capitalism.” House Bill 1008 is a response to the popularity of “ESG” investing, when environmental, social […]

bills session

Major health, education and property tax proposals unclear as lawmakers enter last week of session

By: , and - April 24, 2023

Indiana’s lawmakers are nearing the end of a grueling nearly four-month legislative session, but three of their biggest priorities — aside from the budget — remain unresolved. Legislators promised to push care-boosting, cost-cutting health initiatives, expand “school choice” options, and fight high property tax bills with relief. Plenty could change in the session’s final days, […]

IEDC battles $3 million mask lawsuit involving federal sting operation

By: - April 21, 2023

Employees at a New York company thought they were arranging a $2.95 million face mask delivery — of what they claimed to be 1 million authentic masks — to Indiana’s Economic Development Corporation at the height of the pandemic. But the quasi-government agency was working behind the scenes on its own plans: helping federal agents […]

Democrats laud gun safety groups on heels of NRA honoring, convention

By: - April 19, 2023

Indiana Senate Democrats honored two gun safety groups on the chamber’s floor Wednesday, less than a week after their Republican counterparts honored the National Rifle Association — and days after the controversial organization’s annual convention in Indianapolis. Democrats lauded Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, organizations that organize to end gun violence. Shannon Watts […]