Author

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.

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 […]

training bill

Senate spars over state-funded teacher gun training

By: - April 19, 2023

Indiana’s Senate on Tuesday — after vivid and emotional arguments — approved legislation creating a state-funded gun training program for school staff. Lawmakers gave school districts the authority to let their employees carry firearms at school a decade ago, but offered no training protocols. Legislators have repeatedly tried to mandate gun training, but have failed […]

Big bills boosting mental, public health advance

By: , and - April 18, 2023

Indiana’s lawmakers on Monday stayed well into the evening to approve multiple priority health bills as they sought to meet critical deadlines: in the House, a deadline for final passage, and in the Senate, for chamber-wide amendments. Legislators sought to bolster mental health and public health infrastructure while chipping away at the state’s persistently high […]

data

Donor privacy or secrecy? Nonprofit disclosure bill nears law

By: - April 17, 2023

Indiana’s state and local governments wouldn’t be able to require or publicly disclose nonprofit donor data under a proposal that is nearing law. Lawmakers and philanthropic organizations have said it protects donor privacy, which can be critical in securing donations. But transparency groups say it could obfuscate the role big donors play in politics and […]

bills session

Committee deadline fatal for many bills

By: , and - April 13, 2023

Indiana’s House and Senate both face committee deadlines this week, so any bill that doesn’t advance to the respective chamber is dead for the year. The House committee deadline passed on Tuesday, meaning that several Senate bills didn’t get the green light from the House this year. The Senate committee deadline is Thursday but, according […]

relief tax task force

Lawmakers strip key bill of most property tax relief

By: - April 12, 2023

House legislation tackling high property tax bills lost the majority of those provisions during a Senate committee meeting Tuesday, with senators saying “permanent” relief could come in the future after Indiana reduces pension liabilities. Republicans instead inserted three food and beverage tax bills into the proposal, wading into a local dispute. “It looked like we […]

trans student

Senate passes bill requiring schools notify parents of transgender student requests

By: - April 11, 2023

Indiana senators on Monday approved a controversial bill mandating that schools notify parents when a student asks for name or pronoun changes, as well as banning human sexuality instruction to the youngest students. The chamber also signed off on House edits to several other proposals, sending them to the governor’s desk. Supporters have argued that […]

Doctor non-competes, anti-union bills failed to clear committee; back on calendars

By: - April 7, 2023

A supermajority doesn’t automatically ensure success. Case in point, two GOP bills — one a Senate priority — failed to get through committee this week. Legislation banning restrictive agreements between doctors and their employers — part of a push to lower Indiana’s high health care costs — hit a roadblock Thursday. A separate bill restricting […]