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WIBC political correspondent Eric Berman was in attendance Thursday as the Indiana General Assembly commenced the new session for 2019. He joined Tony Katz Friday morning with a full recap of the day’s events.

Department of Child Services Overhaul:

“There seems to be general agreement on the $286 million dollar overhaul. This is money that they’re already spending at DCS. It had been one-time expenditures either in the form of grant money or when Governor Holcomb last year did a one-time shot of money in response to an independent review of that money. Now they want that money to become a part of their spending going forward to try and keep things on an even keel. If they don’t get that full ask of $286 million, they’ll probably get most of it; however, the controversy lies in the fact that if they spend that money, they won’t have enough funding for some of the other things they want to do such as funding schools, increasing teacher pay, Medicaid, etc.”

Increasing School Security:

“There was a study over the summer that produced over 200 recommendations for beefing up school security. There are going to be bills put forth to put a lot of those recommendations into action, but it’s going to cost money that will come out of the general fund; I don’t think anyone is talking about raising new revenue for that. And I don’t think this issue will be a controversial one; it will ultimately come down to a question of where do we get the money.”

Sports Betting:

“Sports betting will probably happen, but those details that they’ve got to iron out are how are we going to legalize this? Do we want to insist that it’s done in casinos or do we want to allow you to pick up your smart phone and do it. Do we let you bet on the 500? Do we let you bet on college games?

They’ll also have to take a look at determining who is allowed to bet. If you work at a school or a university, should you be allowed to bet? If you work at a casino, can you bet? There’s a lot of details like that, which have to be worked out and will probably take until April.”

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