The biggest news of the week is expected to come from Washington, D.C., when the Supreme Court is nearly certain to issues its ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act.
The principal question: Does the constitution permit the government to require individuals to buy health insurance?
The secondary question: If the requirement is not constitutional, does that throw out the entire law or do other parts of the law remain in place?
Abatement at issue
On Tuesday, the Fort Wayne City Council is expected to vote on two controversial bills regarding one proposal: a dentists plan to build an office on Coldwater Road.
Dentist David Painter of Auburn has offered to allow the city to annex the property – but only if he receives a property tax abatement.
Some council members believe practically any new business and territory is good for the city. But others are concerned about linking the annexation with abatement, particularly after county officials – who govern the land outside the city – rejected the property tax break. Some members also question whether property tax breaks should go to professional services companies.
The council has another controversial issue on its agenda: an ordinance to require wholesale water and sewer customers to have a current contract with the city or pay much higher retail rates. The ordinance is directed toward Huntertown, which plans to stop sending wastewater to Fort Wayne and build its own sewage treatment plant.
Sunday is July 1, the beginning of Indianas fiscal year and the date when numerous new laws take effect.
One of the most important is the law restricting smoking in places open to the public and in workplaces.
The law has too many exemptions – most notably bars closed to patrons under 21 – but it will still end smoking at numerous Hoosier restaurants and work sites.
The Allen County Election Board is scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss the status of the planned transition to vote centers, which would replace precinct-based voting. The vote centers would allow registered voters to vote wherever its more convenient rather than being limited to voting in their assigned precinct.
Beth Dlug, director of elections, will give board members an updated report about the costs associated with initiating the vote center.
While the vote centers should save money in the long run, there will be an initial startup cost.
Dlug estimates it will cost about $300,000 to get started, but admits, Its a moving target. Dlug said there are financial issues that could influence whether the county wants to open vote centers in 2014 or wait a little longer.
Several of the countys voting machines need to be replaced, and she is still trying to calculate the exact costs for the needed IT infrastructure for the 40 vote centers. The board is also likely to discuss a pending campaign finance violation because of a late filing.