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The final bill will be sent to the President for his signature into law.

Both Indiana Senators Joe Donnelly (who voted against the bill) and Todd Young (who voted for it) issued statements following the Senate vote Saturday:

 

Young votes for tax reform package

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) Saturday issued the following statement regarding passage of the Senate’s tax reform bill. The bill passed by a 51-49 vote. 

“This is a big win for Hoosiers. Not only did we repeal the oppressive individual mandate tax of Obamacare, but we acted on tax reform for the first time in 30 years that will ensure Hoosiers have a code that is fairer, that is simpler, and that allows them to keep more of what they earn.

“Many American workers have not seen a pay raise in a decade. And over 50 percent of American families are living paycheck to paycheck. Repealing the Obamacare tax, doubling the standard deduction, doubling the Child Tax Credit, and lowering rates for middle-income Americans will provide needed relief.”

To see Young’s video statement, click here.

 

Donnelly votes against Senate tax reform bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly released a video statement after voting against the Senate tax reform bill.

Donnelly said he has been "willing all along to work toward tax reform that will benefit middle class families."  

In his video statement Donnelly said,“From the beginning I’ve been willing to partner with Republicans, with Democrats, with the president, with this administration. I agreed with President Trump’s stated goals of supporting the middle class and keeping jobs here in America ... Here’s the bottom line: I opposed Mitch McConnell’s bill because it is not tax reform, it’s a partisan tax hike on Indiana’s middle class, it does nothing to prevent outsourcing of U.S. jobs to foreign countries, and it’s a giveaway to Wall Street and other big money interests.”

To see Donnelly’s statement, click here.

 

Transcript of Donnelly’s video statement:

Hello. I’m U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly. I wanted to briefly speak to you about why I voted against Senator Mitch McConnell’s tax hike bill.

I believe we need to reform our tax code and cut taxes for the middle class. From the beginning I’ve been willing to partner with Republicans, with Democrats, with the president, with this Administration. I agreed with President Trump’s stated goals of supporting the middle class and keeping jobs here in America. I strongly believe tax reform can be done in a way that’s good for working Hoosier families.

Unfortunately, this tax hike bill from Senator McConnell does not reflect the priorities the president and I discussed on numerous occasions, including when I traveled with him on Air Force One to Indiana recently—and that is why I couldn’t support this bill. It results in a tax hike for nearly a million middle class Hoosier families in the coming years and it fails to address the outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries. In addition, this bill takes away health care and raises costs for millions of families.

Here’s the bottom line: I opposed Mitch McConnell’s bill because it is not tax reform, it’s a partisan tax hike on Indiana’s middle class, it does nothing to prevent outsourcing of US jobs to foreign countries, and it’s a giveaway to Wall Street and other big money interests.     

Independent, non-partisan analyses suggest this bill would raise taxes on a majority of families making less than $75,000, while at the same time giving a tax cut to the wealthiest and the top one percent. This bill does not close tax loopholes like one that allows Wall Street hedge fund managers to pay a lower tax rate than a Hoosier firefighter, than a Hoosier teacher, or a Hoosier steelworker – that’s just not right and it’s just not fair.

I had high hopes that tax reform would include policies aimed at encouraging companies to invest in American jobs and penalize companies that ship jobs to other countries. This bill has neither the carrot to encourage investment in American workers, nor the stick required to address the outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries.

I’m disappointed because this represents a real missed opportunity. I believe our country is stronger when we work together and pass legislation that focuses on the middle class. That didn’t happen here but I will continue to fight for Hoosiers to help our middle class get ahead. ​

 
 
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Local News Briefs

Pulaski County Systems of Care group conducting needs assessment survey

The Pulaski County Systems of Care group is asking county residents to complete a needs assessment survey related to local mental health and substance abuse services.

The survey may be completed online, and will be open for completion from Nov. 20 through Dec. 20.

 
PCPL lists December events, including Santa visits

The Pulaski County Public Library has listed its special programs and activities for December, including visits by Santa, Christmas carols and Christmas Bingo.

For more information on any program, call the library at 574-946- 3432.

 
Salvation Army 'Kettle Campaign' to run Nov. 22 - Dec.23

The Salvation Army of Pulaski County has announced its annual holiday kettle campaign will run Nov. 22 - Dec. 23, in the lobby at Sanders Grocery in Winamac.

Funds raised during the campaign will be utilized in Pulaski County.

 
Winamac Methodist Church to serve community Christmas dinenr

WINAMAC - The First United Methodist Church, Winamac, will once again serve a "Community Christmas Dinner" on Christmas Day.

The free dinner, open to all, will be served from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 25, at the church, located on the corner of Monticello and Spring streets, Winamac.

 
Pulaski Christmas Lights on display through Jan. 1

PULASKI - The annual Pulaski Christmas Lights displays are now lit from 5 to 11 p.m., nightly through Monday, Jan. 1, for public viewing.

For nearly 30 years, the residents of the river village have attracted visitors from near and far to view the lights, offered as "A Gift to Brighten Your Christmas."

 
NIPFP 26th annual Toy Show Jan. 21

The 26th annual Farm Toy Show will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 21, at Eastern Pulaski Elementary School in Winamac.

The event, sponsored by the Northern Indiana Power From the Past, Inc., usually attracts over 2,000 visitors.

 
Pulaski County Historical Society membership drive underway

The Pulaski County Historical Society welcomes new - and "re-newed" members as it launches its annual membership drive for 2018.

As 2017 draws to a close, many current or new members may prefer to pay their tax deductable memberships before the new year begins. Memberships also make thoughtful gifts for the holiday season.

 
4-H enrollment opens for Pulaski County

Pulaski County 4-H enrollment opened Oct. 1, and will run through Jan. 15.

New and current 4-H members can enroll by going online at https://in.4honline.com or by picking up an enrollment form at any of the local schools or the Extension Office. There is a $15 state program fee for each 4-H member to enroll in 4-H. Kindergarten through second grade members are exempt.

 
PMH Senior Care helps senior citizens with mental health issues

Pulaski Memorial Hospital's new Senior Care program can help senior citizens with mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, fear and worry lasting more than two weeks. It also assists with grief issues.

Program director Mindy Shidler, RN, hopes to spread information about the Senior Care program throughout the community.

 
 

Indiana News

Celebrate the New Year with a First Day Hike on Jan. 1

INDIANAPOLIS - Usher in 2018 with other outdoor lovers at one of the many First Day Hikes offered Jan. 1 at Indiana’s state parks.

First Day Hikes are a healthy way to start 2018 and a chance to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and connect with friends.

A hike at Tippecanoe River State Park, north of Winamac will begin at 12 noon. Those who wish to participate should meet at the fire tower parking lot for a half-mile hike that will last about 30 minutes. Hikers can climb the tower for excellent views.

 
Indiana Farm Bureau president discusses 2018 priorities

INDIANAPOLIS - Each year at the Indiana Farm Bureau convention, the organization’s president discusses his vision for the coming year with members from across the state.

This year’s convention took place Dec. 7-9 in French Lick.

 
Young, Donnelly release statements on Senate tax reform bill

The U.S. Senate passed a sweeping tax rewrite early Saturday (Dec. 2) in a 51-49 vote.

Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee joined all Senate Democrats in voting against the 500-page bill. The proposed legislation now moves to a conference committee to work out the differences between the Senate version a House of Representatives tax bill passed last month.

 
Pulaski County unemployment rate remains at 3.5%

Pulaski County's unemployment rate remained at 3.5 percent in October, the same rate as September, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported Monday (Nov. 20). The rate was 3.9 percent a year ago.

The county has 5,822 employed persons in a labor force of 6,034. Last month those numbers were 5,883 of 6,094. A year ago the numbers were 5,973 of 6,213.

 
Food Finders Food Bank receives pet food donation

LAFAYETTE - Food Finders Food Bank recently received a pet food donation of 820 bags of dog and cat food totaling 31,160 pounds from PetSmart’s Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program. For every bag of pet food purchased from PetSmart until Dec. 31, they will donate a meal to a pet in need.

The families Food Finders serves often struggle with difficult choices like paying the rent or buying food, and some have to choose between keeping their pet and putting food on the table. Pets provide comfort and become part of the family, and people who are struggling financially more than likely will need food for their pets as well.

 
Veterans Day 2017 - Veterans by the numbers

From U.S. Census Bureau

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary marking the end of World War I.

Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars.

 
Indiana Dept. of Agriculture launches conservation ‘one-stop’

INDIANAPOLIS – Improving water quality and soil health continues to be a priority for farmers statewide, and while data has always been available to support this claim, it hasn’t been accessible in one, easily navigable location.

To address this issue, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), using information compiled by the Indiana Conservation Partnership (ICP), launched Oct. 12 an online story map, a one-stop shop for Indiana’s conservation efforts.

 
 

Post News

EPCS approves 2018-19 school calendar

WINAMAC - The Eastern Pulaski Community Schools Board approved the 2018-19 school calendar as presented at its monthly meeting Monday evening (Dec. 11).

Before the board vote, Superintendent Dan Foster noted there is current discussion concerning legislation to start school later in August.

 
Peyton Newman named recipient of 2018 Lilly Scholarship

One Pulaski County student has been named the recipient of a full-tuition, four-year scholarship as the Community Foundation of Pulaski County 2018 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.

Peyton Newman will receive full tuition to an Indiana college of her choice and a $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment.

 
West Central Board continues work on safe school entrance projects

FRANCESVILLE - The West Central School Board advanced plans for its "school entrance security" projects, heard praise for the high school's dual credit program, and accepted bids for two new school buses at its December meeting.

Also, Superintendent Don Street reported that the Indiana Department of Education has notified school districts that the tuition support monthly payments will be decreased because the Indiana State Budget for education is less than the total tuition support payments.

 
Community Foundation renews commitment to pool project agreements

In a letter to the community, the Community Foundation of Pulaski County has renewed its commitment to the Winamac Community Pool Project agreements.

The Community Foundation voted last year to enter into two fund agreement contracts relating to the pool project.

 
One dead, another injured in Medaryville incident

MEDARYVILLE - One man is dead and another injured as the result of an apparent stabbing and shooting incident at a Medaryville residence Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 21).

The Pulaski County Coroner's Office identified the dead man as Kenneth Ray Henry, 41, of Rensselaer. The name of the injured man has not been released.

 
Winamac Town Council prepares for new garbage pick-up bidding

WINAMAC - The Winamac Town Council discussed preparations for bidding a new garbage pick-up contract next year, and heard updates on the new restroom project on the Winamac Parkway and progress on the new police department at its regular monthly meeting Nov. 13.

Town manager Brad Zellers also reported on plans to apply for a grant to obtain new decorative light poles for downtown.

 
CFPC awards youth grants

Two county youth organizations have recently been awarded grants totaling $800 through the Good Oil/BP Youth Philanthropy Fund.

Checks were presented to Boy Scout Troop #229 to support their 2018 Summer Camp, and to the Winamac Community High School Arts Department for “Sculpting Clay/Shaping Futures” project.

 
EPCS board approves teachers' master contract

WINAMAC - A new master contract with the Eastern Pulaski Teachers Association was approved by the Eastern Pulaski Community School Board at its month meeting Monday evening (Nov. 13).

Superintendent Dan Foster recommended an approximate three percent increase in compensation and some updated language in the contract. The contract was earlier approved by the teachers association.