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ITW: Is enough being done on homeland security?

Posted at 7:16 PM, Dec 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-05 19:16:52-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- On Indianapolis This Week, guests discuss homeland security, proposed salary increases for the mayor and city-county council, and the transportation bill. 

Republican Congressman Todd Rokita sits down with Indianapolis This Week Host Rafael Sanchez to discuss homeland security following the attacks in California. 

"I would say that no, we’re not doing enough. In fact, next week when I return to Congress, we’re going to take up a bill to reform some of our visa requirements. What we’re finding is that people are coming from places in Europe, where visas are not required, and just before that had been in countries that are suspected of statewide terrorism," he says. 

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He also discusses the transportation bill signed into law Friday. The bill increases highway and transit spending and assures states that federal help will be available for major projects. It does not include as much money or last quite as long as many lawmakers and the Obama administration would have liked. Nor does it resolve how to pay for transportation programs in the long term. 

“It’s an increase in funding in for Indiana, we don’t even have to feel guilty. It’s fully paid for, not with gimmicks but with real money, so that is a good thing," Rep. Rokita says. 

Watch the full interview on Indianapolis This Week Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and noon.

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Plus, City-County councilors Ben Hunter and Zach Adamson talk with Indianapolis This Week Host Rafael Sanchez about proposed salary increases for the mayor and city-county council. 

If the ordinance is adopted, the mayor's salary would go from $95,000 to $125,000, a 31 percent increase.

However, the last salary change was made in 2002. Adjusted for inflation, $95,000 in 2002 is roughly $125,000 in 2015 money.

Each city-county council member's salary would increase to a fixed $16,400, instead of 12 percent of the mayor's salary. The city-county council members are currently paid $11,400 per year.

"There’s two schools of thought on it, I mean it clearly, when you look at council salaries and the mayor for our size city, they are underpaid,” Ben Hunter says. 

Each city-county council member is also paid for each meeting they attend. They get $112 per regular meeting, with a limit of 21 in a year, for a maximum bonus of $2,352. They also get $62 per committee meeting, with a limit of 40, for a maximum of $2,480.

If the ordinance is passed, the new salaries will take effect on Jan. 1.

“I think that there’s never really going to be a good time to have this discussion. There have been conversations over the last four years about this very issue and it’s really never going to be a good time to have that conversation. We really wanted to make sure that if the electorate wanted to hold us accountable, it wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction, to give them four  years to decide if we actually earned that salary," Zach Adamson says. 

Watch the full interview on Indianapolis This Week at 8:30 a.m. and noon.

PREVIOUS | Salary increase proposed for mayor, city-county council 

Also, Michael O'Connor of Indiana Competes sits down with RTV6's Jason Fechner.

Indiana Competes was launched last week. The business coalition,  made up of over 150 businesses across Indiana, aims to improve LGBT civil rights in Indiana. 

The coalition is in support of Indiana lawmakers amending Indiana's civil rights code during the next session to prohibit discrimination of any kind. 

“We believe strongly that no one should have to fear discrimination against them in the State of Indiana, just as we should make sure we’re embracing and supporting freedom of religious expression. We believe there is a solution to be found there," O'Connor says. 


Watch the full interview on Indianapolis This Week Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and noon.

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