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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The All INdiana Politics team analyze the debt ceiling vote and discuss who did and didn’t vote.

Garrett Bergquist interviews Rep. Greg Pence to discuss the debt ceiling deal, social security, and more.

Garrett Bergquist also sits down with new state health commissioner Lindsay Weaver to discuss her new role and her previous ER experience.

“All INdiana Politics” airs at 9:30 a.m. Sundays on WISH-TV.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Every Tuesday, Dr. Lindsay Weaver trades her desk at the Indiana State Department of Health for the emergency room at IU Health Methodist.

During her shift, Weaver said she will treat everyone from gunshot wound victims to pregnant women.

“It’s easier to work in the ER than it is to do public health because there’s one person in front of you,” she said.

Weaver says working in an emergency room is one of the best ways to see where the gaps are in Indiana’s health care system because she sees so many patients with so many different needs. People who come into the ER often aren’t aware of the different public health resources available to them or don’t have a way to access them. She says the way to get around this is to talk to the patient about their individual needs and then find a way to connect them with all of the services they need at once.

For example, a new mother might get help with safe sleep environments, car seat setup and food access all in one visit. She said her goal as state health commissioner will be to ensure public health departments can serve as one-stop shops for everyone’s needs.

Weaver became the state health commissioner on June 1 after three years as the department’s chief medical officer. She succeeds the retiring Dr. Kris Box. Weaver’s early tenure was defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, which began right as she assumed her previous post. In an interview with News 8 for All INdiana Politics, she said the pandemic showed the importance of collaboration across state and local agencies and the ripple effects health has on all aspects of life in the state. Prior to the pandemic, she said local health departments had little opportunity to share ideas. That has changed, and Weaver says she wants to build on that in her new role.

“Health really matters to all of us, including the economics of the state,” she said. “Thinking about health on top of that is really, really important.”

This spring, lawmakers approved legislation to provide additional funding to county health departments if they agree to provide a uniform set of services, ranging from immunizations and disease control, to health inspections and support for new mothers. Weaver said health officials are already working on ways to implement the law, which becomes effective July 1. She said local health departments are sharing ideas of how to measure success.

The Holcomb Administration drew criticism from small-government conservatives during the pandemic for mask mandates and the March 2020 stay-home order. When asked how she plans to repair trust in public health, Weaver said the pandemic was the first time many people truly saw what public health was about.

“Everybody was trying to do the best that they absolutely could to save as many lives as possible, to protect as many people, and I think it’s reminding people that that is really what public health is about,” she said. “We’re here to make sure that we can all live the absolute best lives that we can, and that often comes with recommendations, services, and things that we often take for granted.”

Weaver said she would like to focus on preventing obesity in particular. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Indiana had the 15th highest adult obesity rate in 2018. Weaver said helping people find healthy food options can help prevent a host of chronic conditions.

All INdiana airs at 9:30 a.m. Sundays on WISH-TV.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — All INdiana Politics’ Garrett Bergquist sits down with Congressman Greg Pence to discuss Republican Mike Pence pushing for a presidential run and the debt ceiling negotiations.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita tells Garrett Bergquist why he wants Governor Eric Holcomb to send the National Guard to the border.

Indiana’s best political team discusses the debt ceiling, the border crisis, and much more.

“All INdiana Politics” airs at 9:30 a.m. Sundays on WISH-TV.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — All INdiana Politics’ Garrett Bergquist sits down with Indiana State Treasurer Daniel Elliott to discuss the new ESG investing ban.

Our political team weighs in on the ESG question, endorsements for governor, and a half-billion dollar downtown hotel.

“All INdiana Politics” airs at 9:30 a.m. Sundays on WISH-TV.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Our political team weighs in on the Indianapolis Mayoral primaries, with speeches by Mayor Hogsett and Republican candidate Jefferson Shreve.

The political team also weighs in on Jennifer McCormick’s bid for Indiana governor in 2024 and the IPS referendum results.

“All INdiana Politics” airs at 9:30 a.m. Sundays on WISH-TV.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana’s 2023 legislative session is officially in the books.

Lawmakers wrapped up their work in the early hours of Friday after a marathon session. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said he got pretty much everything he asked for.

On Sunday’s “All INdiana Politics,” News 8’s government reporter Garrett Bergquist, explained why both sides are claiming some victories. Also, two members of Indiana’s best political team, Democrat Lara Beck and Republican Mario Massillamany talked about the legislative measures affecting schools and their libraries.

Meanwhile, Washington’s budget battle is heating up. The House voted Wednesday to pass a bill raising the nation’s debt ceiling. In January, the U.S. hit the debt ceiling set by Congress, forcing the Treasury Department to start taking extraordinary measures to keep the government open and escalating pressure on Capitol Hill to avoid a catastrophic default.

News 8’s Scott Sander spoke with U.S. Rep. Rudy Yakym, a Republican from Indiana who serves on the House Budget Committee, about the debt ceiling bill.

“All INdiana Politics” airs at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on WISH-TV.

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CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — The winner of next month’s primary will have big shoes to fill.

Republican James Brainard is retiring after a record seven terms as mayor of Carmel. During his time in office, Carmel grew from more than 30,000 people to more than 100,000, placing it among the state’s 10 largest cities. Three Republicans are running to succeed him: Fred Glynn, Kevin Rider and Sue Finkam.

Fred Glynn

Fred Glynn is a Hamilton County Council member. He said he is running for mayor because it’s time to focus on neighborhoods and fiscal responsibility rather than growth.

Glynn said he blames much of the city’s roughly $1.5 billion in debt on the heavy use of tax increment financing. He said he would leave TIF districts in place if they can generate revenue to help pay down the debt but he also would bring in outside consultants to look for ways to eliminate inefficiencies that lead to high debt.

“I’ve done that when I was in county government, brought in a consulting firm to do an efficiency study of county departments,” he said. “We would need to do that same thing in Carmel to figure out a good fiscal plan going forward to get that paid down so that we can protect taxpayers in the city.”

Glynn said he wants to eliminate the use of tax incentives to fund Carmel’s growth. He said it’s time for city officials to focus on the needs of neighborhoods rather than encouraging high-density growth in the city’s core. Related to that, he said to limit gentrification, he would like to impose a requirement that any developer who tears down a house builds one of similar value in its place.

The retiring Brainard has drawn national attention for his work on environmental issues, including taking part in the national Climate Mayors initiative. This has at times put him at odds with national Republicans. Asked how he plans to build on Brainard’s environmental legacy, Glynn said he wants to ensure future development incorporates more green spaces, particularly among apartment complexes.

Kevin Rider

Kevin Rider is a restaurant owner and Carmel City Council member. He said he is running for mayor as a way to continue to give back and to continue Brainard’s tradition of leadership.

Rider said he would prioritize involving the public in any policymaking. He said people are more likely to buy into the decisions their elected leaders make if they understand what officials are doing and why.

Rider said he wasn’t worried about the city paying off its debt. He said Carmel officials already have committed to a schedule to pay it down and the debt only accounts for 17% of the city’s annual budget.

“I think it’s been made more of a political football in the last few elections,” he said. “It’s an investment in taxpayers. Without the amount of money that we’ve spent, we wouldn’t have the infrastructure that we have. We wouldn’t have the companies that want to come.”

On the city’s growth, Rider said his goal would be to focus on drawing businesses that fit the city’s needs. He said he would especially prioritize empty-nester housing and affordable senior housing. As for the environment, Rider said he would continue Brainard’s work connecting bike and walking trails and expanding the city’s use of electric vehicles and renewable energy sources.

Sue Finkam

Sue Finkam owns a marketing firm and is a Carmel City Council member. She said she is running for mayor because she wants Carmel to be the best place it can be for its residents.

Finkam’s website includes engaging residents and protecting Carmel’s quality of life among her goals. She told News 8 she means funding public safety and actively recruiting the kind of businesses Carmel needs most.

On the city’s debt, she said the $1.5 billion figure is a little misleading because about half of it actually was incurred by developers. As for the rest, she said the city already has a repayment schedule for paying off a mortgage. Still, she said the next mayor will have to be smart about spending, such as setting up sinking funds for the explicit purpose of paying off debt.

Finkam said city officials need to focus on smart development that preserves Carmel’s neighborhoods. She said the U.S. 31 and Pennsylvania Avenue corridors are good options for redevelopment and infill. Finkam said the next mayor should be strategic with growth and make sure dollars from tax increment financing districts come back into the city’s budget when the authorizations for those districts expire.

“We don’t have to say yes to everything that comes our way and make sure that we are really, truly delivering value to our residents with this development,” she said.

On the environmental front, Finkam said she would continue to follow the city’s climate action plan. She noted the public was heavily involved in the development of that plan and she would continue that tradition with any future environmental policies.

The winner of the May 2 primary will face Democrat Miles Nelson in November. Nelson is unopposed in his primary.

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — The three Republican candidates for mayor told News 8 the city needs to diversify its tax base to meet its future needs.

Current Westfield Mayor Andy Cook is stepping down after four terms in office. Three Republicans are running to succeed him: Kristen Burkman, Scott Willis and Jake Gilbert. There is no Democratic primary for mayor, though party officials have until July 3 to caucus in a candidate for the general election in November.

Westfield sits immediately north of Carmel in Hamilton County. The city grew rapidly between the 2010 and 2020 census, from about 30,000 people to more than 46,000, and topped the 50,000 mark in 2021. It is home to Grand Park, a 400-acre sports park for which the city still owes more than $77 million.

Kristen Burkman

Kristen Burkman is a marketing executive and a member of Westfield’s Advisory Plan Commission. She said she is running for mayor because the city needs to find a way to draw commercial businesses. Burkman said her marketing background would help her put together a data-driven plan to do so.

“Everything happens when you plan,” she said. “We need the information to put in these plans and then go out and market our community to companies so they see what an incredible place Westfield is to not only raise a family but also bring their business to Westfield.”

Burkman said Westfield is not in any danger of running out of housing anytime soon but city officials need to develop a strategy to update the city’s roads and public safety to meet the needs of a growing population. She said she also would collaborate with schools to help them meet their needs in terms of classroom space and teachers.

Burkman said she is not in favor of selling Grand Park. Instead, she said the city needs to find ways to draw businesses that would complement the facility and boost the city’s commercial tax base in the process. She said young athletes need Grand Park’s fields and baseball diamonds as the fields in use before the park was built are no longer adequate. Burkman said Westfield should continue to market itself as a youth sports hub while also seeking businesses and events unrelated to youth sports as a way to diversify its portfolio.

Asked what sets her apart from the rest of the Republican field, Burkman pointed to her academic credentials, including a nearly-completed doctorate in leadership and organizational innovation. She also cited her marketing background and her planning commission experience.

Scott Willis

Scott Willis is a city council member and a retired Marine Corps officer. He said he is running for mayor because he sees it as a natural continuation of his service and a way to address the city’s challenges.

Willis said the city depends too heavily on homeowners to provide tax revenue. He said bringing more commercial business to the city would mean a broader, more stable tax base as well as lower taxes for homeowners themselves.

“It starts, first, by identifying land that fits into Westfield, fits into our strengths as a community, get that land zoned, bring the infrastructure into that development and then you go out and market that to the business community,” he said.

Willis said he would like to slow down Westfield’s residential growth to give infrastructure time to catch up. He said the way to do that is to focus on developing land within the city limits, including pockets that are currently unincorporated, before annexing additional land. Willis said doing this would head off problems associated with sprawl.

On Grand Park, Willis said the city needs to make the facility more profitable and develop businesses around the park to capture dollars spent by people coming to town for sporting events. He said he doesn’t think Westfield is pinning too much of its economy on youth sports but the next mayor should try to draw high-tech businesses in particular and promote more mixed-use development.

Willis said his experience running two businesses as well as overseeing Marine Corps units gives him an administrative and budgetary background his primary rivals lack.

Jake Gilbert

Jake Gilbert is a teacher and high school football coach who also serves as the president of the Wellbeing Coalition of Westfield. He said he is running for mayor because he loves his city and wants to help it reach its full potential.

Gilbert called the management of the city’s growth the million-dollar question. He said growth is good as long as it’s quality growth and city officials are clear with developers and businesses on exactly what they are looking for. He said the next mayor will have to make sure the city’s roads and schools are able to absorb growth.

“Westfield is a special community but we can ruin that with growth that exceeds the services we can provide,” he said. “So I think we have to be really thoughtful, smart about all of our residental growth and really well plan when it comes to the comprehensive plan.”

Gilbert said he has never been in favor of selling Grand Park despite the city’s outstanding debt on it. He said a better idea would be to find a private-sector partner to lease it or sponsor it. Gilbert said Westfield should continue to attract youth sporting events while at the same time recruiting other businesses, such as advanced manufacturing.

Gilbert said he is the best choice because in the primary because his background is built around community service rather than public office. He said his educational and coaching background gives him the ability to build teams and culture and then pursue a goal. He said his current jobs also give him the organizational and budgetary experience necessary for the city’s highest office.

The primary is set for May 2.

“All INdiana Politics” airs at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on WISH-TV.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Here is what’s on this week’s “All INdiana Politics.”

For the first time in U.S. history, a former president and candidate in the next presidential election faces criminal charges. Donald Trump reportedly faces more than 30 counts of business fraud.

Indiana politicians reacted to the indictment. Mike Pence, a former vice president and Indiana governor, criticized the indictment in a CNN Town Hall hours after word of the indictment got out. Indiana’s congressional Republicans were no less forgiving.

Lawrence election

Turning to local politics, Indianapolis voters won’t be the only ones deciding who will advance in a mayor’s race. Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier is not seeking another term. Democrats there have two candidates to choose from next month in the race to succeed him. News 8’s Garrett Bergquist caught up with both of them.

Legislative session nears end

“All INdiana Politics” also takes a look at what’s happening in the Indiana Legislature as the session enters its final month. Leaders in the Indiana Senate say it could be a while, though, before Hoosiers learn how lawmakers will spend Hoosiers’ tax dollars.

Indiana’s best political team

Republican Mario Massillamany and Democrat Destiny Wells discuss recent events including the Trump indictment, a mass shooting, and more.

“All INdiana Politics” airs at 9:30 a.m. Sundays on WISH-TV.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On this week’s “All INdiana Politics,” state Sen. Andy Zay and Judge Wendy Davis talk about seeking the Republican bid to run for a northeastern Indiana seat in Congress.

Both stopped at the WISH-TV studios to talk with News 8’s Garrett Bergquist.

Also on Sunday’s show, the “All INdiana Politics” team weighs in on the race to replace U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, who plans to run for governor. Indiana’s best political team also tackles issues facing former President Donald Trump.