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Big News for Elkhart County Economy – Open Item

Hoosier Access Open Item covers a number of different topics from a growing local economy to the anniversary of the statewide smoking ban.We actually have a lot to cover in a short amount of space so we’re going to jump right into the fray. You may remember in the early years of President Obama’s administration he used Elkhart County as the poster child of sorts for what was going wrong with the economy. Well get prepared for a victory lap because in this report from WSBT-TV Elkhart County has the highest rate of job growth in the United States according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. I’m not sure how much the president played a role in the turnaround there, as the folks on the ground in Elkhart County deserve the lion’s share of the credit. I wouldn’t be surprised if Governor Mike Pence would have something to say about this news given he’s going to be in the South Bend media market for two stops later today.

Yesterday was the first anniversary of the statewide smoking ban going into effect. We’re curious as to your views on the subject. There seem to be different perspectives on the impact of the regulation. While Ted Land of WSBT-TV reported mixed results from businesses impacted by the statewide smoking ban, Megan Reust of WANE-TV covered a restaurant in Columbia City that has prospered as a result of the smoking ban. What are your thoughts on how the ban has impacted the businesses you visit?

On the federal side, yesterday the student loan interest rate issue our congressional delegation has been talking about for the last month finally came to a head. Sean Sullivan at The Washington Post‘s The Fix put together a primer on what’s going on with the student loan interest rate issue. It’s not clear what will happen next on the issue as it does not appear that a compromise is in sight.

Also, yesterday Congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-Howe) joined Americans for Prospertiy’s President Tim Phillips for a Tele-Town Hall meeting on Stutzman’s proposal to split the Farm Bill. The focus of the discussion was on why they think this is the way to move forward and the conversation included questions from reporters as well as a Hoosier. Matt Brinkman will bring you a summary of what all was discussed later this morning.

Also in blog-related news, we will be opening nominations for our Top 25 Hoosier Politicos Under 25 here in the very near future, so please be thinking about any young Hoosiers active in politics you might want to nominate for consideration. Finally, don’t forget to send us your nominations for Tweet of the Week, and please share any thoughts or news you think we’d like to read in the comments section below.

This post was tagged under: Economy, Indiana Politics, Marlin Stutzman, Mike Pence, Open Item, Smoking Ban

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