Category Archives: State and National

Bayh proposes tax relief for home-based small businesses

Bayh proposes tax relief for home-based small businesses
Washington—Seeking to make it easier for Indiana’s 180,000 home-based small businesses to take advantage of an important tax deduction, Senator Evan Bayh has proposed legislation to simplify the federal home office tax deduction and provide small businesses additional help to succeed.
The federal tax code currently provides small businesses operating out of the home with a tax deduction.  However, many small business owners fail to claim the deduction because the filing process is confusing and burdensome.  The IRS instruction manual for the current home-based small business tax deduction is 32 pages long.  Nationally, only 2.7 million of the eight million eligible taxpayers actually bother to claim the deduction, according to the National Small Business Association.
“Many enterprising Hoosiers have started their own home-based businesses to make ends meet during the economic downturn,” Bayh said.  “However, like much of the current tax code, the federal tax deduction available to these small business owners is too complicated and burdensome, which winds up costing them an important tax benefit.  This legislation offers accessible tax relief to Hoosier entrepreneurs who are utilizing their skill sets across a range of fields to support their families, such as operating a landscaping business, providing child care services or starting their own online business from home.”
The Simplified Home Office Deduction Act of 2009 creates a new, standard tax deduction of $1,500 or the annual gross income of the home-based small business, whichever sum is less. Small business owners who like the current rules can continue to use them.
The proposed change would make it significantly easier for 180,000 Hoosier small business owners and eight million home-based entrepreneurs nationwide to take advantage of the intended tax benefit.  Nearly half of all U.S. small businesses are home-based and contribute a combined $314 billion to the economy, according to the Small Business Administration.
Bayh introduced the legislation with Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Joe Lieberman (ID-CT).  The bill is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Small Business Association, the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Association for the Self-Employed.

WASHINGTON – Seeking to make it easier for Indiana’s 180,000 home-based small businesses to take advantage of an important tax deduction, Senator Evan Bayh has proposed legislation to simplify the federal home office tax deduction and provide small businesses additional help to succeed.

HHS unveils new features on Flu.gov

HHS Unveils New Features on Flu.gov
Evaluation Guide, Flu Myths and Facts, Flu Essentials Flyers Among  New Resources
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has unveiled several new resources on the federal government’s one-stop resource for flu information — www.flu.gov.  The website now features a new H1N1 Flu Self-Evaluation guide for adults 18 and older along with a new Flu Myths and Facts section, which provides the public with the latest and most accurate information about the flu.
“Flu.gov is a one-stop clearinghouse for the latest news about the flu,” said Secretary Sebelius.  “These new resources on flu.gov will help individuals get critical information on how to protect themselves and their families from the H1N1 virus. They will also help us to get accurate information out into the public realm so people know what the facts are about the flu.”
The new Flu Myths and Facts section on flu.gov debunks some of the myths about the H1N1 virus and vaccine, and provides accurate information on vaccinations, the flu, and public health.
The H1N1 Flu Self-Evaluation guide (www.flu. gov/evaluation/) on flu.gov will give individuals 18 and older more information about what they can do to take care of themselves, prevent the spread of the flu to other members of their families, and identify the warning signs of more serious flu symptoms — symptoms that require the attention of a medical professional.
The information in the H1N1 Flu Self-Evaluation guide is designed for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for your doctor’s advice. It does not capture identifiable information in any manner and is completely anonymous. Organizations providing public health education, blogs, and members of the media can add it to their websites.
“One way that we can help relieve some of the burden on the states and local providers this flu season is by helping people understand what the warning signs are when it comes to the flu,” said Secretary Sebelius. “In addition to the Self-Evaluation guide, we have also created some handy one-page information sheets called Flu Essentials that people can share with family, friends and neighbors.”

Evaluation Guide, Flu Myths and Facts, Flu Essentials, flyers among new resources

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has unveiled several new resources on the federal government’s one-stop resource for flu information — www.flu.gov. The website now features a new H1N1 Flu Self-Evaluation guide for adults 18 and older along with a new Flu Myths and Facts section, which provides the public with the latest and most accurate information about the flu.

Well-known Patoka Lake bald eagle dies

cn 10/14
Well-known Patoka Lake bald eagle dies
Bald Eagle C52, which appeared in Department of Natural Resources shows at the State Fair for the past eight years and with the DNR’s Patoka Lake Interpretive Services for the past 20-1/2 years, died October 6 while undergoing surgery.
“Thousands of people became aware of the life of bald eagles through the program with C52,” said Maria Abel-Crecelius, the park’s interpretive naturalist in Birdseye.
C52 came to Indiana from his nest in Tongass National Forest in Alaska in July 1988. From there, he was transported to Lake Monroe and became the 52nd bald eagle in its hack tower. The eagles in the tower were to be raised by DNR staff to the age of 3-4 months, then released and allowed to fledge, helping Indiana’s eagle population to eventually thrive once again.
As C52 (his leg band identification for Indiana) took his place with two other young eagles in the nest area of the tower, DNR staff noticed difficulty with his right wing not extending. Further tests and exams by Minnesota Rehab and Research diagnosed a genetic defect. C52 had hatched with that wing drawn up in a fixed position, greatly reducing his ability to survive in the wild, but launching a career that would make him familiar to many Hoosiers
“From January 1989 when he arrived at Patoka Lake Visitor Center until yesterday, C52 was a valuable asset to the Interpretive Services,” Abel-Crecelius said. “Thousands of people have enjoyed the opportunity to see this wild bird up close and learn about the habits and habitat of bald eagles. He was a symbol of our country, an ambassador for the species and a celebration of the successful re-introduction of eagles to Indiana.
“Most recently, he was part of the Hoosier Outdoor Experience in Indianapolis in the DNR State Parks and Reservoirs tent on September 26.”
The Indiana Natural Resources Foundation supports Patoka’s ongoing raptor care and programs through donations.  Contributions to this fund can be made online at www.IndianaNRF.org or by calling 317-234-5447.
C52’s death occurred during the exploratory procedures in Louisville at 11:20 a.m. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife and other agencies have been notified. The remains were sent to the National Eagle Repository in Commerce City, Colo., per federal law.

Bald Eagle C52, which appeared in Department of Natural Resources shows at the State Fair for the past eight years and with the DNR’s Patoka Lake Interpretive Services for the past 20-1/2 years, died October 6 while undergoing surgery.

Dillon invites fourth graders to celebrate State’s birthday

Sen. Dillon invites fourth graders to celebrate State’s birthday
Essay contest among festivities; winner will read entry at Statehouse ceremony
STATEHOUSE (Oct. 5, 2009) – State Sen. Gary Dillon (R-Columbia City) invites area fourth graders along with their principals, teachers and parents to a special birthday party at the Statehouse – one in which the honored guest will be 193 years old.
Dillon said many interesting activities are planned to celebrate “Statehood Day” on Friday, Dec. 11 – the day Indiana officially became this nation’s 19th state in 1816.
“This would be a great day to schedule a visit to our historic Statehouse,” Dillon said. “Interactive displays, special music and a chance to see original copies of Indiana’s state constitution will be pat of the fun. This event will bring Indiana history to life for these children as they study out state’s government and heritage.”
Dillon said the day at the Statehouse will begin at 9 a.m. and include interactive activities presented by the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor, the legislature, Indiana Supreme Court, state museum, archives section of the state library, historical bureau, history center and other state agencies. Students will also have a chance to visit many executive, legislative and judicial offices.
At noon, the celebration will move to the North Atrium for a program featuring words of welcome from government officials, special music, installation of original copies of Indiana’s 1816 and 1851 state constitutions into a display case in the Rotunda, and the reading of a winning essay titled “What Indiana Means to Me.”
This essay competition is open to any Indiana fourth grade public, private or home-schooled student and is easy to enter:
* Essays need to range from 100 to 400 words;
*   They can be handwritten or typed;
* They must include the student’s name, teacher’s name and the school’s name, address and telephone number;
* Essays should convey what living in the State of Indiana means to the student and highlight things that make the student glad to be a Hoosier; and
* Deadline is Monday, Nov. 2.
“Statehood Day is a wonderful opportunity for Indiana’s fourth-grade students to celebrate their Hoosier heritage,” said Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett.  “The essay contest gives students a chance to showcase their state knowledge and their writing ability. I encourage students to participate and look forward to meeting the winners.”
Questions about the contest may be directed to 317-233-9830. Essays should be sent to: Jennifer Hodge, Coordinator, State Capitol Tour Office, 200 W. Washington St., Room 220, Indiana Statehouse, Indianapolis, IN 46204.
“Judges will choose first, second and third place winners,” Dillon said. “Winners will be notified the week of Nov. 23. I hope many fourth graders in my district will take time to enter and share their thoughts on what Indiana means to them.”
Schools interested in bringing students to this special day of activities may call the Capitol Tour Office at 317-233-5293. School officials are encouraged to make plans soon, because space may be limited.

Essay contest among festivities; winner will read entry at Statehouse ceremony

STATEHOUSE (Oct. 5, 2009) – State Sen. Gary Dillon (R-Columbia City) invites area fourth graders along with their principals, teachers and parents to a special birthday party at the Statehouse – one in which the honored guest will be 193 years old.