Lawmakers pick summer study topics

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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State lawmakers have announced what topics they'll explore before the 2009 legislative term begins.

On tap: immigration, administrative law judge powers, Indiana's alcoholic beverage laws, and a variety of other legal issues.

The Indiana Legislative Council Thursday created multiple new interim study commissions that will meet this summer. What they recommend helps set the stage for the next session. Legislative leaders will appoint lawmakers to the panels in coming weeks, and most must make recommendations to the General Assembly by Nov. 1.

One of the biggest topics will be a newly created committee to study immigration issues, specifically the financial and economic impact of illegal immigrants, federal limitations, and the potential of e-verification systems.

The Interim Study Committee on Alcoholic Beverages will study the historic origins of Indiana's alcoholic beverage laws and how the 21st Amendment fits into this century. Also to be studied will be whether microbreweries can offer beer for carryout on Sundays.

Lawmakers on the Administrative Rules Oversight Committee will consider whether all commissions created solely to review state agency decisions can be replaced with a type of "office of appeal" staffed by administrative law judges.

The Child Custody and Support Advisory Committee plans to study whether the statute concerning supervised visitation should be amended to cover situations where violence accusations have been made against a non-custodial parent but did not result in charging or conviction.

Topics the Commission on Courts will study include: judicial mandates and alternatives to the current system, the election of Court of Appeals judges and public information about retention votes, the potential creation of a sixth Court of Appeals panel, modernizations of mechanic's liens filing system through an online statewide registry, and whether St. Joseph County judges should be elected or appointed.

The Sentencing Policy Study Committee will study the penalties for salvaged material theft, such as valuable metals and architectural salvage material, and the effectiveness of 2007 legislation on this type of crime.

Certain issues concerning the prosecuting attorneys retirement fund will also be studied by the Pension Management Oversight Commission.

A full list of the interim study committees can be found on the General Assembly's Web site.

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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.