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. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  2. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.

  3. maybe if some of the socia workers would treat the foster parents better, they would continue to fostr.

  4. We have been asked to take in a 2 no old baby because mother is in very unstable situation. We want to do this but will need help with expenses such as medical and formula... Do we have to have custody thru court?

  5. Very troubling. A competent public defender is very much the right of every indigent person in the US or the Fifth amendment becomes meaningless. And considering more and more of us are becoming poorer and poorer under this "system," the need for this are greater than ever.... maybe they should study the Federals and see how they manage their program? And here's to thanking all the PD attorneys out there who do a good job.