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Problem-solving courts, CHINS legislation return to house of origin

March 20, 2013

The Indiana Senate passed several House bills Tuesday, including legislation expanding when a person can participate in a problem-solving court program. The House of Representatives returned bills on children in need of services petitions and prosecutor pensions back to the Senate.

House Bill 1016 passed 49-0 and was returned to the House with amendments. The bill adds as eligible to participate those who have been referred to the court as a condition of a misdemeanor sentence, or a program authorized by the judge of the problem-solving court and the Department of Correction or county sheriff.

The legislation also would allow problem-solving courts to provide rehabilitative services – a class, program or service – to someone participating in the problem-solving court program. The court or another entity to which the individual has been referred by the court could provide the rehabilitation services in areas such as education, employment, or family support.

Senate Bill 164 on child in need of services petitions passed the House 92-0. The bill allows a prosecuting attorney to ask the juvenile court to authorize the filing of a petition alleging a child is need of services. The prosecutor also may represent the interests of the state at all proceedings dealing with the petition, unless otherwise agreed upon. The introduced version of this bill was prepared by the Department of Child Services Interim Study Committee.

Prosecutors once had the ability to file these petitions, but the state code was changed when the Department of Child Services was spun off from the Family and Social Services Administration.  The bill goes back to the Senate with amendments.

Senate Bill 499 on pensions passed 97-0. The bill allows the board of trustees of the Indiana public retirement system to grant service credit to a participant who withdrew from the prosecuting attorneys retirement fund for years of service accrued before the withdrawal if the participant pays into the fund the full amount of the money received when the participant withdrew, plus interest at a rate specified by rule by the board.

SB 499 returns to the Senate without amendments and is ready for enrollment.

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