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Bills heading to governor’s desk

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As the legislative session heads toward its March 14 close, several bills have passed both houses and are on their way to Gov. Mike Pence for his signature.

Senate Bill 3 was approved Tuesday in the House of Representatives 91-4. The legislation makes battery a Level 6 felony instead of a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed against certain judicial officers while they are engaged in official duties. Battery becomes a Level 5 felony instead of a Class B misdemeanor if the offense results in bodily injury while a judicial officer is engaged in official duties or if the person who committed the offense placed certain infected bodily fluids or wastes on the judicial officer.

The bill also outlines when and where certain judicial officers may possess a firearm.

Senate Bill 339, which allows alcohol sales at the Indiana State Fair, passed 75-20 Tuesday in the House of Representatives. The bill will end a nearly 70-year-old ban on beer and alcohol sales at the fair. Indiana is the only state that continues to ban alcohol from its state fair.

Senate Bill 101, dubbed the “ag-gag” bill, passed the House 73-25 Tuesday. The legislation states that a person commits criminal trespass if, without an owner’s permission, he enters a portion of an agricultural operation used for production or any part of the real property of an agricultural operation, and causes property damage.

The bill, as introduced, allowed agricultural operators to post a notice that lists prohibited acts that may compromise the operation’s trade secrets or operations. Someone who intentionally or knowingly committed an act at the agricultural operation that is prohibited and listed on that notice would have committed a Level 6 felony. The introduced bill also raised the penalty for criminal trespass if certain levels of pecuniary loss result from the criminal trespass.

The bill was opposed by animal rights groups and the Hoosier State Press Association, which believe it is intended to silence or punish whistleblowers regarding agricultural and animal conditions.

Other bills are heading back to their house of origin after being amended. House Bill 1140, which requires the Department of Correction to create policies that provide for a schedule of progressive parole incentives and violation sanctions, passed the Senate 47-0 with amendments.

The House returned Senate Bill 27 to senators after approving the petitions for adoption legislation 95-0 with amendments. The bill, among other things, provides that the court in which a petition for adoption has been filed has exclusive jurisdiction over the child if there is a petition for adoption and a paternity action pending at the same time.
 

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  1. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

  2. Being dedicated to a genre keeps it alive until the masses catch up to the "trend." Kent and Bill are keepin' it LIVE!! Thank you gentlemen..you know your JAZZ.

  3. Hemp has very little THC which is needed to kill cancer cells! Growing cannabis plants for THC inside a hemp field will not work...where is the fear? From not really knowing about Cannabis and Hemp or just not listening to the people teaching you through testimonies and packets of info over the last few years! Wake up Hoosier law makers!

  4. If our State Government would sue for their rights to grow HEMP like Kentucky did we would not have these issues. AND for your INFORMATION many medical items are also made from HEMP. FOOD, FUEL,FIBER,TEXTILES and MEDICINE are all uses for this plant. South Bend was built on Hemp. Our states antiquated fear of cannabis is embarrassing on the world stage. We really need to lead the way rather than follow. Some day.. we will have freedom in Indiana. And I for one will continue to educate the good folks of this state to the beauty and wonder of this magnificent plant.

  5. Put aside all the marijuana concerns, we are talking about food and fiber uses here. The federal impediments to hemp cultivation are totally ridiculous. Preposterous. Biggest hemp cultivators are China and Europe. We get most of ours from Canada. Hemp is as versatile as any crop ever including corn and soy. It's good the governor laid the way for this, regrettable the buffoons in DC stand in the way. A statutory relic of the failed "war on drugs"

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