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Bills would make changes to pro bono funding, court costs, early voting

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Indiana’s 2012 legislative session promises to be a busy one, with hundreds of bills already filed and a short session deadline of March 14. Following are some of the bills Indiana Lawyer is watching:

The Senate Committee on Judiciary is expected to hear a bill that would create additional funding for pro bono districts. Senate Bill 235, introduced by Sen. Ron Grooms, R-Jeffersonville, would distribute $1 from certain small claims and civil court filing fees to the Indiana Bar Foundation for the purpose of supplementing funding to Indiana’s pro bono districts. Charles Dunlap, executive director of the bar foundation, said the bill could result in about $500,000 in annual funding for the pro bono districts, which have struggled with budget shortfalls resulting from a decrease in interest on lawyer trust accounts.

House Bill 1049, authored by Rep. Eric Koch, R-Bedford, would remove a $400 cap on fees for participation in problem-solving courts. Under the revisions made by the bill, reasonable fees for education or treatment and rehabilitative services would not be included in the participation fee. The bill is slated to be heard by the House Committee on Judiciary.

Democratic Sens. Jean Breaux of Indianapolis, Jim Arnold of LaPorte, and John Broden of South Bend have introduced a bill that would allow county election boards to establish early satellite voting centers with only a majority vote. Currently, a unanimous vote is required to establish early satellite voting centers. The legislation – Senate Bill 6 – has been referred to the Senate Committee on Elections. If passed, the law would be effective before November’s presidential election.

 

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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

  3. 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.

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  5. 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!

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