Bills, bills, bills

January 12, 2009
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As the 2009 General Assembly session heats up, no doubt there will be bills that cause us to ask, “What were they thinking?” Some seem redundant; others just plain strange. The Senate has until Jan. 15 to file bills; all House of Representative bills have to be filed by the fourth meeting day in January, according to the legislative calendar.

As more bills are added and statuses change, First Impressions seems like a good place to take a look at some of the bills and call attention to what our lawmakers feel is important for Hoosiers.

An issue that I know is pressing on everyone’s mind in this economy is updating our laws on hypnosis. Senate Bill 248  looks to replace the mention of “hypnotism” with “hypnosis” under Indiana Code Section 25-20.5-1. You all will be happy to know that if the bill passes, a hypnotist would be able to perform hypnosis in a group setting for: self-hypnosis, sports enhancement, improvement in test-taking, tobacco cessation, and weight loss.

As I read this bill, it means 1) that doing the above in a group setting right now is considered against the law, and 2) more people than I thought would like to use hypnosis to improve their lives.

Bills like these – and my favorite from last year which attempted to require public access to restrooms in all businesses – make me wonder what prompts the bill’s author or authors to write them. Senate Bill 248 is authored by Sen. Connie Lawson, R-Danville. Did Sen. Lawson use hypnosis and find it helpful? As a result of that, does she now think it should be expanded to a group setting for the reasons above? Or did a constituent or organization approach her about the matter? I wonder how many of these bills are inspired by a legislator’s own personal experience and how many are the result of lobbying.
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  2. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  3. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  4. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  5. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

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