2009 bills update

February 23, 2009
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This is do-or-die week for some bills in the legislature. The third reading deadline is Wednesday and those that don’t make it out in their current form will die. A few will be folded into other bills in an attempt to move along in their quest to become a law. Here’s a follow-up on the bills I’ve written about in First Impressions:

- House Joint Resolution 9 – the election of Indiana Supreme Court justices. It’s still stuck in the committee, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one rolled into another bill to try to get another chance at life.

- HJR 7/HJR 8 – the “Defense of Marriage” amendment. These also haven’t made it out of committee, and I can see these trying to sneak their way into another piece of moving legislation.

- House Bill 1108 – regulation of roadside memorials. This hasn’t moved out of committee.

- Senate Bill 248 – hypnosis laws. It’s moved out of committee. I guess it’s important that a hypnotist be able to perform in a group setting for self-hypnosis, sports enhancement, improvement in test-taking, to try to stop smoking or to lose weight.

- HB 1250 – We mentioned this topic before in a June blog post. It looks like this civil rights bill which would extend anti-discriminatory and civil rights statutes to include prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, among other criteria, is stalled in its current form.

Check out Indiana Lawyer’s complete Statehouse Report (http://www.theindianalawyer.com/html/detail_page.asp?content=3199) listed on our Web site this year. In updating this, I’ve come across some moving legislation I find interesting. A few bills are listed below:



- SB 296, which removes the requirement that executions occur before sunrise. If the legislation becomes law, it would do away with a specific time requirement for execution and would direct the Sentencing Policy Study Committee to study the issue of confining people on death row in a maximum security prison other than the Indiana state prison until a reasonable time before execution. I wonder why the time requirement is being done away with – to make it more convenient for those who want to protest for or against the execution?

- HB 1235, which would require the polls to stay open until 8 p.m. on Election Day. Given the turnout for the last election, this makes complete sense and would be a benefit to people who can’t get to the polls before work or by 6 p.m.

- SB 223/HB 1642, which makes trafficking with an inmate a Class C felony if the trafficked item is a cell phone. This is apparently a problem in jails and prisons across the country, as I’ve read several news stories about this issue.

One other random thought: I find it difficult to write about bills without getting the Schoolhouse Rock song “I’m just a bill” stuck in my head. Anyone else have that problem?
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  1. Hysteria? Really Ben? Tell the young lady reported on in the link below that worrying about the sexualizing of our children is mere hysteria. Such thinking is common in the Royal Order of Jesters and other running sex vacays in Thailand or Brazil ... like Indy's Jared Fogle. Those tempted to call such concerns mere histronics need to think on this: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-12-year-old-girl-live-streamed-her-suicide-it-took-two-weeks-for-facebook-to-take-the-video-down/ar-AAlT8ka?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartanntp

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  3. This is happening so much. Even in 2016.2017. I hope the father sue for civil rights violation. I hope he sue as more are doing and even without a lawyer as pro-se, he got a good one here. God bless him.

  4. JLAP and other courtiers ... Those running court systems, have most substance abuse issues. Probably self medicating to cover conscience issues arising out of acts furthering govt corruption

  5. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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