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Governor vetoes forfeiture legislation

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Gov. Mitch Daniels has vetoed Senate Enrolled Act 215, which designated what percentage of funds from forfeitures would go to prosecutors, law enforcement, and the Indiana Common School Fund.

In a statement Friday, Daniels said the legislation violates the Indiana Constitution, which states that the proceeds from “all forfeitures” shall go to the Common School Fund.

“The Indiana Supreme Court, on April 27, reinforced that point, possibly excepting the ‘limited diversion’ of the actual expenses of obtaining those proceeds.  Fairness to the General Assembly requires noting that legislators did not have the benefit of the court’s opinion, which was issued in the session’s final days,” he said.  

“This bill would take more than ninety cents of every dollar collected through forfeiture for the ‘expense of collection’ rather than sending it to the Common School Fund.  That is unwarranted as policy and constitutionally unacceptable in light of the Supreme Court’s recent guidance and the plain language of Article 8, Section 2 of the Indiana Constitution.”

State law currently allows law enforcement agencies to keep a portion of seized funds to cover "law enforcement costs" and give the rest to the Common School Fund to be used for school construction costs. But the amounts are left to the discretion of each prosecutor and each has interpreted that differently.

This is the second piece of legislation Daniels vetoed this session. On May 10, he vetoed House Enrolled Act 1177 regarding boards of trustees for universities. The legislation required that the majority of the members of the board of trustees of Indiana University and Ball State University be residents of Indiana, and that all I.U. board members be citizens of the United States.

The governor’s office announced Friday that the governor has now taken action on all legislation enacted during the 2011 legislative session.

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  1. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

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