Indiana General Assembly

Bosma: No ethics sanctions against Turner

June 18, 2014
 Associated Press
House Speaker Brian Bosma said Tuesday he will not sanction House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner after an ethics probe determined the lawmaker did not technically violate state ethics rules.
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Indiana lawmakers return to correct errors

June 17, 2014
 Associated Press
State lawmakers returned to the Indiana Capitol Tuesday to fix a series of problems with their sweeping overhaul of the state's criminal sentencing rules.
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Constitutional convention proponents to meet in Indiana Statehouse

June 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The movement to convene a constitutional convention aimed at reining in the power of the federal government is coming to Indianapolis June 12 and 13.
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Court must consider man’s motion to prohibit release of criminal record

May 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man filed his motion to prohibit the release of his criminal record before the Indiana Legislature repealed the relevant statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the Hancock Superior Court to consider the motion.
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Shake-up of study committees meant to streamline process

May 21, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The internal changes to the Indiana Legislature’s interim study committee structure are not readily visible, but majority and minority leaders are optimistic the alterations will make the process more efficient and control the workload.
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Fewer topics but interim committees still have work to do

May 15, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The internal changes to the Legislature’s interim study committee structure are not readily visible, but majority and minority leaders are optimistic the alterations will streamline the process and control the workload.
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From the principal’s office to the courtroom

April 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Stakeholders want educators and courts to collaborate to end the school-to-prison pipeline.
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Ethics Committee schedules hearing to review legislator’s actions

April 17, 2014
IL Staff
The House Committee on Ethics has scheduled a meeting to review whether Rep. P. Eric Turner violated legislative ethics when he pushed caucus members to vote against a bill that would have potentially hurt his family’s business interests.
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Pence signs criminal code update, mental health witness bills into law

March 27, 2014
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence this week has signed numerous bills into law, including the legislation that reconciles conflicts between HEA 1006-2013, which reformed the state’s criminal code, and other bills touching on criminal law.
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Innocent co-insureds looking for protection

March 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Advocates in Indiana fighting for “innocent co-insured” protections say they will continue to ask the Legislature to create a new law after court challenges fall short.
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General Assembly, Supreme Court ponder big changes for small claims

March 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A national nonprofit organization has been tasked with a fresh study of Marion County’s troubled township small claims court system, while a bill that passed the General Assembly has implications for small claims courts around the state.
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Statehouse says yes to meth house database

March 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The methamphetamine bill that passed during the 2014 session turns attention away from the ingredients and to the contamination left behind by active meth labs. House Enrolled Act 1141 establishes an online database where potential homebuyers and renters will be able to see if their property was the site of a lab.
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Senate to honor McKinney law professor Lawrence Jegen

March 10, 2014
IL Staff
A longtime Indiana University McKinney School of Law professor will be honored in the General Assembly today for an influential career spanning more than 50 years.
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Mental health witnesses, nonsupport bills move to governor’s desk

March 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Senate Wednesday concurred with changes made to legislation outlining who a court may appoint in determining whether a defendant is insane. On Tuesday, senators approved language in the expungement bill granting the Board of Law Examiners access to sealed expunged conviction records.
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Senate prepares for possible winter storm

February 28, 2014
IL Staff
With an impending winter storm taking aim at Indiana this weekend, the Indiana Senate passed a motion Thursday just in case session has to be cancelled Monday.
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Bills heading to governor’s desk

February 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
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.
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'No-more-stringent' measure stirring controversy

February 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill winding through the Statehouse would alter Indiana environmental regulatory process by shifting most of the authority to enact new rules from the executive branch to the Legislature.
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Same-sex marriage amendment passes Senate

February 18, 2014
IL Staff
The resolution seeking to ban same-sex marriage in the Indiana Constitution passed the Senate Monday, meaning the soonest voters may have a say in the matter is 2016.
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New Indiana criminal code closer to implementation

February 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Changes in the House of Representatives toughened some drug sentences and established funding mechanisms.
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Senator steers clear of beer wholesaler legal battle

February 5, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
The Indiana Legislature won't interfere with beer wholesaler Monarch Beverage Co.'s quest in federal court for the right to distribute liquor.
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Lawmakers fly through bills to meet deadlines, beat weather

February 4, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana General Assembly has adjourned for the week after working quickly to move bills out of the House of Representatives and Senate by their respective deadlines. The legislators also kept an eye on a winter storm heading toward Indiana Tuesday.
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Marion County Small Claims bill may be headed for study committee

January 31, 2014
IL Staff
Legislation that would require Marion County Small Claims judges to select among themselves an administrative judge to carry out the duties currently performed by the Marion Circuit judge passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. The committee also is asking for a study committee to look at Small Claims court administration.
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Sen. Long sends marriage amendment to rules committee

January 30, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long announced Thursday morning that House Joint Resolution 3 – which seeks to amend Indiana’s Constitution to ban gay marriage – will be heard by the Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee.
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Correctional services consolidation bill drawing fire

January 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Community corrections advocates are worried that a proposal to consolidate the Marion County probation and community corrections departments would take local decision-making away from community members and give more control to judges.
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Bars discussing marriage amendment, but cautious about taking a stance

January 28, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Among the nearly 13,000 members of the Indiana State Bar Association, views on the proposed marriage amendment are falling into three separate camps: those who think the association should publicly support it, those who think the association should publicly oppose it and those who think the association should refrain from taking a position at all.
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  2. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  3. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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