Indiana General Assembly

Overhaul of Criminal Code approved by House

February 26, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The bill rewriting Indiana’s Criminal Code gained approval of the House of Representatives Monday by an 80 to 13 vote. The measure now moves to the Senate.
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Legislature considers changes to prosecutors’ and judges’ retirement funds

February 25, 2013
IL Staff
In the House of Representatives, a bill that would change features of the Prosecuting Attorneys Retirement Fund is eligible for a third reading vote. In the Senate, a bill calling for a study of judges’ pensions is ready for second reading Monday as well.
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Ban on police cell phone searches in texting-while-driving cases advances

February 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
Police would be restricted in most cases from retrieving information from cell phones and similar devices for violation of texting-while-driving laws under a measure that passed the Indiana Senate on Thursday.
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Bills on magistrates; custody and visitation pass House

February 21, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana House of Representatives passed House Bill 1041 Thursday morning 96-0. The bill addresses petitions to modify custody and visitation involving children who have been abused or neglected.
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Proposed changes would make convicted felons serve at least 75 percent of sentence

February 20, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The worst-of-the-worst criminal offenders will be facing more time while low-level offenders will be given intensive probation under the new sentencing provisions included in the rewrite of the Indiana Criminal Code.
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Senator’s push for constitutional convention passes committee

February 20, 2013
IL Staff
Senate President Pro Tem David Long’s legislative initiative calling for a convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution advanced out of the Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedure Tuesday.
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Bill restricting social media access for sex offenders passes Senate

February 19, 2013
IL Staff
Senate Bill 347, introduced to rectify issues brought up by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals when it struck down an existing law regulating social media use by registered sex offenders, passed the Senate Monday by a vote of 49-0.
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Long’s constitutional convention legislation before committee Tuesday

February 18, 2013
IL Staff
Senate President Pro Tempore David Long’s resolution and two companion bills calling for states to gather to amend the U.S. Constitution to limit the commerce clause and federal taxing authority will be heard before the Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedure Tuesday.
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Legislation on judicial nominating commission members moves to House

February 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A bill that would require the governor to appoint nonattorney members to the Judicial Nominating Commission from a list of legislator-approved candidates passed the Senate 46-2 Thursday.
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Judge-backed court staff attorney pilot program bill moves out of committee

February 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Legislation that would create a pilot program administered by the Indiana Judicial Center to assist trial courts when preparing and writing certain motions moved out of the House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code 11-0.
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Senate president calling for constitutional convention to protect states’ rights

February 14, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Declaring that states’ rights are being trampled and the 10th Amendment is in shambles, the leader of the Indiana Senate is calling for a “gathering of states” to amend the U.S. Constitution.
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Justices decline to order mediation in walkout fines case

February 13, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court issued an order Monday refusing to order mediation in the lawsuit filed by Democratic lawmakers after some of their pay was withheld following legislative walkouts in 2011 and 2012.
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Commission for children, appellate judge retirement age legislation moving

February 13, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate passed on second reading Tuesday legislation that will create a commission on improving the status of children in the state. The introduced version of Senate Bill 125 was prepared by the Department of Child Services Interim Study Committee.
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Indiana Sen. Mike Delph's bills raise brows in legal community

February 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Senator drops "loser pays" attorney fees plan, but other bills target grand juries and propose retention supermajority.
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Problem-solving courts cut recidivism, help defendants

February 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana House Bill 1016 proposes to let court staff provide some rehabilitative services and collect fees for them.
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6 bills in Indiana Statehouse aimed at slowing the manufacture of meth

February 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The description Rodney Cummings gives of Madison County makes the central Indiana area sound like a war zone. The source of the problem is the manufacture and abuse of methamphetamine, a volatile mix of medicine and toxins that forms a highly addictive drug.
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Bill enabling legislators to fight for immigration law in court gets hearing

February 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
State senators who are fighting to go to court to defend parts of Indiana’s immigration law – a law that Attorney General Greg Zoeller concluded could not withstand constitutional scrutiny – will hear a bill Wednesday that would give them the power to defend their measures in such cases.
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Anti-meth bill and right to hunt amendment clear Senate, head to House

February 12, 2013
IL Staff
Two high-profile bills cleared the Indiana Senate Monday and are headed to the House of Representatives.
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New report highlights potential benefits of Medicaid expansion

February 12, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Days after Gov. Mike Pence came out against expanding Medicaid, the Indiana Hospital Association has issued a report that estimates increasing coverage could generate up to $3.4 billion in new economic activity and finance more than 30,000 jobs in the state through 2020.
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Renewal of $50 mortgage foreclosure filing fee advances in House

February 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A $50 filing fee on mortgage foreclosure actions that expired Jan. 1 would be renewed for two years under legislation that advanced this week in the Indiana House of Representatives.
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Marriage amendment vote put off until 2014

February 7, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana legislators have decided to hold off on pursuing this session an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage between a man and woman, citing the pending cases on the topic before the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Human trafficking bill goes to full Senate

February 6, 2013
IL Staff
A bill to strengthen the state’s human trafficking law – which was passed last year in anticipation of Indianapolis hosting the Super Bowl, has made it out of committee.
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Constitutional amendment on right to hunt, fish out of committee

February 5, 2013
IL Staff
A proposal to add the right of Hoosiers to hunt and fish to the Indiana Constitution passed unanimously out of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources Monday.
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Eliminating judges’ mandatory retirement to get hearing

February 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
A bill to eliminate mandatory retirement at age 75 for Indiana Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
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Right to hunt amendment hearing Monday

February 1, 2013
IL Staff
The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee will hear Senate Joint Resolution 7 Monday, which looks to add to the Indiana Constitution the right to hunt and fish.
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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