Government

Bill would allow lawmakers, staff to carry guns in Capitol

February 13, 2017
IL Staff
Lawmakers and legislative staff would be permitted to carry guns in the Statehouse and Indiana’s Capitol complex under a bill that will be heard by a Senate committee this week.
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Arrestee DNA collection bill clears House panel

February 13, 2017
IL Staff
The House Judiciary Committee on Monday voted 11-0 in favor of a proposal to collect DNA samples from anyone arrested and charged with a felony.
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Indiana House votes to override 2 vetoes by ex-Gov. Pence

February 10, 2017
 Associated Press
The Indiana House has voted to override two bills that former Gov. Mike Pence vetoed last year.
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Lawyer for pardoned Cooper credits Holcomb, blasts Pence

February 10, 2017
Dave Stafford
The Chicago lawyer whose client won a pardon from Gov. Eric Holcomb for a wrongful conviction in a violent 1996 Elkhart robbery singled out Vice President Mike Pence for failing to act on clear evidence of Keith Cooper’s innocence while Pence was governor.
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Trump travel ban on hold after appeals court rejection

February 10, 2017
 Associated Press
The legal fight over President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations is on hold after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to block a lower-court ruling that suspended the ban, allowing previously barred travelers to continue coming to the United States.
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Governor issues disaster order over East Chicago lead

February 10, 2017
 Associated Press
Gov. Eric Holcomb on Thursday issued a state disaster declaration over East Chicago's lead contamination problem, nearly two months after his predecessor rejected the city's request.
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Microsoft can pursue suit over US sneak-and-peek searches

February 9, 2017
 Bloomberg News
Microsoft Corp. persuaded a judge not to let the U.S. government out of a lawsuit alleging that clandestine interception of users’ emails on company servers violates its free-speech rights.
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Trump orders Justice Department to intensify crime-fighting

February 9, 2017
 Bloomberg News
President Donald Trump signed a trio of executive actions on Wednesday directing the Department of Justice to intensify its effort to fight drug-related crime and violence against police officers.
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Indiana governor grants pardon that Pence didn't act upon

February 9, 2017
 Associated Press
Indiana's new governor has pardoned a Chicago man whose request languished under then-Gov. Mike Pence despite evidence the man was wrongly convicted of armed robbery.
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Houchin to chair children’s commission in 2017

February 9, 2017
IL Staff
Indiana Sen. Erin Houchin, R-Salem, will chair the Commission on Improving the Status of Children this year, as the 20-member group set its first quarterly meeting for next Wednesday.
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Anthem vows to appeal ruling blocking $48B Cigna purchase

February 9, 2017
 Bloomberg News, Indianapolis Business Journal
Anthem Inc. on Thursday morning vowed to appeal a federal judge's ruling that blocked its $48 billion purchase of Cigna Corp. on the grounds it would be anticompetitive.
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Bills dealing with sex crime punishments move to full Senate

February 8, 2017
Olivia Covington
Two bills dealing with the punishment of sex crimes are moving to the full Indiana Senate for consideration.
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All clear given after evacuation of Lake County Gov't Center

February 8, 2017
 Associated Press
The Lake County Government Center in Crown Point will resume normal operations Wednesday after being evacuated following a threat.
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Jury still out if Marion County courts will go to new jail location

February 8, 2017
Dave Stafford
The Indianapolis judges will decide by May 1 if their future venue will be at new justice center a few miles outside of downtown.
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State immigration lawyers say clients fearful amid Trump orders

February 8, 2017
IL Staff
Indiana immigration attorneys and their clients face uncertainty after President Donald Trump issued executive orders in his first week banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations, suspending refugee resettlement programs and stepping up domestic enforcement.
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Indiana Bar Foundation gets help in Statehouse

February 8, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A Barnes & Thornburg lobbyist is advocating for the organization as well as promoting access to justice.
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Lawyers who sought to destroy stored newborn samples vow to keep up fight

February 8, 2017
Dave Stafford
The Indiana State Department of Health says it holds 2.2 million records on paper and in database regarding the newborn blood samples.
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Senate passes anti-indemnification clause bill

February 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana House of Representatives will soon consider a bill that, if passed, would prohibit attorneys from including malpractice indemnification clauses in their attorney-client agreements.
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Melania Trump says White House could mean millions for brand

February 7, 2017
 Associated Press
First lady Melania Trump has said little about what she intends to do with her prominent position. But in new court documents, her lawyers say that the "multi-year term" during which she "is one of the most photographed women in the world" could mean millions of dollars for her personal brand.
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Hate crime bill advances in Indiana Legislature

February 7, 2017
 Associated Press
Legislation targeting hate crimes is advancing in Indiana, one of five states without such a law.
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Tax court judge rejects request to compel further discovery

February 6, 2017
Olivia Covington
After previously allowing the deposition of the former commissioner of the Indiana Department of State Revenue, the Indiana Tax Court rejected the University of Phoenix’s requests to compel further discovery, writing that the additional discovery likely would not reveal admissible evidence.
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Panel backs bill for appointing state school chief

February 6, 2017
 Associated Press
The Indiana state schools superintendent would no longer be an elected position under a change being considered by lawmakers.
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‘Dreamers’ win may backfire under Trump presidency, judge warns

February 3, 2017
 Bloomberg News
An appeals court judge warned that a victory for millions of immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children may unintentionally give President Donald Trump unprecedented authority to force unwilling states to comply with his immigration policies.
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Donnelly to vote against Trump AG nominee Sessions

February 3, 2017
 Associated Press
Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly says he will vote against Jeff Sessions, President Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general.
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Ex-Indiana schools chief Bennett ineligible for county seat

February 3, 2017
 Associated Press
Former state schools superintendent Tony Bennett can't fill a vacant Clark County Council seat because he hasn't lived there long enough.
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  4. 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.

  5. 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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