Government

Bill proposes increasing med-mal cap by $400,000

January 6, 2016
Dave Stafford
The maximum award for medical malpractice would increase by $400,000 under legislation proposed after a study committee last year examined Indiana’s caps. Caps on damages were last raised 17 years ago and have been increased just twice in 40 years.
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Coalition advocating for hate crime legislation

January 5, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A coalition of religious and civic organizations has already started pushing the Indiana General Assembly to pass hate crime legislation that includes language covering sexual orientation and gender identity.
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Obama says expanding gun background checks no threat to rights

January 5, 2016
 Bloomberg News
President Barack Obama said expanding background checks to cover more firearms transactions won’t trample on the right of Americans to own guns or lead to confiscation of weapons, as he made an emotional pitch for a package of executive actions intended to stem gun violence.
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Pence agenda addresses ISTEP impact, not LGBT rights

January 5, 2016
 Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence called for lawmakers to pass legislation decreasing Indiana's reliance on 2015 ISTEP standardized test scores but made no mention of adding LGBT civil rights protections into state law when he released his agenda for the coming legislative session.
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Bill eases law on alcohol offenders obtaining gun permits

January 4, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana lawmakers will consider a plan to lift state restrictions on alcohol offenders obtaining handgun licenses.
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US sues VW over emissions-cheating software in diesel cars

January 4, 2016
 Associated Press
Federal authorities are suing Volkswagen over emissions-cheating software found in nearly 600,000 vehicles sold in the United States.
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Vaping industry sues state over new regulations

January 4, 2016
Scott Olson, IBJ Staff
The advocacy group that represents Indiana’s vaping and electronic cigarette industry is suing the state, claiming new safety regulations are unconstitutional.
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Mike Oxley, congressman behind anti-fraud law, dies at 71

January 4, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Mike Oxley, the former U.S. congressman who co-sponsored the landmark Sarbanes-Oxley Act requiring corporate executives to vouch for company financials in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals, has died at age 71.
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New York raises stakes in daily fantasy sports sites battle

January 4, 2016
 Bloomberg News, IL Staff
The new year brings no sign of letup in the battle between New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and daily fantasy sites DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc.
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Family keeping up fight against Indiana malpractice cap

January 4, 2016
 Associated Press
An Evansville couple is keeping up a decadelong legal fight over their claims of medical malpractice in their daughter's birth that left her a quadriplegic and unable to speak.
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A look at bills proposed in the 2016 General Assembly

January 4, 2016
 Associated Press
Proposals addressing everything from civil rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to requiring a prescription for a common cold medicine used to make methamphetamine will be debated when lawmakers gather for the 2016 session, which begins Tuesday.
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Bill pushes to replace administrative law judges

December 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
The chairman of the Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee has introduced Senate Bill 1, a 119-page proposal that would replace administrative law judges with an administrative court made up of nine judges appointed by the governor.
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Indiana adoption advocates to push again to open up records

December 31, 2015
 Associated Press
The leader of an advocacy group for Indiana adoptees says she's optimistic state lawmakers will endorse a bill to expand adoptees' access to sealed records.
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Smoking ban dispute heads to Supreme Court

December 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court wants to hear more from Hoosier Park about why patrons at its Winner’s Circle off-track betting parlor in Indianapolis should be allowed to light up when smoking in public is otherwise generally banned by city ordinance.
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Indiana’s alcohol laws withstand court challenges

December 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Recent rulings from state and federal courts underscore that while Indiana’s alcohol laws may be silly, quirky and arcane, they are not so easily changed.
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Inmate wins $10,000 verdict against US for prison injury

December 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal inmate who cut his forearm on a jagged bed frame won a $10,000 judgment in his lawsuit against the United States.
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Some police, prosecutors back tougher cold-medicine law

December 29, 2015
 Associated Press
Some Indiana police agencies say their fight against methamphetamine production would be helped by a proposed state law change to require a doctor’s prescription for a common cold medicine that is used to make the illegal drug.
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Indiana law drives down moped thefts, sales

December 29, 2015
 Associated Press
Evansville Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jason Cullum said scooter theft reports fell from 269 in 2014 to just 79 as of Dec. 17. He said that’s because scooters are now easier to track if stolen because they now must be registered and licensed.
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Bill would allow recovery of attorney fees in all wrongful death actions

December 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A northern Indiana senator has introduced legislation to amend Indiana’s wrongful death statute to allow for surviving families to collect attorney fees.
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Poverty calculation causes Indiana Legal Services’ funding to drop

December 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although Legal Services Corp. will receive a $10 million bump in funding for fiscal year 2016, Indiana Legal Services will see its appropriation from the national organization decrease.
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Pence may argue charity can’t represent Syrian refugees

December 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence may argue the Indianapolis charity that sued him for attempting to suspend its federal government-approved resettlement of Syrian refugees has “a lack of any valid right of action or standing to assert the rights of refugees,” court filings show.
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Court rules in favor of Columbia Sportswear in income tax dispute

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court ruled Friday that the Indiana Department of State Revenue’s adjustments to Columbia Sportwear’s net income for tax years 2005-2007 were not proper and granted summary judgment in favor of the clothing company.
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Gary teens ask city to ban saggy pants

December 21, 2015
 Associated Press
Wearing pants low enough to expose underwear could soon be against the law in Gary, Indiana.
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Battle looms over restriction on cold medicine used for meth

December 21, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana lawmakers have yet to gather for the 2016 legislative session, but already the multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical industry has clashed with influential law enforcement organizations over a proposed law that would require a prescription to buy a common cold medicine also used to make methamphetamine.
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Fired paramedic with diabetes settles discrimination case

December 21, 2015
 Associated Press
A former fire department paramedic has settled a civil rights claim for $725,000 after being fired because of two health episodes related to diabetes, her attorneys announced Saturday.
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