Government

Study panel recommends opening adoption records

October 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
A legislative study committee Tuesday recommended opening records to thousands of Hoosiers born before 1994 who cannot access their own birth certificates.
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US prosecutors probing UN have plenty of work, documents show

October 21, 2015
 Bloomberg News
When U.S. federal prosecutors charged a senior United Nations official on Tuesday, it was the Justice Department’s first foray into the activities of the international organization in a number of years. The prosecutor behind the push says there’s more to investigate – and internal UN documents suggest he has a point.
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East Chicago councilman pleads not guilty to murder charge

October 21, 2015
 Associated Press
An East Chicago councilman who's running unopposed in the upcoming election has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.
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DCS 'became the abusers'

October 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
A jury has awarded $31.3 million in an "arbitrary and capricious" case against parents in their child's death.
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Forgiving student debt

October 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The American Bar Association launched a campaign in response to proposed changes to federal loan forgiveness and repayment programs.
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New law part of effort to block school-to-prison pipeline

October 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
National statistics show Indiana is the wrong kind of leader in school discipline.
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Indiana programs help public sector attorneys with loans

October 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Along with the government repayment and forgiveness programs designed to help new attorneys in the public sector pay their student loans, law schools and bar associations have established similar programs.
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Officials, groups push for hate crime law in Indiana

October 20, 2015
 Associated Press
At least two Indianapolis-based officials and two organizations are calling upon state lawmakers to establish a hate crime law.
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Study panel to hear proposal to open adoption records

October 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
Whether some 350,000 adopted people born between 1941 and 1993 should be allowed access to their birth certificates – and knowledge of who their biological parents are – will be considered Tuesday by a legislative study panel.
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Health law penalty on uninsured getting stiffer

October 19, 2015
 Associated Press
The math is harsh: The federal penalty for having no health insurance is set to jump to $695, and the Obama administration is being urged to highlight that cold fact to help drive its new pitch for health law sign-ups.
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Hastert attorney says former speaker intends to plead guilty

October 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert intends to plead guilty in a multimillion-dollar hush-money case linked to allegations of sexual misconduct from decades ago, a defense attorney told a federal judge Thursday.
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Investigation prompts reorganization at Marion County Jail

October 15, 2015
 Associated Press
An internal investigation at the Marion County Jail has prompted the facility to discipline staff and demote its jail commander.
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Judge hears lawsuit challenging Indiana ballot photos law

October 15, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge seemed critical of a new Indiana law that prohibits voters from taking photos of their election ballots and sharing the images on social media during a hearing on a lawsuit challenging the law.
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DOC recommends stretching $5 million to 41 counties

October 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Department of Correction, going against previous advice, has proposed spreading newly available state money around to several counties to help provide rehabilitation and treatment for the low-level offenders who will be coming to county jails.
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Attorney: Fort Wayne clerk to resign weeks before election

October 13, 2015
 Associated Press
An attorney for Fort Wayne's longtime city clerk says she will resign weeks before the general election because of health reasons.
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Indiana attorney general attending Mexico City conference

October 13, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana's attorney general is traveling to Mexico City for a conference discussing issues such as human trafficking, drug trafficking and online privacy crimes.
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Indiana BMV admits in class-action case to 112 overcharges

October 13, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana's Bureau of Motor Vehicles has admitted to more than 100 weight-class overcharges in court documents stemming from a class-action lawsuit alleging that the agency overcharged motorists by tens of millions of dollars.
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Billboard company suing city over digital sign ban

October 12, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, Scott Olson
A local billboard firm is suing the city of Indianapolis, claiming a recent Supreme Court of the United States decision makes the city's sign ordinance unconstitutional.
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Lawmakers may spoil fantasy sports party

October 12, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, Anthony Schoettle
The biggest showdown looming for fantasy football goliaths DraftKings and FanDuel has nothing to do with which one can nab the biggest share of the exploding daily fantasy sports market. Instead, state and federal lawmakers are taking a serious look at the legality of their services – a move that could put them out of business in Indiana and other states.
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Lines being drawn for Indiana's next fight over LGBT rights

October 12, 2015
 Associated Press
Months after a divisive religious objections law thrust Indiana into an unwanted national spotlight, gay rights supporters and religious conservatives are preparing for another potentially bitter debate – this time over enshrining LGBT protections into state law.
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Tippecanoe County program helps inmates with mental illness

October 12, 2015
 Associated Press
A new volunteer program offered by the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office is offering support to inmates with mental illnesses.
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New US clean water regulations blocked nationwide by court

October 9, 2015
 Bloomberg News
A U.S. appeals court has put on hold new federal environmental regulations governing American water bodies while it reviews a legal challenge from 18 states.
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Director: Indiana child services case managers leaving

October 9, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Department of Child Services is seeing a higher percentage of its family case managers leave the agency, its director told the DCS Oversight Committee.
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Attorneys: City handling of police shooting a national model

October 9, 2015
 Associated Press
North Charleston, South Carolina, did not erupt in violence — as other cities in similar circumstances did — after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black man. Attorneys for both the city and the family say that is because of the quick actions both sides took to preserve the peace and to come to an agreement.
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BMV: Reforms underway but will take years to complete

October 9, 2015
 Associated Press
Significant reforms are underway at the troubled Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, officials said Thursday, but noted those will likely take several years to carry out and won't come from "quick fixes" to the agency, which in recent years has overcharged motorists millions of dollars in fees.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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