Indiana General Assembly

Indiana education committee looks at sexual misconduct

August 16, 2016
 Associated Press
A group of Indiana lawmakers is looking at sexual misconduct in schools to see if legislation is needed in 2017 to help curb abuse.
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Legislative panel on judiciary to discuss LGBT civil rights

August 11, 2016
Dave Stafford
"Civil rights issues related to gender identity and sexual orientation” is the lone subject on the agenda for the Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary’s initial meeting on Aug. 30.
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Legislator plans to introduce hate crime bill this session

August 10, 2016
IL Staff
A state senator from Indianapolis announced Tuesday his intention to again file legislation to enact a hate crime statute in Indiana, one of only five states that does not have this kind of law on the books.
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Legislators plan to introduce bills to protect law enforcement and their families

August 2, 2016
IL Staff
Two Republican members of the Indiana General Assembly have announced just days apart their intentions to introduce legislation in response to recent threats against police officers and the shooting of an off-duty police officer’s home and squad car in Indianapolis.
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Statute, plea agreement do not preclude converting felony to misdemeanor

August 2, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision to reduce a man’s Class D felony conviction following a guilty plea to theft in 2000 to a Class A misdemeanor 15 years later.
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Caseworker vs. DCS

July 27, 2016
Dave Stafford
Despite a caseworker’s lawsuit against the Indiana Department of Child Services, her employer says she’s right: There aren’t enough caseworkers to handle the exploding growth in cases of Indiana children and families in crisis. But that’s where the agreement ends.
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Safe Families effort wins favor in Legislature

July 27, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A new law furthers the group’s power of attorney arrangement in order to keep kids out of the child welfare system.
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Indiana high court rejects rehearing in lawmaker emails case

July 13, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has declined to rehear a case that sought to force lawmakers to release their email correspondence with lobbying groups and businesses.
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Abortion bill author got unregistered PAC contribution, highlighting gaps in reporting

July 13, 2016
Dave Stafford
The author of an Indiana anti-abortion law struck down by a federal judge hours before it could take effect July 1 received a primary-eve campaign contribution whose source remains confused. It’s also unclear whether regulators will investigate.
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New Indiana laws begin July 1

June 29, 2016
IL Staff
Read a complete list of the laws that will become effective July 1.
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New state law allows distilleries to sell carryout 7 days a week

June 29, 2016
IBJ Staff, Lesley Weidenbener
A new state law that takes effect July 1 lifts the ban on carryout sales for artisan distilleries, putting the businesses on par with wineries and craft breweries, which already sell alcohol on Sundays.
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Gregg wants review of vaping law; Senate leaders already taking look

June 24, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg said, if elected, he would seek to change new laws governing the e-cigarette liquid industry, which some vaping retailers and manufacturers have called monopolistic and corrupt.
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Lawmaker: Indiana 'blew it' by not ensuring man had no guns

June 21, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana "blew it" by not enforcing a gun ban against a man who was armed when he was arrested in California while traveling to a gay pride event, a state Democratic lawmaker said Tuesday while advocating for stricter gun controls.
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Indiana mom seeks law change after daughter's ATV death

June 13, 2016
 Associated Press
The mother of an Indiana girl who died in an all-terrain vehicle crash has started a nonprofit foundation in partnership with state lawmakers to draft a helmet law and mandatory safety education for children who ride ATVs.
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Legislative study committee will examine LGBT civil rights

May 25, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana lawmakers will have a committee study the possibility of adding LGBT civil rights protections into state law.
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Senate report: Illegal immigration costs state $131M

May 25, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
Indiana lawmakers studying the issue of illegal immigration in the state will view a report Wednesday that finds undocumented people will cost the state’s taxpayers $130.7 million this year.
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Supreme Court rehearing sought in lawmaker email fight

May 19, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The battle over legislators' emails continues as the groups fighting to make public the correspondence between a Republican Representative and lobbyists filed for a rehearing with the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Redistricting committee begins evaluating other drawing methods

May 5, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A special legislative committee began its examination of Indiana’s election districts Thursday with the goal of possibly recommending changes to the way these districts are drawn.
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Pence argues email privacy ruling should apply to him, too

April 29, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
Gov. Mike Pence is using a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision to argue that he should not be required to release documents that have been deemed by law to be public records.
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Supreme Court declines to rule on legislative emails case

April 19, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed dismissal of a case where the Energy and Policy Institute requested copies of correspondences from state Rep. Eric Koch under the Indiana Access to Public Records Act. The court said while APRA can be applied to the General Assembly, the specific issue of whether Koch’s emails are exempt from disclosure in this case under the work product exemption is non-justiciable.
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Immigration opponent to testify before Indiana Senate committee

April 12, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A Kansas state official who is claiming he wrote parts of Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border is scheduled to testify April 19 before a newly  formed Indiana Senate committee on immigration.
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Administrative law ripe for reform?

April 6, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana has ordered a fresh look at ALJs and whether panels are preferable to the current system.
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Cost to shield Indiana lawmakers over emails hits $160,000

April 5, 2016
 Associated Press
The legal fight to shield Indiana lawmakers from having to release email correspondence with lobbying groups has cost taxpayers at least $160,000.
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High school student wants to change Indiana Constitution

April 5, 2016
 Associated Press
As Megan Stoner prepares for high school graduation, she is focused on finding a way to "begin her legacy" by working with legislators to author a bill that would lower the age that people are eligible to run for office from 25 to 21 in the Senate and 21 to 18 in the House of Representatives.
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Indiana mandates concussion training for public coaches

April 4, 2016
 Associated Press
New Indiana law requires coaches to complete a course on spotting the symptoms of concussions. Coaches who finish the training will be granted civil immunity from being sued for student injuries.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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