Indiana General Assembly

SCOTUS ruling emboldens lawmakers to expand DNA collection

June 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
This time next year, Indiana may join the majority of states that collect DNA samples from people arrested on suspicion of committing felonies, rather than only from those convicted. Lawmakers who’ve been stymied are encouraged by a Supreme Court of the United States decision upholding the practice.
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Lawmakers put more teeth into consumer protection of Indiana seniors

June 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana seniors get some new consumer protections July 1. As a group, they also get a little younger.
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Fines will stand in legislative walkout case

June 18, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled the dispute over fines imposed on lawmakers resulting from Democratic walkouts during the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions is outside of the court’s authority to render a decision.
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Indiana General Assembly to review ISTEP debacle next week

June 14, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Review of the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress moves to the Statehouse next week with the Indiana General Assembly’s Commission on Education scheduled to hear testimony about the ISTEP testing debacle that occurred in April.
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House, Senate override veto of HEA 1546

June 12, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana legislators gathered Wednesday on the first regular technical session of the 118th General Assembly to vote on whether to override Gov. Mike Pence’s veto of House Enrolled Act 1546, a bill concerning tax administration matters. Pence vetoed the bill over concerns about retroactive approval of taxes collected in Jackson and Pulaski counties.
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Convenience store association says cold beer ban discriminatory

June 5, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Along with the usual reasons including giving consumers more options, providing price competition and sparking new investment in the state, Indiana convenience store owners have added a new argument to their push to sell cold beer – it’s their constitutional right.
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Justice, probation officer appointed to children’s commission

May 31, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson has appointed Justice Loretta Rush and Henry County Chief Probation Officer Susan Lightfoot to the newly created Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana. He made the appointments Wednesday.
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Legislative Council approves interim committees but concedes number becoming unwieldy

May 23, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
While Indiana's Legislative Council passed by consent Thursday the resolution creating 18 commissions and interim study committees, leaders in the Indiana House of Representatives voiced concerns over the growing number of summer study committees and unwieldy list of topics to review.
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Legislators taking time to investigate

May 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Interim study committees are credited with enabling the Indiana General Assembly to thoughtfully review issues.
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Taxed to death no more

May 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
The fate of the inheritance tax in Indiana went from a slow, lingering demise over the next decade to sudden death in the biennial budget lawmakers approved this session.
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Governor signs JTAC, workers’ comp bills into law

May 13, 2013
IL Staff
The Division of State Court Administration’s Judicial Technology and Automation Committee will see a temporary boost in funding for its Odyssey case management system under a new law signed by Gov. Mike Pence.
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Pence signs into law changes to sex offender registry

May 10, 2013
IL Staff
Changes are coming to Indiana’s sex offender registry, thanks to a new law signed by Gov. Mike Pence Thursday.
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Attorney General touts consumer bills passed in 2013 legislative session

May 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller applauded the Legislature on the number of bills it passed this session which, he said, support law enforcement as well as serve and protect the state’s residents.
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Changes coming to prosecuting attorneys retirement fund

May 8, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
On Tuesday, Gov. Mike Pence signed into law HEA 1057, which will alter the prosecuting attorneys retirement fund to incorporate several features that are found in the 1985 judges’ retirement system.
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Rockport on the rocks

May 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Legislature leaves the fate of a derided coal gasification plant proposal to justices.
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Criminal code and expungement bills signed by governor

May 6, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed two bills today that could significantly transform Indiana’s criminal judicial system.
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Statehouse leaders honor former Gov. Otis Bowen

May 6, 2013
IL Staff
Leaders of the Indiana General Assembly expressed their sorrow for the passing of former Indiana Gov. Otis Ray Bowen.
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Commission on improving status of children established under new law

May 1, 2013
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence signed Senate Enrolled Act 125 Tuesday which creates a commission that will study issues and take actions relating to children in Indiana.
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Pence signs probate, problem-solving court legislation

April 30, 2013
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence signed 25 bills into law Monday, including legislation restricting criminal background checks and changes to probate and trust administration.
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Hendricks Superior Court accepting applications for 2 magistrates

April 30, 2013
IL Staff
The Hendricks Superior Courts are looking to fill two magistrate positions created by the General Assembly during the recently completed 2013 legislative session.
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Session wraps up, bills await governor’s signature

April 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana General Assembly completed its 2013 legislative session late Friday, passing a two-year budget that retroactively eliminates the state inheritance tax and increases funding for the Department of Child Services.
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Criminal code overhaul goes to Pence

April 26, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate Friday passed the legislation that is the first comprehensive reform of the state’s criminal code in more than 35 years. It now goes to Gov. Mike Pence for his signature.
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Governor signs bill adding county judges

April 25, 2013
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence signed Senate Enrolled Act 486 Wednesday, which will allow three counties to appoint additional magistrates or judges.
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General Assembly votes on expungement and constitutional convention bills

April 23, 2013
IL Staff
Hoosiers with criminal records might soon be able to erase their past.
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House passes JTAC, court late payment bills

April 19, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana House of Representatives passed on concurrence several bills Wednesday, including legislation dealing with judicial technology and automation.
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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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