Indiana General Assembly

Lake County sheriff seeks removal of jailed councilman

February 2, 2016
 Associated Press
The Lake County sheriff is asking the county's 12 state lawmakers to amend a state law to temporarily replace or remove East Chicago Councilman Robert Battle from office.
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Indiana lawmakers face deadline to keep bills alive

February 1, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana lawmakers have days to decide whether to keep certain contentious bills alive during this legislative session, including one that would extend civil rights protections to gays and lesbians, but not transgender people, one that would use a tax increase to fund road improvements and one that would further restrict the sale of cold medicines used to make methamphetamine.
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Senate leader says gay rights bill to be called for a vote

January 29, 2016
 Associated Press
A bill that would extend civil rights protections to lesbian, gay and bisexual — but not transgender — people will be voted on by the Indiana Senate next week, even if it goes down in defeat.
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Indiana panel OKs allowing prescriptions for cold medicines

January 28, 2016
 Associated Press
Pharmacists are one step closer to gaining the authority to require a prescription for certain cold medicines as the Indiana House explores proposals to undermine methamphetamine cooks.
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Gay-rights bill that leaves out transgender protections advances

January 28, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
A Senate committee on Wednesday narrowly advanced a bill that would extend civil rights protections to gay and lesbian Hoosiers but punt the issue of transgender discrimination to a summer study committee, as well as offer religious exemptions for clergy and other groups.
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House panel endorses bill limiting environmental rulemaking

January 27, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana House committee has narrowly advanced a bill that would prohibit state agencies from enacting environmental rules and standards tougher than federal regulations.
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Study commission repeal endangering probate code needs

January 27, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Since the Probate Code Study Commission was eliminated as part of a 2014 law that reduced the number of interim study committees, certain legislators and attorneys have mounted an effort to get the commission reinstated.
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Bills expanding gun carry rights trigger controversies

January 27, 2016
Dave Stafford
Concerns from the disparate treatment of minorities who police find in possession of firearms to the threat of domestic violence weighed against two proposals in the Legislature to expand who the state should permit to carry handguns, and where.
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Committee unanimously approves hate crime bill

January 26, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A bias-motivated crimes bill authored by a northern Indiana legislator was approved by a Senate committee Tuesday, the only one of six such bills to have received a hearing so far this legislative session.
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Indy judge selection bill set for Wednesday hearing

January 26, 2016
Dave Stafford
A proposed merit-selection plan giving state lawmakers a strong hand in the nomination and appointment of Marion Superior judges will be introduced Wednesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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No changes to bill allowing withholding of body camera video

January 26, 2016
 Associated Press
A legislative proposal allowing Indiana law enforcement agencies to withhold video from police body cameras is advancing unchanged.
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Supporters say medicine prescriptions needed to curb meth

January 26, 2016
 Associated Press
Supporters of a proposal to allow pharmacists to require prescriptions to buy medicine with pseudoephedrine say the requirement is the only way to curb Indiana's methamphetamine problem.
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Med-mal reform bill unexpectedly derailed

January 25, 2016
Dave Stafford
A proposal to raise caps on medical malpractice damages by $400,000 appears to face a grim prognosis after a key lawmaker said parties to the legislation have failed to agree on certain provisions of the bill.
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Proposal for cold medicine prescriptions being scaled back

January 22, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana legislator is scaling back his proposal to require a doctor's prescription to buy cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine as lawmakers look for ways to prevent methamphetamine makers from obtaining the drug.
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Med-mal, administrative law reform bills set for hearing

January 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
A proposal to raise the cap on medical malpractice damages by $400,000, index future increases to inflation and make other reforms to the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act will be introduced to a Senate committee Monday.
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Indiana Senate passes bill regulating fenced-in deer hunting

January 21, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana's hunting preserves could soon get an ultimatum from the state now that the Senate passed a bill listing requirements for the facilities.
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Senate passes adoptee birth-records bill

January 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
Advocates for granting Indiana adoptees access to their birth certificates appear on the way to victory this year after years of trying.
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Divided Senate panel OKs guns for Statehouse staffers

January 20, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana General Assembly staff members would be allowed to carry handguns inside the state Capitol under a bill recommended for passage on a party-line vote Wednesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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Bill adding goats, sheep as fenced-hunting targets advances

January 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana lawmakers are poised to add bighorn sheep and exotic mountain goats to the kinds of animals the state sanctions to be shot by hunters in high-fence enclosures not regulated by the Department of Natural Resources.
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Bill to lift Sunday alcohol sales ban has fewer store rules

January 15, 2016
 Associated Press
A new proposal to lift Indiana's eight decades-old ban on Sunday carryout alcohol sales would impose fewer new restrictions on grocery stores and pharmacies than a bill that failed in the Legislature last year.
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Lawmakers table easing access to gun permits for alcohol abusers

January 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
Confusion over whether alcohol abusers are considered proper people to receive permits to carry handguns caused a Senate panel to delay action on a bill that would erase such language from state law.
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Bill to ease limits on handgun permits draws concerns

January 13, 2016
 Associated Press
An advocate for domestic violence victims says a legislative proposal to lift Indiana's restrictions on alcohol offenders obtaining handgun licenses would remove one means of protecting victims.
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Bill to open adoption records passes Senate committee

January 13, 2016
 Associated Press
A proposal to expand access to sealed adoption records for adoptees is headed to the Indiana Senate floor after winning unanimous approval from a Senate committee.
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Pence says he won’t support LGBT bill that ‘diminishes' religious freedom

January 13, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence in his State of the State speech Tuesday night finally addressed the most contentious issue at the Statehouse this year – how to balance religious freedom with civil rights for LGBT people – but his statements left unclear whether he would sign any of the bills proposed so far during this General Assembly.
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Marion County judicial selection now in lawmakers’ lap

January 13, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
A federal appeals court rocked the Marion County court system last fall when it quashed its unusual judicial election process, saying it burdened the right to cast a meaningful vote. Now the court’s fate is in the hands of lawmakers, who will get a crack at replacing the election system the federal judges ruled unconstitutional.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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