Indiana General Assembly

Indiana gay rights groups say history is on their side

March 16, 2016
Indiana LGBT rights activists said Tuesday that history is on their side and they will continue pressing for statewide civil rights protections for gender identity and sexual orientation despite lawmakers' unwillingness to act during the recently adjourned legislative session.
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Regulations coming for lawsuit funding industry

March 14, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
In the final hours of the 2016 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly arrived at a compromise which, for the first time, will regulate companies that fund plaintiffs in civil lawsuits in Indiana.
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Lawmakers punt Marion County judge-selection bill to next year

March 11, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, Indianapolis Business Journal
Indiana lawmakers were unable to come to an agreement on how to select Marion County Superior Court judges by the end of the legislative session on Thursday night and punted the decision until next year.
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Lawmakers pass police video bill

March 10, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana law enforcement agencies will get the right to withhold all body and dash cam video recordings from the public under a bill that's now headed to the governor's desk.
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Pharmacist discretion bill heads to governor's desk

March 10, 2016
 Associated Press
A bill to allow pharmacists to serve as gatekeepers for cold medicines that contain the common methamphetamine ingredient pseudoephedrine is on its way to the Gov. Mike Pence for consideration.
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Senate votes to raise medical malpractice payment cap

March 9, 2016
 Associated Press, Indianapolis Business Journal
Medical malpractices victims may be able to receive more money now that the Indiana Senate has passed a proposal to increase the compensation cap for the first time in nearly 18 years.
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‘No more stringent’ restrained

March 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
Manufacturers, agriculture and other big Hoosier industries pegged House Bill 1082 at the top of their legislative agenda this year. So did about 20 environmental, health and public-interest groups that opposed the measure barring Indiana from adopting environmental regulations tougher than federal standards.
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Court taking up whether lawmakers can keep emails private

March 8, 2016
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court will consider whether a state lawmaker’s emails and other correspondence with utility company officials about proposed legislation can be kept private.
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Marion County Bar Association opposes judicial selection bill

March 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
Lawmakers are working to craft an 11th-hour agreement on how judges should be chosen in Marion County after they were unable to reach a compromise Monday. Meanwhile, Indianapolis’ historically black bar association called for direct election of judges instead of a proposed merit-selection system.
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Bill giving longer sentences to drug dealers headed to governor

March 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill imposing mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders has been approved by the Indiana Legislature and is expected to be signed by Gov. Mike Pence.
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Private college records exemption heads to governor's desk

March 4, 2016
 Associated Press
Private college police departments won't have to follow the same rules for crime reporting as public police departments under a bill that's now on its way to the governor's desk.
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Indiana House OKs measure to replace jailed councilman

March 4, 2016
 Associated Press
The Indiana House of Representatives has approved a bill that would allow East Chicago officials to temporarily replace a jailed councilman without removing him from office.
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Vaping firms say industry in peril in state unless lawmakers act

March 2, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, Indianapolis Business Journal
Manufacturers of electronic cigarette liquids that hope to gain a license to continue selling their popular products in Indiana fear their business in the state is at risk of evaporating.
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Senate approves police video bill

March 1, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana law enforcement would be forced to publicly release body-camera video if the recordings might show officers using excessive force or violating someone's civil rights under a measure approved by the state Senate.
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House panel OKs medical malpractice cap increase

March 1, 2016
 Associated Press
Medical malpractice victims would be able to receive more compensation under a measure an Indiana House committee approved Monday that would update the payment cap for the first time in nearly 18 years.
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Coalition still pushing after hate crime bills fail to advance

March 1, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite a grassroots effort and several bills addressing the issue, hate crime legislation appears to have failed in the Indiana Statehouse.
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Lawmakers back dropping 'he' references to state officials

February 25, 2016
 Associated Press
Legislators have approved replacing all the male pronouns in laws describing the duties of Indiana's statewide officeholders with gender-neutral terms.
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Senate panel approves bill to punish meth, heroin dealers

February 24, 2016
 Associated Press
Meth and heroin dealers in Indiana will face harsher penalties if they are convicted and have a criminal history under a bill passed by a state Senate panel Tuesday.
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Mandatory minimums for drug dealing splits Statehouse

February 24, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Roughly 18 months after Indiana’s reformed criminal code took effect, emphasizing treatment over incarceration for drug offenses, the General Assembly is considering proposals that would boost certain crimes to a higher level felony, stiffen punishments for possession of controlled substances and make some cold medicine more difficult to purchase.
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Adoptee birth-records bill passes

February 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
A bill long sought by Hoosiers adopted between 1941 and 1993 and denied their birth records passed the Indiana General Assembly Monday and heads to the desk of Gov. Mike Pence.
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Black lawmakers oppose Marion County judge selection bill

February 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
A proposal to create a 14-member merit-selection commission to nominate Marion Superior judges would harm minority representation on the bench of the state’s largest county, members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus said in a statement Monday as the bill awaited second reading on the House floor.
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Indiana House committee tosses hate-crimes bill

February 22, 2016
 Associated Press
Legislation creating the state’s first hate-crime law to help victims targeted because of their race, sexual identity, religion or other specified characteristic is expected to die because it won’t get a committee hearing in the House, leaving lawmakers few options to address civil rights this year.
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Attorneys added to Marion County judicial selection committee

February 18, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Courts and Criminal Code Committee in the Indiana House of Representatives passed an amendment Wednesday modifying the makeup of the Marion County judicial selection committee. The amendment adds more Marion County attorneys to the committee that will send names to the governor for appointment.
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Indiana Senate panel delays bill on police video

February 17, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana Senate panel is holding off on changing and voting on a bill allowing law enforcement agencies to withhold police video from the public.
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Future uncertain for state environmental policy limit

February 16, 2016
 Associated Press
The future remains uncertain for a proposed limit on Indiana's authority to make its own environmental policies. The Senate Environmental Affairs Committee heard hours of testimony Monday on the bill, which has already passed the House.
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. For some strange reason this story, like many on this ezine that question the powerful, seems to have been released in two formats. Prior format here: http://www.theindianalawyer.com/nominees-selected-for-us-attorney-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/44263 That observed, I must note that it is quite refreshing that denizens of the great unwashed (like me) can be allowed to openly question powerful elitists at ICE MILLER who are on the public dole like Selby. Kudos to those at this ezine who understand that they cannot be mere lapdogs to the powerful and corrupt, lest freedom bleed out. If you wonder why the Senator resisted Selby, consider reading the comments here for a theory: http://www.theindianalawyer.com/nominees-selected-for-us-attorney-in-indiana/PARAMS/article/44263

  5. Why is it a crisis that people want to protect their rights themselves? The courts have a huge bias against people appearing on their own behalf and these judges and lawyers will face their maker one day and answer for their actions.

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