Indiana General Assembly

Senate panel approves repeal of construction wage law

April 7, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana's practice of having local boards set wages for public construction projects would be repealed under a GOP-led push that Senate committee members approved Tuesday, a move opponents say could have a negative impact on the industry's workforce.
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Pence objection blocks adoptees' birth-record access, advocates say

April 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
Gov. Mike Pence’s objections to a bill that would open the birth records for hundreds of thousands of adult Hoosiers thwarted chances it will pass the General Assembly this session, according to proponents who said they have been informed the bill will receive no further hearings in the House of Representatives.
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Groups aim to further expand gay rights at state level

April 6, 2015
 Associated Press
Gay rights advocates are hoping to parlay the momentum from their legislative victories in Indiana and Arkansas this week into further expanding legal protections for gays and lesbians in those states and others.
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Humane Society blasts 'shameful' canned hunting bill

April 3, 2015
IL Staff
The Humane Society of the United States is opposing a bill in the Legislature that would allow canned hunting of deer, elk and other mammals inside fenced enclosures, saying it would sanction and expand a “shameful industry.”
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Indiana unveils changes to religious freedom bill

April 2, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana lawmakers announced proposed changes Thursday to the state's new religious objections law aimed at quelling widespread criticism from businesses and other groups that have called the proposal anti-gay.
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Pence wants changes to religious-objections law

March 31, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Tuesday that he wants legislation on his desk by the end of the week to clarify that the state's new religious-freedom law does not allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.
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Indiana plans language to 'clarify' religious-objections law

March 30, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana’s Republican legislative leaders said Monday they’re working on adding language to a new state law to make it clear that it doesn’t allow discrimination against gays and lesbians, while Democrats countered that a full repeal is the only way to stem the widespread criticism.
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House committee removes public record search fee from bill

March 27, 2015
 Associated Press
Lawmakers on Thursday stripped an education bill of major proposed changes to Indiana's open records laws after concerns were raised about how the measure would impact all government agencies and not just schools.
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Pence set to sign ‘right to try’ trial drugs bill

March 24, 2015
 Associated Press
A proposal to give terminally ill patients in Indiana easier access to experimental drugs not yet on pharmacy shelves is about to become law.
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Indiana House OKs religious objection bill

March 24, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana House approved by a wide margin Monday a proposal strengthening protections for religious objections in state law that opponents say could provide legal cover for discrimination against gay people.
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Pence administration's concerns stall bill to open adoption records

March 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
Adopted adults deprived by law of access to their birth records were dealt a setback Monday when a Pence administration official testified against a bill that would open those records to some 350,000 Hoosiers.
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Bill addressing foreclosure-prevention options under fire

March 23, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana law that has helped thousands of residents at risk of foreclosure keep their homes could be "gutted" under a bill being considered by state lawmakers, housing advocates say.
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Pence asks Legislature for $15M to add DCS staff

March 18, 2015
IL Staff
On the same day the state released an independent report on workload and caseloads of staff at the Indiana Department of Child Services, Gov. Mike Pence sent a letter to several legislators seeking more funding to increase family case managers and supervisors at the state agency.
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Change to Indiana law on sex trafficking victims wins approval

March 17, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana legislators have approved changing state law so that those younger than 18 won't be prosecuted for prostitution if they were a victim of human trafficking.
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Indiana House panel endorses religious objections bill

March 17, 2015
 Associated Press
Rallies drawing hundreds of people on both sides of a contentious proposal that could allow people to cite strong religious beliefs to deny services for activities such as same-sex weddings didn't seem to change any minds among Indiana legislators Monday.
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Senate panel discusses bill to boost industrial hemp crop

March 16, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana Senate committee is considering a bill that lawmakers say could speed up the federal approval process to grow industrial hemp in Indiana.
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Bill ensures that expungement law extends to individuals most deserving

March 12, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
As the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that tweaks Indiana’s 2013 expungement law, the author warned against nitpicking that might undo what he described as the “delicate balance” struck in the comprehensive measure.
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‘Master magistrate bill’ approved by senate committee

March 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
While the Senate Judiciary Committee moved a bill forward Wednesday that would provide additional magistrates for courts in seven counties, some members indicated a need to revisit in a future legislative session a push to require all judges, including those presiding over town and city courts, be attorneys.
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Law professors warn against Indiana religious freedom bill

March 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
A bill that proponents say would further protect religious freedom in Indiana “will more likely create confusion, conflict, and a wave of litigation” because it will confer a special status to religious rights, according to a letter signed by 30 law professors.
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Legislative debate highlights issues surrounding juvenile offenders

March 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A proposed change to Indiana’s juvenile law has state legislators wrestling with the question of when children should be treated like adults.
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Debate on common wage repeal lingers during contractor event

March 3, 2015
 Associated Press
A Republican-backed proposal to repeal the state law that sets wages for public construction projects requires further study instead of a quick vote, opponents of the measure said Monday.
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Zoeller asks justices to uphold ‘Spice’ law COA struck down

March 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s ‘Spice’ law that a pair of divided Court of Appeals panels ruled unconstitutional last month should be reinstated, Attorney General Greg Zoeller argues in briefs asking the Indiana Supreme Court to review the decisions.
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Bill would put bigger burden on cities seeking annexations

March 2, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Legislature is considering changing the state's annexation laws by putting a greater burden on cities to do outreach in areas where they want to grow.
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Senate to take up repeal of state construction wage law

February 25, 2015
 Associated Press
The leader of the Indiana Senate says it will take up a Republican-led push to repeal the state law that sets wages for public construction projects.
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Senate defeats proposed farming constitutional amendment

February 25, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Senate has defeated a proposal that would have added "right to farm" protections to the state's constitution.
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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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