Statehouse News

GOP lawmaker targets protesters obstructing traffic

January 19, 2017
 Associated Press
An Indiana lawmaker says disturbing newscasts of chaotic and sometimes violent protests across the U.S. helped lead him to propose a bill that would direct police to use "any means necessary" to breakup mass gatherings that block traffic.
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State judicial leaders present budget proposals at first Ways and Means meeting

January 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
Indiana’s top judicial leaders made their cases for additional funding in the next two years on Wednesday, with the biggest funding boost requested to support continued court technology initiatives.
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State's dubious vaping law to get big overhaul

January 11, 2017
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
Indiana’s vaping industry could be upended again as lawmakers tackle changes to a law that has been roundly criticized as unfair and even corrupt.
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Critics blast Marion County judge-selection proposals

January 11, 2017
Dave Stafford
Legislation assuring partisan balance on the bench has key stakeholder and lawmaker support.
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Supreme Court, Legislature leave police body camera statute as is

January 11, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Prosecutors say releasing police video will violate Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct.
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Legislation would extend Marion Superior judges’ terms

January 5, 2017
Dave Stafford
A proposal for a new judicial selection system for Indianapolis would require term extensions for all 36 Marion Superior judges, the bill’s author said.
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Bill would alter plea agreement, sentencing requirements

January 5, 2017
IL Staff
Judges would no longer be required to advise criminal defendants of the earliest and latest possible release dates under legislation introduced in the Indiana Senate. The legislation also would strike language that shields rejected plea agreements and proceedings from the official court record.
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Merit selection, with recommendations for voters, proposed for Indy bench

January 4, 2017
Dave Stafford
A bill in the Indiana General Assembly would establish merit selection for Marion Superior judges, but Indianapolis’ version would also include recommendations from the judicial selection committee on whether voters should retain judges.
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House Republicans' road plan includes gas-tax increase, user fees

January 4, 2017
Hayleigh Colombo
Indiana House Republicans on Wednesday released their legislative agenda, which includes a tax increase and increased user fees to pay for improving the state’s roads.
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Indiana GOP senator says bill aimed at Islamic law concerns

January 3, 2017
 Associated Press
One of the Indiana legislators proposing to prohibit state judges from referring to foreign laws says he is concerned that Islamic religious law could be cited in civil cases.
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Indiana Supreme Court looks to a tech future in budget request

December 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
As the Indiana Legislature prepares to outline the state’s priorities when crafting the next biennial budget during the 2017 session, the Indiana Supreme Court is requesting a $3 million boost to support the future of court technology, one of the judiciary’s highest priorities.
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Indiana bill seeks to eliminate requirement for gun permits

December 27, 2016
 Associated Press
Gun rights advocates view the upcoming legislative session as their best bet to get rid of an Indiana law that requires a license to carry handguns.
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Lawmakers push for DNA collection from felony arrestees

December 7, 2016
IL Staff
A bipartisan group of lawmakers Tuesday announced legislation that would require collection of DNA from people arrested for a felony. The proposed legislation will be introduced in the 2017 session of the Indiana General Assembly.
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Indiana LGBT advocates ask Holcomb to take up civil rights

November 22, 2016
 Associated Press
LGBT advocates delivered petitions with more than 5,000 signatures to incoming Indiana governor Eric Holcomb, asking him to support civil rights protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
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New law creates murkiness on private university police records

November 18, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court left no doubt that it considered the Notre Dame Police Department exempt from the Access to Public Records Act when it affirmed dismissal of ESPN’s lawsuit seeking records of the department’s interactions with 275 student athletes. But a bill signed into law this year dealing with access to police body cameras could change that.
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Conservative Indiana lawmaker proposes state abortion ban

November 17, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana Republican lawmaker says he will propose legislation next year that would effectively ban abortion in the state, despite a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that established a nationwide right to abortion.
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Indiana Senate immigration committee plans to introduce no bills

November 16, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana General Assembly’s special immigration committee concluded its work Nov. 10 much the way it began — with legislators frustrated the federal government isn’t addressing issues surrounding undocumented residents.
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Immigration committee hopeful Congress will act

November 10, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
During the final meeting of the Indiana Senate Select Committee on Immigration Issues Thursday, the senators said they were frustrated that states do not have more power to address illegal immigration and believe the new administration and Congress will undertake reform.
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Commission expects final regulations on daily fantasy sports by summer 2017

October 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
After Indiana became the second state in the country to authorize daily fantasy sports activities during the 2016 legislative session, the Indiana Gaming Commission told state lawmakers Tuesday that it is moving closer toward its goal of developing a set of rules to regulate the new industry.
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Vaping bill sponsor admits 'it did' put people out of business

October 6, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
Indiana State Sen. Ron Alting, the Lafayette lawmaker who sponsored the controversial vaping law that essentially put a single private security firm—located in his town and run by his high school classmate—in charge of selecting winners and losers in the e-liquid manufacturing industry, is now admitting the law created an unfair playing field.
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Necessary judicial appointments may come at other courts’ expense

October 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
The short-staffing illustrated in the largest and most thorough weighted caseload study of the state’s trial courts may be met in the future, but not likely without cuts elsewhere. Rep. Greg Steuerwald, R-Danville, told a legislative study committee Sept. 22 that appointment of new state-paid judicial officers should be tied to reducing numbers of officers where they are underutilized.
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Panel endorses new magistrates for Clark, Shelby County courts

September 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
Clark County, Indiana’s perennially busiest judicial circuit on a weighted-caseload basis, and Shelby County will get new magistrates next year if the General Assembly follows Thursday’s recommendation of a judicial study panel.
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Lawyers blast bias in ALJ system; urge technical adjudicators remain

September 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
Lawyers who practice before Indiana administrative law judges painted a picture Wednesday of a rigged, onerous system that overwhelmingly favors the government when parties appeal state agency actions.
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Lawmakers OK more background checks for Indiana teachers

September 21, 2016
 Associated Press
A panel of Indiana lawmakers has endorsed recommendations to strengthen the state's background checks system for educators and streamline the process for revoking a teacher's license.
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Legislative panel to consider administrative law reforms

September 19, 2016
IL Staff
Lawyers who practice before administrative law judges will be among those who testify this week before a General Assembly study committee that will consider reforms that could include establishment of administrative law panels.
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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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