Statehouse News

Veterans court bill gets green light from Senate committee

February 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill that would establish veterans courts in every judicial district has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and been reassigned to the Appropriations Committee.
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Indiana bills to increase minimum wage go unheard

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
More than half of states in the U.S. have enacted laws increasing their minimum wages above the federal standard of $7.25 an hour, but the Indiana Legislature won’t even discuss it.
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Legislature tinkers with new Indiana criminal code

February 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Two different stories by two different witnesses highlighted Indiana’s continuing struggles with its new criminal code.
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Ethics reform bill moves out of committee

February 10, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana House committee has backed a state ethics law overhaul requiring greater financial disclosure by lawmakers and expressly prohibiting elected officials from using state resources for political purposes.
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Senate panel backs absentee voter ID number proposal

February 10, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana legislative committee has backed a proposal that would require the use of voter identification numbers for mail-in absentee ballots.
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Indiana business opposes 'religious freedom' law Pence backs

February 10, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana business differed with Gov. Mike Pence and some clergy Monday on a proposed law that supporters say would protect people and businesses from having to take part in same-sex weddings and other activities they find objectionable because of religious belief.
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Criminal code funding bill passes House committee

February 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana House Judiciary Committee has unanimously passed a funding bill that would provide the resources that many agree are necessary to reduce the number of nonviolent offenders who repeatedly reenter the criminal justice system.
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Proposed Indiana voting law changes draw objections

February 9, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana lawmakers are taking up Republican-backed proposals to eliminate straight party-line voting on state ballots and require the use of voter identification numbers for mail-in absentee ballots, moves that Democrats argue will make voting more difficult and could hurt turnout.
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House panel passes bill adding oversight to state agencies

February 4, 2015
 Associated Press
State government agencies could face greater scrutiny when proposing new regulations under a measure an Indiana House committee approved Tuesday.
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Senate passes bill allowing religion-based hiring by contractors

February 3, 2015
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The Indiana Senate has moved a bill to the House of Representatives that will allow religious institutions that receive state and local government contracts to make hiring decisions based upon religion.
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Expungement law still being perfected, legislator says

January 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
County clerks being overrun by expungement petitions are asking the Legislature to impose a filing fee to help offset the costs of processing the forms and restricting the records.
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Changes being considered for medical malpractice claims

January 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
More medical malpractice cases could be filed directly in state trial courts without first having to go through the exhaustive and mandatory medical review process under legislation pending in the Indiana Senate. A proposal in the Indiana House of Representatives aims to raise the caps on damages and insurer liability.
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Bill to open adoption records moves forward

January 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana has nothing to fear from abandoning long-established practice and following the lead of numerous states in order to allow some 350,000 adopted Hoosiers access to their birth records, a leading national advocate said.
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Legislation increasing the service of process fee moves to the House

January 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Senate Thursday endorsed an increase in the fees sheriffs collect to serve court papers. The fee will nearly double from $13 to $25 under legislation sent to the House of Representatives.
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Bill opening birth records passes Senate

January 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Senate Thursday approved a bill that would open birth records to some 350,000 Hoosiers adopted between 1941 and 1993.
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Committee advances bill raising non-panel limit in medical malpractice claims

January 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
Medical malpractice claims of up to $50,000 would go directly to court under a proposal that cleared an Indiana Senate committee Wednesday.
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Lawmakers: Longer sentences, more police will deter crime

January 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Harsher sentences and an increased police presence can help fight crime in Indiana, Republican state senators said Wednesday.
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Fate uncertain for bill to end Sunday alcohol sales ban

January 7, 2015
 Associated Press
A House committee chairman says he hasn't decided if he'll allow a hearing on a proposal to end Indiana's long-running ban on retail stores selling alcohol on Sunday — the last of its kind in the nation.
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Indiana senator plans medical marijuana proposal

December 17, 2014
 Associated Press
A state senator says she plans to push for the legalization of medicinal marijuana in Indiana.
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Judicial officers in demand

December 3, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Seven counties are asking the Legislature for 11 magistrates to handle increasing caseloads.
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Indiana ethics chief seeks changes after scandals

November 21, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana Inspector General David Thomas has published a series of ethics reforms, asking for improved disclosure and new rules for state officials after a trio of Statehouse scandals.
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Indiana lawmakers sworn in on Organization Day

November 19, 2014
 Associated Press
Members of the General Assembly took their oaths of office Tuesday as a part of Organization Day formalities and talked about some of their plans for when they return to work full-time in January.
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Big GOP wins create questions for Indiana Democrats

November 5, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana Democrats are looking for places to rebuild after an election drubbing that saw Republicans capture all three statewide offices on the ballot, build on an already overwhelming supermajority in the state Senate and protect their supermajority in the House.
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Senator seeks stiffer punishment for decapitations

October 29, 2014
 Associated Press
The chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee says Indiana needs stronger penalties for decapitation.
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Legislative committee recommends making annexations more difficult

October 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The legislative committee examining Indiana’s annexation laws underscored how complex and difficult the issue is when committee members looked at the laws Wednesday. The members took a third of the time allotted for the meeting to decide that a remonstrance should succeed if a simple majority of property owners oppose a municipality’s effort to incorporate their land.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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