Statehouse News

Democrats' walkout leads to another 'fines' mess

January 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
Before the Indiana General Assembly convened Jan. 7, some unfinished business was debated in the Statehouse: whether Republican House leaders went too far in seizing fines from Democrats who walked out of the Legislature in 2011 and 2012.
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Pilot iPad program expanding in Indiana General Assembly

December 19, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The process of turning a bill into a law requires thousands of pages of paper. Even the bills that do not become laws consume stacks and stacks – literally tons – of paper each year. But the tide may be turning. A pilot project in the Indiana General Assembly is being expanded with the goal of eventually replacing all that paper with electronic copies.
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Lawmakers to look at marijuana penalties

December 5, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
There's a growing appetite by some in the Legislature for leniency.
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Drought fuels renewed drive for a statewide water policy

December 5, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is finding that there is nothing quite like a dry, arid, hot summer to spark people’s interest in water.
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Estate lawyers' duty of responsibility clarified in proposed legislation

November 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Estate attorneys are hoping the Indiana General Assembly will provide a remedy after a ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals muddied the waters concerning the scope and duties of a lawyer working on behalf of an estate’s personal representative.
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State Senate creates new committee to study civil law

November 19, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate has added a new committee to its roster to examine non-criminal legal issues.
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Indiana Department of Child Services urged to set course for new direction

October 10, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
With a new governor taking over Indiana’s executive branch in January, what changes, if any, will come to the Department of Child Services are unknown. However, some contend that should not stop the agency from addressing criticism and implementing new policies or programs now.
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Zoeller, senators at odds over immigration law

September 26, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana lawmakers seek to intervene with aid of Kansas official Kris Kobach.
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CCEC Work Group proposes sweeping revision to the Indiana Criminal Code

September 12, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana General Assembly’s Criminal Code Evaluation Commission has started another round of hearings to collect data and recommendations for revising the state’s criminal statutes. A key element of this review will be an extensive study of significant sections of Title 35 by the CCEC Work Group.
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LSA leaves opinions at the door

September 12, 2012
In a world of partisan wrangling, the  Legislative Services Agency has “jealously guarded” its nonpartisan nature.
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Pill mills migrating to Indiana?

August 29, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The General Assembly and physician groups are considering ways to stop over-prescribing of pain medications.
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Indiana's inheritance tax phasing out

May 9, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Attorneys who handle estate planning say questions remain about the future of the federal estate tax.
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Indiana legislative round-up

March 28, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A snapshot of key points from bills heard in the 2012 legislative session. All enrolled acts were signed by the governor by March 20.
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CFOs, CAFOs in the spotlight

February 29, 2012
IL Staff
An update on Indiana laws and legislation involving confined feeding operations and confined animal feeding operations.
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Bill would increase funds for pro bono districts

January 18, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The modest filing fee could help offset declining IOLTA funds.
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Bill would change child support statuteRestricted Content

January 18, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Senate Bill 18 could reduce arrearages.
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Labor law to be key issue in 2012Restricted Content

December 7, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Indiana legislators disagree about merits of right-to-work legislation.
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Judge rules on case involving legislative walkout fines

December 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge has ruled that state courts don’t have the ability to interfere with the Indiana General Assembly’s constitutional authority to pass laws or its own internal rules, including how it compels attendance or imposes fines.
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Adding UPL to Indiana RICO statute

November 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Supreme Court case involving an estate planning “trust mill” has led to a policy discussion about whether certain types of unauthorized practice of law should rise above a misdemeanor crime and involve a racketeering component.
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Lawmakers discuss sentencing

October 26, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Proposed changes would reclassify drug crimes and emphasize county oversight.
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Lawmakers taking second look at 'second chance law'

October 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Legislators want to take a second look at a new law passed this year that gives Indiana residents with nonviolent criminal histories a chance to limit public access to parts of their record.
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Change allows closed-circuit testimony for child victimsRestricted Content

May 25, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
On July 1, Indiana will begin allowing the use of closed-circuit testimony in certain court cases. Introduced as House Bill 1215 and signed into law by Gov. Mitch Daniels, the amendment to Indiana Criminal Code 35-37-4-6 may help minimize emotional distress for child victims.
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Immigration bill could bring Indiana into the national spotlight

May 11, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
On May 9, Indiana was still awaiting word about whether Gov. Mitch Daniels would sign Senate Enrolled Act 590. After a protracted volley between the House and Senate, the bill designed to crack down on illegal immigration passed on April 29, its language considerably altered from the introduced version.
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Bills on courts, forfeiture before governor

May 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Several Indiana counties will have their Circuit and Superior courts unified and certain judges will no longer have to be less than 70 years old when they take office, thanks to legislation passed during the 2011 session of the General Assembly.
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Bill expands merit selection

April 27, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Lawmakers consider election vs. selection of Superior county judges in Lake County.
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  1. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  2. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  3. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

  4. My dear Smith, I was beginning to fear, from your absense, that some Obrien of the Nanny State had you in Room 101. So glad to see you back and speaking truth to power, old chum.

  5. here is one from Reason magazine. these are not my words, but they are legitimate concerns. http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/03/fearmongering-at-the-splc quote: "The Southern Poverty Law Center, which would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds, has issued a new "intelligence report" announcing that "an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) -- a 244% jump." To illustrate how dangerous these groups are, the Center cites some recent arrests of right-wing figures for planning or carrying out violent attacks. But it doesn't demonstrate that any of the arrestees were a part of the Patriot milieu, and indeed it includes some cases involving racist skinheads, who are another movement entirely. As far as the SPLC is concerned, though, skinheads and Birchers and Glenn Beck fans are all tied together in one big ball of scary. The group delights in finding tenuous ties between the tendencies it tracks, then describing its discoveries in as ominous a tone as possible." --- I wonder if all the republicans that belong to the ISBA would like to know who and why this outfit was called upon to receive such accolades. I remember when they were off calling Trent Lott a bigot too. Preposterous that this man was brought to an overwhelmingly republican state to speak. This is a nakedly partisan institution and it was a seriously bad choice.

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