Statehouse News

Gov. Pence turns to legal community for board appointments

August 23, 2013
IL Staff
A litigation attorney for the Indiana Department of Child Services, Luke Britt, has been appointed as the Indiana Public Access Counselor.
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Indiana Senate President takes call for Constitutional Convention to national audiences

August 12, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, is pushing for an Article V Constitutional Convention by speaking at national meetings and trying to garner support beyond Indiana.
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First Child Services Oversight Committee meeting Wednesday

July 26, 2013
IL Staff
The Child Services Oversight Committee, established by the Indiana General Assembly specifically to keep tabs on the Indiana Department of Child Services, will hold its first meeting July 31.
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SCOTUS ruling emboldens lawmakers to expand DNA collection

June 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
This time next year, Indiana may join the majority of states that collect DNA samples from people arrested on suspicion of committing felonies, rather than only from those convicted. Lawmakers who’ve been stymied are encouraged by a Supreme Court of the United States decision upholding the practice.
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Legislators taking time to investigate

May 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Interim study committees are credited with enabling the Indiana General Assembly to thoughtfully review issues.
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Rockport on the rocks

May 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Legislature leaves the fate of a derided coal gasification plant proposal to justices.
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General Assembly votes on expungement and constitutional convention bills

April 23, 2013
IL Staff
Hoosiers with criminal records might soon be able to erase their past.
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Rehab, not jail, shows promise in lowering recidivism

April 10, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Advocates for alternative programs are asking the Indiana Legislature for funding.
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Vouchers validated, program scope at issue

April 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
The recent Indiana Supreme Court ruling affirming school choice renews Statehouse fight over vouchers.
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General Assembly enters final weeks with full schedule

April 5, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana’s biennial budget is eligible to receive a second reading in the Senate Monday as the Indiana General Assembly enters the final weeks of its regular session.
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Lawmakers advance bill to aid courthouse restoration, but money is missing

March 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
Nearly every county seat in Indiana could benefit from a bill promoting historic courthouse renovation and maintenance projects. Only problem is, when lawmakers passed the legislation through the Senate they stripped out the money for it.
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Many efforts arise to address abandoned property, few go forward

March 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
State Sen. Jim Merritt wanted to help an eastside Indianapolis church gain possession of some long-abandoned, derelict houses, tear them down and establish a neighborhood park. But it turned out there wasn’t much the law allowed the church to do.
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Indiana Senate to hold hearings on crime bills

March 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Two crime bills moving through the Indiana General Assembly are on the agenda for Senate hearings next week.
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Problem-solving courts, CHINS legislation return to house of origin

March 20, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate passed several House bills Tuesday, including legislation expanding when a person can participate in a problem-solving court program. The House of Representatives returned bills on children in need of services petitions and prosecutor pensions back to the Senate.
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Indiana Senate president pro tem pushes for Constitutional Convention

March 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long admits his effort to convene a state-driven Constitutional Convention will be a struggle.
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Refiguring workers' comp in Indiana

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A House bill looks to raise worker benefits, causing a tug-of-war over hospital reimbursement.
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Medicaid expansion not dead but Legislature still divided

February 28, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
When talking about expanding Medicaid under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, both sides of the aisle in the Statehouse focus on the same point – costs.
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Long expects Criminal Code revision will get Senate approval

February 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana’s first major rewrite of the state’s Criminal Code in more than 30 years is now in the hands of the Senate where the Senate leader believes it will ultimately be approved.
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Giving felons a chance to wipe their records clean

February 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana General Assembly moving forward with expungement bill.
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Problem-solving courts cut recidivism, help defendants

February 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana House Bill 1016 proposes to let court staff provide some rehabilitative services and collect fees for them.
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6 bills in Indiana Statehouse aimed at slowing the manufacture of meth

February 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The description Rodney Cummings gives of Madison County makes the central Indiana area sound like a war zone. The source of the problem is the manufacture and abuse of methamphetamine, a volatile mix of medicine and toxins that forms a highly addictive drug.
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Eliminating judges’ mandatory retirement to get hearing

February 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
A bill to eliminate mandatory retirement at age 75 for Indiana Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
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Senate panel advances DCS oversight measure

January 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
A proposed commission that grew from a study committee examining problems at the Department of Child Services cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday.
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Dickson's State of Judiciary highlights interplay of judiciary, Legislature

January 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson’s first State of the Judiciary address after 27 years on the bench produced a few collegial chuckles as he offered examples of checks and balances and noted lawmakers had rewritten laws in response to at least three Supreme Court opinions in the last year.
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Debate over health care expansion heating up

January 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Since hospitals are seeing cuts in Medicare, they're asking the Indiana Legislature to enlarge the Medicaid program.
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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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