Government

Halting cold beer sales at Ricker’s trickier than expected

March 31, 2017
 Associated Press
A top Indiana Republican is suggesting the Legislature may not be able to stop the convenience store chain Ricker’s from selling cold beer before the end of session.
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Trump faces questions of interference in investigations

March 31, 2017
 Associated Press
President Donald Trump is facing new questions about political interference in the investigations into Russian election meddling after reports that White House officials secretly funneled material to the chairman of the House intelligence committee.
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Notre Dame law students slated to argue before military appellate court

March 30, 2017
IL Staff
Two Notre Dame Law School students will get the opportunity to argue before an international appellate court when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces hosts oral arguments at the school next week.
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Committee advances bill to close cold beer sales loophole

March 30, 2017
 Associated Press
A legal loophole used by an Indiana convenience store chain to sell cold beer would be snapped shut under a proposal that was advanced Wednesday by an Indiana Senate committee.
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Indiana House panel amends overhaul of troubled vaping law

March 30, 2017
 Associated Press
An Indiana House panel has amended legislation targeting the state's problematic vaping law to reintroduce certain regulations.
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Domestic violence victim gun bill steered to study

March 29, 2017
Dave Stafford
A controversial bill that would have allowed victims of domestic violence to legally carry a gun without a permit was steered to a summer study committee Wednesday following testimony from victims and advocates on both sides of the issue.
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'Ban the box' Senate bill passes House

March 29, 2017
Olivia Covington
As the Indiana General Assembly moves closer to the end of the 2017 long session, state legislators are beginning to hold their final votes on various bills, including legislation on “ban the box” provisions.  
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Civil filing fee extension going to governor

March 29, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The bill extending the $1 surcharge on civil legal filings is headed to the governor’s desk.
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Trump signs order rolling back environmental efforts

March 28, 2017
 Associated Press
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that will roll back many of former President Barack Obama's efforts to curb global warming. The order is aimed at helping spur American energy jobs.
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Lawsuit seeks data over searches of electronics at US border

March 28, 2017
 Associated Press
A group of First Amendment attorneys sued the Trump administration on Monday over access to data showing how often U.S. citizens and visitors had their electronic devices searched and the contents catalogued at American border crossings.
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Full House to hear ‘sanctuary campus’ bill

March 27, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana Senate bill that faced widespread criticism for its prohibition of so-called “sanctuary campus” policies at Indiana colleges and universities is now headed to the full House for consideration, though in a much different form than what was considered by the Senate.
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Kentucky lawyer pleads guilty in massive disability scheme

March 27, 2017
 Associated Press
A flamboyant Kentucky lawyer who billed himself as "Mr. Social Security" pleaded guilty Friday for his role in what prosecutors portrayed as a long-running scheme to defraud the government of nearly $600 million in federal disability payments.
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SCOTUS takes securities-fraud clash involving Indiana pensions

March 27, 2017
 Bloomberg News
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to use a case stemming from a New York City contract fraud to clarify investors’ ability to sue companies for omitting information from shareholder reports. Investors led by the Indiana Public Retirement System urged the Supreme Court not to take up the dispute.
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Solar bill would prompt ‘prolonged litigation,’ consumer group says

March 27, 2017
Dave Stafford
Legislation that would eventually phase out net metering for rooftop solar and small generators of solar power is likely to lead to protracted litigation, counsel for a consumer group warns lawmakers.
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Lawsuits blaming Saudi Arabia for 9/11 get new life

March 24, 2017
 Associated Press
For years, family members of those killed on Sept. 11 and insurance companies tried unsuccessfully through the courts to hold Saudi Arabia or businesses and organizations there responsible for the terrorist attacks. Now that Congress has cleared the way, they're making a fresh effort.
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Judge in Virginia declines to block travel ban

March 24, 2017
 Associated Press
In a sweeping affirmation of presidential authority, a federal judge in Virginia ruled against a Muslim civil-rights group that sought to block the Trump administration's proposed travel ban.
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Indiana agency OKs $2M to secure, demolish East Chicago site

March 24, 2017
 Associated Press
An Indiana agency has approved $2 million to secure and demolish a public housing complex in East Chicago that residents must vacate because of soil contaminated with lead and arsenic.
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COA awards summary judgment to city in mountain bike liability case

March 23, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted summary judgment in favor of the city of Indianapolis and Indy Parks and Recreation department after determining that the city was not liable for injuries sustained by a mountain biker as he was riding on a city-owned trail.
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Democratic leader Schumer vows filibuster of Gorsuch nomination

March 23, 2017
 Associated Press
The top Senate Democrat said Thursday he will oppose President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee and lead a filibuster of the choice, setting up a politically charged showdown with Republicans with far-reaching implications for future judicial nominees.
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Man gets 20 years for attempted murder of IMPD officer

March 23, 2017
IL Staff
An Indianapolis man who opened fire on a police officer after crashing his car at the end of a high-speed chase was sentenced to 20 years in prison, Marion County prosecutor Terry Curry announced March 23.
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House lawmakers plan 'substantial' amendment to vaping bill

March 23, 2017
 Associated Press
An Indiana House Republican says a "substantial" amendment is planned for a bill overhauling last year's vaping law, but isn't offering many specifics yet.
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Supreme Court pick Gorsuch parries Democrats' attacks on last day

March 22, 2017
 Associated Press
On a glide path toward confirmation, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch parried fresh attacks from Democrats Wednesday on abortion and special education, insisting that "when you put on the robe, you open your mind" as he faced a final day before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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Indianapolis to spend $400K on alternative crime prevention

March 22, 2017
 Associated Press
Indianapolis is planning to spend $400,000 on using conflict resolution to prevent crime.
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Indianapolis to spend $400K on crime prevention plan

March 22, 2017
 Associated Press
The Indianapolis City-County Council approved a $400,000 award to nonprofit organizations that patrol the city’s high-crime neighborhoods with a 22-1 vote Monday. The Central Indiana Community Foundation will give the money to nonprofits that work on conflict resolution as an alternative prevention approach.
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Disability claims approval getting tougher

March 22, 2017
Dave Stafford
New rules could set the evidence bar higher despite sharp court rebukes of claim denials.
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  2. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  3. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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