Government

Many small firms to opt out of health benefits in 2015Restricted Content

January 20, 2014
J.K. Wall
Many employers with fewer than 50 workers kept their health plans for 2014, but a growing number say they’ll drop group coverage at the end of this year. Things were already trending this way before Obamacare, known officially as the Affordable Care Act. The percentage of employers with 50 or fewer workers offering health benefits in Indiana declined from 44 percent in 2000 to just 29 percent in 2011, according to a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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Committee continues hearing on ‘ag-gag’ bill Tuesday

January 20, 2014
IL Staff
The Corrections and Criminal Law Committee will hear six bills Tuesday, including controversial legislation concerning trespassing on agricultural land.
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Magistrate, expungement bills pass committee

January 17, 2014
IL Staff
Legislation updating Indiana’s expungement law – including language specifying where a petition for expungement must be filed – is now eligible for consideration by the full House. The expungement bill is one of several that moved out of committee Thursday.
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Beer wholesalers enlist lawmakers in fight against Monarch

January 17, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
The Statehouse is a common battlefield for factions in Indiana's alcoholic beverage industry, and this session, one group of beer wholesalers is firing shots in multiple directions.
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Zoeller: Allcare dental chain victims to get refunds

January 16, 2014
IL Staff
Nearly 300 former patients of a national dental chain that closed Indiana locations without notice in 2011 will receive partial or total refunds, Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a statement Thursday.
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Dickson: Lawmakers’ help needed to fix Marion County Small Claims courts

January 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson told a joint session of the General Assembly Wednesday that lawmakers’ help was needed to fix Marion County Township Small Claims Courts, which have been plagued by allegations of forum shopping and other criticism.
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Law student honored for cross-country golf fundraiser

January 15, 2014
IL Staff
Luke Bielawski was honored Tuesday at the Indiana Statehouse for his novel fundraising efforts. The Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law student made headlines last year when he hit golf balls across the country to raise money for an Indianapolis high school serving at-risk students.
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Some attorneys aren't sold on the proposed Marion County Criminal Justice Complex

January 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
Redundancies and inefficiencies, plus concerns for security at the jail and at the Indianapolis City-County Building – where defendants with court dates come into regular contact with the public – prompted city and county officials last month to announce a Criminal Justice Complex proposal that would bring courts, jails and other related functions under one very large roof.
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Does marriage amendment need to be amended?

January 15, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Legislature offers companion bill to explain the intent of the constitutional provision banning marriage between same-sex couples.
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Preserving the past

January 15, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
County clerks, archivists and court administration work to keep historical records accessible.
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Lawmaker targets burdensome pre-settlement funding by proposing cap on interest rates

January 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
Funding companies woo plaintiffs in need with promises of quick cash for their pending settlements without oversight in Indiana. That soon could change.
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Rockport plant opponents appeal quick permit extension

January 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
Environmental groups opposed to a controversial coal gasification plant proposed for southwest Indiana have asked for state administrative review of a permit that was extended without a hearing on the day it was set to expire.
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Charlie White stays free pending appeal

January 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
Convicted former Secretary of State Charlie White’s sentence of one year of home detention will not be executed pending his post-conviction relief appeal, a judge ruled last week.
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House committee ends hearing without vote on marriage amendment

January 13, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
After more than three hours of testimony, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee recessed Monday without taking a vote on the constitutional marriage amendment and accompanying bill.
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Judge firearm, ‘ag-gag’ bills to get hearings Tuesday

January 13, 2014
IL Staff
Legislation that would increase the penalties for battery on a judicial officer and provide judges the same immunity as law enforcement officers for possession and use of a firearm will be heard by an Indiana Senate Committee on Tuesday.
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Rep. Turner introduces resolution defining marriage

January 9, 2014
IL Staff
Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, filed House Joint Resolution 3 Thursday, which looks to ban same-sex marriage in Indiana through the state Constitution. He also introduced a bill describing the legislative intent of offering the amendment.
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NLRB does not challenge ‘poster rule’ decisions

January 7, 2014
IL Staff
With the deadline for filing a petition passed, the National Labor Relations Board appears to have backed away from its so-called “poster rule.”
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Snow and wind force court, government office closures

January 6, 2014
IL Staff
Bitterly cold winds and heavy snow caused numerous counties to close down their courts and government offices Monday.
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IU prof turns to ADR to encourage public participation in government

January 6, 2014
IL Staff
The laws designed to allow members of the public to have a voice in their government are actually stifling the conversation, according to an Indiana University Bloomington expert.
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Legislators return to Statehouse Monday

January 3, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana House of Representatives and Senate will reconvene at 1:30 p.m. Monday. Among the bills before the legislators this session are measures making battery against judicial officers a Level 5 or 6 felony instead of a misdemeanor; outlining when juvenile court records may not be confidential, and various probate and trust matters.
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Suit spawns liquor-distribution showdown

January 3, 2014
Scott Olson
Indiana’s largest beer distributor is mounting the latest legal challenge to the state’s arcane, Prohibition-era liquor laws.
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Shepard to moderate same-sex marriage debate

January 2, 2014
IL Staff
Retired Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard will moderate a debate at Franklin College Jan. 13 on the issue of same-sex marriage.
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Concerns exist over proposed sentencing bill

January 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The balance struck between the opposing demands of the prosecutors and public defenders in the proposed criminal sentencing bill may be upended during the 2014 legislative session, which could force Indiana to squeeze hundreds of millions of dollars from the state budget to build a new prison.
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Can parents sue DCS? Yes, divided justices rule

January 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
A sharply divided Indiana Supreme Court decision that a family may sue the state’s child protection agency for negligence is sure to resonate within the Department of Child Services, attorneys familiar with the case said.
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Indiana Lawyer 2013 Year in Review

January 1, 2014
IL Staff
From big judgments to busy law schools and attorneys in trouble, the Indiana legal community saw it all in 2013. We asked you what you thought were the biggest news stories last year. Here's a recap of what made headlines, with your Top 2 picks kicking off the list.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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