Indiana General Assembly

Contentious Senate panel advances voucher expansion

April 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
A proposal to expand Indiana’s school voucher program moved to the full Senate on Tuesday, but not before opponents said the unknown costs and impact of the bill amounted to a fiscal cliff for the state and a bailout of private religious schools.
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Kenley appears warm to boost in Odyssey funding

March 29, 2013
Dave Stafford
Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, on Thursday signaled he supported a boost in funding for the Odyssey case management system and other court technology functions, after proposed funding was reduced in the House budget plan.
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Bill reforming criminal code passes Senate committee

March 29, 2013
IL Staff
The first comprehensive overhaul of Indiana’s felony statutes in more than 35 years passed the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law Thursday by a vote of 8-1.
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Concerns about CHINS petitions raised during budget hearings

March 28, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
After the Indiana Department of Child Services made its presentation to the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday, the discussion quickly turned to Child in Need of Services petitions.
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Senate passes civil immunity, sentencing alternatives for young offenders bills

March 27, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate approved several pieces of legislation from the House this week, including a bill that would establish sentencing alternatives for certain offenders under the age of 18.
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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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Criminal Code bill gets Senate hearing

March 26, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Concerns over sentencing provisions and pleas for adequate funding dominated the Senate hearing on legislation overhauling the state’s criminal code.
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Indiana solicitor general: ‘Good day’ for traditional marriage at SCOTUS

March 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana and other states against same-sex marriage appeared to make a strong impression on the U.S. Supreme Court justices Tuesday, Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher said after watching arguments in Washington.
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Tax cut dispute overshadowing Legislature’s work to lower state’s unemployment, Bosma tells lawyers

March 26, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A public spat between the Legislature and governor’s office over tax cuts has become an overarching issue, but Indiana Speaker of the House Brian Bosma said the state should be focusing on job creation.
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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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Despite constitutional concerns, judicial nomination bill advances

March 18, 2013
Dave Stafford
Proposed changes to the panel that recommends judges for the Indiana Supreme Court and Court of Appeals advanced to the House floor Monday, but not before some lawmakers said they reserved judgment on whether the measure was constitutional.
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DCS centralized hotline undergoes changes in advance of legislation

March 14, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Prior to the Indiana General Assembly implementing recommendations from an interim study committee, the Indiana Department of Child Services is making changes.
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Synthetic drug ban, human trafficking bills move out of committee

March 14, 2013
IL Staff
Senate bills stiffening the state’s synthetic drug ban and strengthening Indiana’s human trafficking laws were approved unanimously by the House of Representatives Committee on Courts and Criminal Code Wednesday.
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House Committee approves CHINS bill returning power to prosecuting attorneys

March 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill giving prosecuting attorneys the ability to file a Child in Need of Services petition continues to garner strong support in the Indiana General Assembly.
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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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Humane Society, ASPCA target confined-hunting bill

March 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
Two-legged and four-legged lobbyists will head to the Indiana Statehouse on Tuesday to oppose a bill that would lift a ban on hunting animals in fenced areas.
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Senate panel to hear problem-solving courts, ‘sovereign citizen’ bills

March 5, 2013
IL Staff
Proposals to expand services offered by problem-solving courts and to attempt to curtail fraudulent liens and other tactics of so-called sovereign citizens will be heard Wednesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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House committee to hear sex offender, immediate detention bills

March 4, 2013
IL Staff
The Senate Corrections & Criminal Law Committee meets Tuesday morning to hear four bills, including a bill altering registry requirements and procedures for sex offenses and sex offenders.
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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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Bill creating study of judicial retirement benefits moves to House

February 27, 2013
IL Staff
A Senate bill asking the Legislative Council to have the Pension Management Oversight Commission look at the retirement, disability and death benefits provided to judges and full-time magistrates passed out of the Senate Tuesday by a vote of 50-0.
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Senate defeats DNA collection bill

February 27, 2013
IL Staff
Legislation that would require every person arrested after June 30 for certain crimes to submit a DNA sample failed to pass the Senate Tuesday.
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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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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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