Indiana General Assembly

Coalition pushes for hate crime legislation

January 13, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana is one of five states without a hate crime law on the books.
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Adoption records, gun licensing reform bills to be heard this week

January 11, 2016
Dave Stafford
Hoosier adoptees will make a new push for access to their birth records, beginning with a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday.
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Senate bill would protect sexual orientation, punt on gender identity

January 7, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
A Republican state senator’s answer to the debate over gay rights and religious freedom would protect gay, lesbian and bisexual Hoosiers from employment, housing and public accommodations discrimination but would exclude transgender people and punt the debate on their issues until next year.
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Indiana BMV fees overhaul proposed after overcharging woes

January 7, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana's Bureau of Motor Vehicles would see its fee structure simplified under a bill presented Wednesday to legislators following an audit last year that found the agency had overcharged motorists more than $60 million since 2013.
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New bid planned to end Indiana's Sunday alcohol sales ban

January 7, 2016
 Associated Press
A new attempt could be coming to end Indiana's eight decades-old ban on Sunday carryout alcohol sales.
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Bill proposes increasing med-mal cap by $400,000

January 6, 2016
Dave Stafford
The maximum award for medical malpractice would increase by $400,000 under legislation proposed after a study committee last year examined Indiana’s caps. Caps on damages were last raised 17 years ago and have been increased just twice in 40 years.
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Coalition advocating for hate crime legislation

January 5, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A coalition of religious and civic organizations has already started pushing the Indiana General Assembly to pass hate crime legislation that includes language covering sexual orientation and gender identity.
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Pence agenda addresses ISTEP impact, not LGBT rights

January 5, 2016
 Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence called for lawmakers to pass legislation decreasing Indiana's reliance on 2015 ISTEP standardized test scores but made no mention of adding LGBT civil rights protections into state law when he released his agenda for the coming legislative session.
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Bill eases law on alcohol offenders obtaining gun permits

January 4, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana lawmakers will consider a plan to lift state restrictions on alcohol offenders obtaining handgun licenses.
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Vaping industry sues state over new regulations

January 4, 2016
Scott Olson, IBJ Staff
The advocacy group that represents Indiana’s vaping and electronic cigarette industry is suing the state, claiming new safety regulations are unconstitutional.
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A look at bills proposed in the 2016 General Assembly

January 4, 2016
 Associated Press
Proposals addressing everything from civil rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to requiring a prescription for a common cold medicine used to make methamphetamine will be debated when lawmakers gather for the 2016 session, which begins Tuesday.
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Bill pushes to replace administrative law judges

December 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
The chairman of the Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee has introduced Senate Bill 1, a 119-page proposal that would replace administrative law judges with an administrative court made up of nine judges appointed by the governor.
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Indiana adoption advocates to push again to open up records

December 31, 2015
 Associated Press
The leader of an advocacy group for Indiana adoptees says she's optimistic state lawmakers will endorse a bill to expand adoptees' access to sealed records.
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Some police, prosecutors back tougher cold-medicine law

December 29, 2015
 Associated Press
Some Indiana police agencies say their fight against methamphetamine production would be helped by a proposed state law change to require a doctor’s prescription for a common cold medicine that is used to make the illegal drug.
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Indiana law drives down moped thefts, sales

December 29, 2015
 Associated Press
Evansville Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jason Cullum said scooter theft reports fell from 269 in 2014 to just 79 as of Dec. 17. He said that’s because scooters are now easier to track if stolen because they now must be registered and licensed.
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Bill would allow recovery of attorney fees in all wrongful death actions

December 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A northern Indiana senator has introduced legislation to amend Indiana’s wrongful death statute to allow for surviving families to collect attorney fees.
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Battle looms over restriction on cold medicine used for meth

December 21, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana lawmakers have yet to gather for the 2016 legislative session, but already the multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical industry has clashed with influential law enforcement organizations over a proposed law that would require a prescription to buy a common cold medicine also used to make methamphetamine.
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Lawmakers offer alternative to cold medicine sales crackdown

December 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Republican Sens. Randy Head of Logansport and Jim Merritt of Indianapolis said pharmacists should have the authority to approve or disapprove sales for medicines containing pseudoephedrine, which is a decongestant used to treat colds and allergies. A rival measure backed by Indiana prosecutors and GOP House Speaker Brian Bosma would require a prescription for such medicines.
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IPAC legislative agenda to target meth, heroin-related crime

December 8, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council will announce legislative goals Wednesday, including targeting serious drug dealers driving increases in meth labs, pharmacy robberies, heroin overdoses and violent crime.
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150 businesses in group pushing for Indiana LGBT protections

December 2, 2015
 Associated Press
A large coalition of Indiana businesses is calling on Republican Gov. Mike Pence and the GOP-controlled Legislature to put LGBT civil rights protections into state law.
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Some Indiana cities worry about impact of proposed LGBT bill

November 23, 2015
 Associated Press
Officials in some Indiana cities with ordinances that provide protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents are worried that a bill lawmakers will consider in the 2016 session could undermine their local authority.
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DNA collection bill filed in Legislature

November 18, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Once again, the Indiana General Assembly is being asked to expand law enforcement’s ability to collect DNA.
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Indiana House leader backing tighter cold medicine law

November 18, 2015
 Associated Press
The top Republican in the Indiana House on Tuesday endorsed tightening state law to require a doctor's prescription for cold and allergy medications that can be used to make methamphetamine.
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GOP bill on Indiana LGBT rights has religious exemptions

November 18, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana Senate Republicans released a proposal Tuesday that would extend state civil rights protections to LGBT people while also carving out broad exemptions for religious institutions and some small businesses that object to working with gay people.
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GOP legislator resigning year after costly re-election win

November 17, 2015
 Associated Press
A Republican state legislator is resigning his seat a year after winning a re-election campaign that cost nearly $500,000.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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