Statehouse News

Updated law provides more protection for abandoned medical records

July 12, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana already had a statute covering abandoned medical records, but Senate Enrolled Act 549, which sailed through the Statehouse during the 2017 session, updated the law. The new provisions expanded the definition of “abandoned,” added language requiring database owners to safeguard the medical information stored in their systems, and gave the Indiana Attorney General the power to recover the costs of protecting the discarded health records.
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Ex-lawmaker Gard to chair Alcohol Code Revision Commission

July 11, 2017
IL Staff
Former Indiana State Sen. Beverly Gard, R-Greenfield, has been tapped to lead a review of the state’s alcohol laws, Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long announced Tuesday.
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Influential lawmaker Kenley retiring from Indiana Senate

July 5, 2017
Indianapolis Business Journal
State Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, on Wednesday announced that he will retire on Sept. 30 after serving Senate District 20 since 1992.
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Treatment seen as antidote for opioid crisis

June 28, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Legislature approved several measures to expand recovery programs and prevent spread of opioid epidemic.
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Rewrite of business organization laws provides uniformity, clarity

June 28, 2017
Dave Stafford
All it took to simplify Indiana’s business organization laws was a 149-page bill.
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New laws for 2017

June 28, 2017
IL Staff
Indiana’s legislators passed more than250 new laws on topics including e-liquid reform, inheritance tax repeals, and overhaul of uniform business organization laws.
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Senate Republicans appoint new chief legal counsel, chief of staff

June 1, 2017
IL Staff
A longtime member of the Indiana Senate Republicans legal staff has been appointed chief legal counsel for the Senate majority, which also announced a new chief of staff.
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Legislature appoints special alcohol commission

May 25, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Cold beer could be available in Indiana convenience stores’ coolers within two years.
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Holcomb’s executive order expected to 'ban the box' in state job applications

May 17, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill prohibiting communities from enacting their own ban the box ordinances stirred divisions in the Indiana Legislature with supporters arguing for employers’ rights and opponents citing the need for individuals to have equal opportunities for jobs. However, when Gov. Eric Holcomb announced his intention to sign Senate Enrolled Act 312, he brought some rare unity between the two sides. Along with enacting the new law, the governor also said he would sign an executive order that will essentially ban the box for state agencies.
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Young lawmakers form caucus to advocate for millennials

May 3, 2017
Olivia Covington
As millennial lawyers continue to grow in both number and influence throughout the state, millennial lawmakers are seeking to follow suit through a new initiative launched at the Indiana Statehouse.
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Holcomb signs bill sunsetting solar-power net metering

May 2, 2017
IL Staff
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb Tuesday signed a bill on solar and alternative energy that some lawmakers called the session’s most contentious — a bill that eventually will slash the guaranteed price rooftop solar users are paid for selling excess energy to the grid.
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Senate Republicans chief of staff, legal counsel leaving for law firm

April 26, 2017
IL Staff
Indiana Senate Majority Caucus Chief of Staff and Chief Legal Counsel Jeff Papa is leaving his legislative work to take a position with Barnes & Thornburg LLP later this summer, Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long announced Tuesday.
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Lawmakers' push to avoid social issues draws ire from some

April 25, 2017
 Associated Press
A push from GOP leaders in the Indiana Legislature to set aside divisive social issues this session has frustrated some social conservative groups who suggest Republican lawmakers ignored what their constituents care about.
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Indiana governor says he will sign several contested bills

April 25, 2017
 Associated Press
Statehouse employees will be able to carry guns at the Statehouse, people with epilepsy will be able to use marijuana-derived oil as medicine and parents will see a modest increase in abortion notification rights when it comes to their minor children, under measures Gov. Eric Holcomb on Tuesday said he will sign into law.
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Holcomb vetoes public records search-fee bill

April 25, 2017
 Associated Press, Indianapolis Business Journal
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb used the first stroke of his veto pen Monday afternoon on a bill that would have allowed state and local government agencies to charge a fee to citizens for public records requests that required more than two hours of work.
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Legislature passes vaping overhaul that removes controversial security firm scheme

April 24, 2017
Hayleigh Colombo, Indianapolis Business Journal
The Indiana General Assembly — on the last day of the session — put its final stamp of approval on a proposal to overhaul the rules for Indiana’s vaping industry after two years of controversial actions.
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Indy judges to have closed-door interviews before retention nod

April 24, 2017
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior judges would appear behind closed doors before a committee comprised mainly of political appointees who would recommend whether jurists should or should not be retained in office, according to a bill that passed the General Assembly.
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Lawmakers nearing new deal on Ricker's beer carryout issue

April 21, 2017
Hayleigh Colombo, Indianapolis Business Journal
Two Ricker's convenience stores in Indiana would be able to continue sellling cold beer for carryout, but only for another year, under the latest version of a bill being considered by state lawmakers.
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Domestic violence bill joined to study of ‘constitutional carry’ effort

April 19, 2017
Dave Stafford
Supporters of a bill that would have allowed victims of domestic violence to carry handguns without a license say a broader effort to eliminate all carry permit requirements delayed needed protections for a vulnerable population and could muddle the issues.
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Legislators discuss need for ‘people’s voice’ in selecting Marion Superior judges

April 18, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Legislators raised several concerns Monday afternoon during the conference committee for House Bill 1036, which establishes merit selection for choosing Marion Superior judges. Several expressed the need to allow the general public to have a say through elections.
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Senate Judiciary Committee sends 3 issues to study committee

April 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
The effect that revisions to Indiana’s Criminal Code are having on the population of county jails is now a topic up for further legislative review after the Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee passed a resolution to recommend the issue for a summer study committee.
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Holcomb signs off on provision removing AG residence requirement

April 14, 2017
IL Staff
Indiana’s attorney general no longer has to reside in Indianapolis to hold office now that Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed a bill to remove the residency requirement.
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Indiana Senate OKs new hurdle for minors seeking abortions

April 13, 2017
 Associated Press
The Indiana Senate sent Gov. Eric Holcomb a measure Wednesday that would make it tougher for a minor to have an abortion without her parents knowing about it, after legislators changed the wording to leave open the possibility that the procedure could still be kept private under some circumstances.
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Lawmakers approve peeping drones crime bill on final passage

April 12, 2017
 Associated Press
Indiana lawmakers are sending Gov. Eric Holcomb a bill targeting drone operators who use the new technology for the age-old crime of voyeurism.
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Senators approve ban on sanctuary campuses in final vote

April 12, 2017
 Associated Press
Lawmakers have voted to send the governor a bill banning so-called sanctuary campuses in Indiana.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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