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Last day for legislators to file bills

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Today is the deadline for state senators to file Senate bills to be considered during the 2011 session. State representatives’ deadline for filing House bills was Tuesday and they have until today to file vehicle bills.

Several bills filed in the past week may be of interest to the Indiana legal community.

Senate Bill 344 proposes to eliminate the death penalty in Indiana. The bill would commute the sentence of anyone currently on death row to a sentence of life in prison without parole. SB 413 establishes the Office of the Child Advocate, and its duties would include taking all possible action to ensure the legal, civil, and special rights of children. The governor would appoint the child advocate. The office would also be required to create an annual report on its activities and the status of children in Indiana.

In the House of Representatives, House Bill 1153 tackles two issues: problem-solving courts, and judges carrying handguns. The bill expands the types of people that may participate in court-established alcohol- and drug-services programs and the procedures to be used to end a person’s participation in these kinds of programs. The bill also says a judicial officer who isn’t required to have a license to carry a handgun may not be prohibited from possessing a handgun on land or in buildings or other structures owned or leased by the state or political subdivision of the state; or in or on school property or property that is being used by a school for a school function, or a school bus.

HB 1215 provides that for purposes of a hearing concerning the admissibility of certain statements or videotapes made by a protected person, that person may attend the hearing through the use of closed-circuit television.

HB 1266 establishes a unified Circuit Court for Clark County.

HB 1332 deals with bias crimes and also requires law enforcement officers to receive training in identifying, responding to, and reporting bias crimes.

HB 1335 requires the Indiana Tax Court to try de novo appeals from final determinations of the Indiana Board of Tax Review and the distressed unit appeal board.

Senate Joint Resolution 13 defines marriage between one man and one woman. This proposed constitutional amendment must be adopted by two consecutive General Assemblies and be ratified by a majority of the state’s voters to become effective. It has not been previously agreed to by a General Assembly.

A complete list of legislation is available on the state’s website

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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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