ILNews

Lawmakers pick summer study topics

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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State lawmakers have announced what topics they'll explore before the 2009 legislative term begins.

On tap: immigration, administrative law judge powers, Indiana's alcoholic beverage laws, and a variety of other legal issues.

The Indiana Legislative Council Thursday created multiple new interim study commissions that will meet this summer. What they recommend helps set the stage for the next session. Legislative leaders will appoint lawmakers to the panels in coming weeks, and most must make recommendations to the General Assembly by Nov. 1.

One of the biggest topics will be a newly created committee to study immigration issues, specifically the financial and economic impact of illegal immigrants, federal limitations, and the potential of e-verification systems.

The Interim Study Committee on Alcoholic Beverages will study the historic origins of Indiana's alcoholic beverage laws and how the 21st Amendment fits into this century. Also to be studied will be whether microbreweries can offer beer for carryout on Sundays.

Lawmakers on the Administrative Rules Oversight Committee will consider whether all commissions created solely to review state agency decisions can be replaced with a type of "office of appeal" staffed by administrative law judges.

The Child Custody and Support Advisory Committee plans to study whether the statute concerning supervised visitation should be amended to cover situations where violence accusations have been made against a non-custodial parent but did not result in charging or conviction.

Topics the Commission on Courts will study include: judicial mandates and alternatives to the current system, the election of Court of Appeals judges and public information about retention votes, the potential creation of a sixth Court of Appeals panel, modernizations of mechanic's liens filing system through an online statewide registry, and whether St. Joseph County judges should be elected or appointed.

The Sentencing Policy Study Committee will study the penalties for salvaged material theft, such as valuable metals and architectural salvage material, and the effectiveness of 2007 legislation on this type of crime.

Certain issues concerning the prosecuting attorneys retirement fund will also be studied by the Pension Management Oversight Commission.

A full list of the interim study committees can be found on the General Assembly's Web site.
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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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