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Legislative Council approves interim committees but concedes number becoming unwieldy

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While Indiana's Legislative Council passed by consent Thursday the resolution creating 18 commissions and interim study committees, leaders in the Indiana House of Representatives voiced concerns over the growing number of summer study committees and unwieldy list of topics to review.

The interim groups will meet during the summer and fall to study a host of issues and make recommendations and propose legislation to the Indiana General Assembly.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, pointed out the high number of study committees that were required by statute. That number, he said, is greater this interim than any he can remember in his 18 years serving on the Legislative Council.

As a result, the vast majority of discretionary topics did not make the cut, Bosma said, not because they were not worthy of study but because the list had become too long.

The Legislative Council is comprised of 12 voting members: six appointed from the Indiana Senate and six from the Indiana House of Representatives.

All the topics requested for further study – whether in a letter, resolution, or by statutory requirement – are complied into a list by the Legislative Services Agency, then the four leaders vote on each topic, Bosma said. Only those that get three votes are assigned to study committees.

After the Legislative Council adjourned, Bosma said the four legislative leaders are committed to exploring a revision of the study committee process that would involve a set of standing interim committees being assigned topics rather than having ad hoc interim study committees.
    
The interim study committees and their assigned topics approved for 2013 by the Legislative Council focusing on legal issues include:

Commission on Courts: Adding a magistrate in the Vanderburgh County Circuit Court.

Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee: prepare legislation that corrects statutes affected by HEA 1006; evaluate the criminal statues in I.C. 7.1 and I.C. 9; study the issue of recidivism; and study and make recommendations concerning advisory sentences, suspended sentences, criminal justice funding and sentencing laws.

Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana: study topics assigned by SEA 125 (vulnerable youth) and SEA 305 (due process for child care providers); and study use of photo identification for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients as well as study if Indiana should seek approval to allow the distribution of SNAP benefits on a bimonthly basis.

Interim Study Committee on Insurance: consumer lawsuit lending; study topics assigned by HEA 1132 (release of liens on mortgaged property) and HEA 1098 (uninsured motorists).

Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, said after the Legislative Council meeting that he agreed with Speaker Bosma about the number of interim study committees and topics becoming too great. He said he thinks the envelope is being pushed and that it is becoming difficult to give a full vetting to the issues assigned for further study.

Also, Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, announced the General Assembly would convene for a technical corrections day on June 12 with the purpose of overriding Gov. Mike Pence’s veto of House Bill 1546, a tax administration measure.

Of primary concern were provisions in the bill that allowed Jackson and Pulaski counties to impose an additional county adjusted gross income tax (CAGIT) rate to operate and maintain their jails and juvenile detention centers until 2024 and 2021, respectively. HB 1546 legalizes and validates taxes collected at the additional rate in Jackson County after June 30, 2011, and before July 1, 2013, as well as in Pulaski County after the eight years authorized by statute had elapsed and before July 1, 2013.
   
This will be the first time since the statute establishing a technical day was enacted in the mid-1990s that the Legislature will be using it to consider a veto override.

“It’s not our desire to do so, we’re not seeking it,” Bosma said, “but it appeared it was more prudent to consider 1546 only on that day prior to July 1….” Otherwise, he said, an “administrative nightmare” would have happened with the Indiana Department of Revenue having to work its way through tax refunds in Jackson and Pulaski counties for individuals who may or may not live there today.

“If there was an alternative, an administrative alternative, to get us through the interim until next year, that would have been the best solution, but it was clear they had to go through a refund process if we didn’t override on June 12,” Bosma said.  

 

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  1. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  2. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  3. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  4. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  5. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

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