Lifeline Law expansion clears Senate committee

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Indiana’s Lifeline Law that provides immunity for minors who report dangerous underage intoxication would expand to cover reporting of any medical crisis, sexual assault or crime if a bill that cleared a Senate committee Wednesday is enacted.

Senate Bill 227  addresses gaps in the Lifeline Law, according to bill author Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis. Merritt said that in visits to college campuses around the state, students told him, for instance, that they weren’t sure if they or a victim would be immune from criminal prosecution if a drug overdose or other medical emergency was reported.

“Kids make mistakes,” Merritt told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Sometimes the law has to be gray, but it can’t have mental hurdles for these individuals who are under 21 years old to call 911 and save a life.”

The panel moved the bill to the full Senate by a 9-0 vote.

Indiana University Student Association vice president Christopher Kauffman testified that the Lifeline Law enacted in 2011 had saved lives on campus, including students who received medical assistance for near-lethal blood-alcohol contents. He recited instances in which emergency responders said 15 minutes was the difference between life and death.  

Students are made aware of the law during orientation and it’s reinforced institutionally, Kauffman said. Nonetheless, many students who encounter situations where they can help someone in crisis still ask themselves, “If I call, will I get in trouble?”

“Our ultimate goal is to make sure no more students die from their actions or those of their peers,” he told the committee.

By a vote of 6-3, the committee also advanced Senate Bill 59, which would permit guardians to file dissolution of marriage actions in some cases. Proponents, including Sen. Rod Bray, R-Martinsville, said the bill is needed in such instances as when both spouses have become incapacitated and no one may be allowed to file a divorce that is in the couple’s best interest.

Senators opposed to the bill, including Rep. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, objected because he said it could lead to financial interests trumping what’s in the best interests of a couple.

The committee, by a 9-0 vote, also advanced Merritt’s Senate Bill 305, which would reclassify synthetic drugs commonly referred to as “Spice” or bath salts as Schedule I controlled substances.



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  1. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  2. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  3. Paul Hartman of Burbank, Oh who is helping Sister Fuller with this Con Artist Kevin Bart McCarthy scares Sister Joseph Therese, Patricia Ann Fuller very much that McCarthy will try and hurt Patricia Ann Fuller and Paul Hartman of Burbank, Oh or any member of his family. Sister is very, very scared, (YES, I AM) This McCarthy guy is a real, real CON MAN and crook. I try to totall flatter Kevin Bart McCARTHY to keep him from hurting my best friends in this world which are Carolyn Rose and Paul Hartman. I Live in total fear of this man Kevin Bart McCarthy and try to praise him as a good man to keep us ALL from his bad deeds. This man could easy have some one cause us a very bad disability. You have to PRAISAE in order TO PROTECT yourself. He lies and makes up stories about people and then tries to steal if THEY OWN THRU THE COURTS A SPECIAL DEVOTION TO PROTECT, EX> Our Lady of America DEVOTION. EVERYONE who reads this, PLEASE BE CAREFUL of Kevin Bart McCarthy of Indianapolis, IN My Phone No. IS 419-435-3838.

  4. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.

  5. I had a hospital and dcs caseworker falsify reports that my child was born with drugs in her system. I filed a complaint with the Indiana department of health....and they found that the hospital falsified drug screens in their investigation. Then I filed a complaint with human health services in Washington DC...dcs drug Testing is unregulated and is indicating false positives...they are currently being investigated by human health services. Then I located an attorney and signed contracts one month ago to sue dcs and Anderson community hospital. Once the suit is filed I am taking out a loan against the suit and paying a law firm to file a writ of mandamus challenging the courts jurisdiction to invoke chins case against me. I also forwarded evidence to a u.s. senator who contacted hhs to push an investigation faster. Once the lawsuit is filed local news stations will be running coverage on the situation. Easy day....people will be losing their jobs soon...and judge pancol...who has attempted to cover up what has happened will also be in trouble. The drug testing is a kids for cash and federal funding situation.