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Session wraps up, bills await governor’s signature

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The Indiana General Assembly completed its 2013 legislative session late Friday, passing a two-year budget that retroactively eliminates the state inheritance tax and increases funding for the Department of Child Services.

HEA 1001 ends Indiana’s inheritance tax, effective Jan. 1, 2013, rather than Jan. 1, 2022, when it is currently scheduled to end. The legislation repeals Indiana’s estate tax and generation-skipping transfer tax.

The budget also increased funding for DCS by $35 million per year and provides $10 million per year for school resource officers, as outlined in Senate Enrolled Act 1. School resource officers will be tasked with keeping a school secure and helping to educate and counsel students.

The Indiana Supreme Court will receive $8,725,240 and $8,899,933 annually for employee costs in this biennial budget and $2,077,014 for other operating expenses for fiscal years 2013-14 and 2014-15. Civil legal aid receives $1.5 million each budget year. The Indiana Court of Appeals has been given $9,544,709 and $9,760,409, respectively, in the two-year budget for employee costs, and $1,337,184 and $1,437,184, respectively, for other operating expenses. The Indiana Tax Court has been allocated $575,818 and $585,451, respectively, for employee costs. It will receive $177,000 for other operating expenses effective July 1 and $147,000 for operating expenses effective July 1, 2014.

Nearly $62 million has been allocated for local judges’ salaries beginning in the 2013 fiscal year; that number increases to nearly $63 million for the 2014 fiscal year. Trial court operation funding will remain at $746,075 for each year.

The budget also allocates $300,000 annually to the Indiana Bar Foundation for the We the People program.

The budget bill phases in a 5 percent individual tax cut from 2015 to 2017, said to be the largest tax cut in Indiana history.

Dozens of bills await Gov. Mike Pence’s signature, including legislation on the committee on child services oversight, restricting criminal background checks and problem-solving courts. Pence has seven days from receiving the legislation to sign or veto the bills. If he takes no action, the enrolled acts become law after seven days.


 

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  1. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  2. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

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