State agencies

Farm smells ignite debate but no consensus reached

August 28, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Before dinner can be prepared and served at the table, the food has to be raised on a farm. However, Old MacDonald’s Farm with its placid scenes of pigs and cows is a shrinking segment of American farming, being replaced with large industrial agricultural operations with hundreds and thousands of animals.
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Moratorium on administrative rules leads to uncertainty

August 28, 2013
Plews Shadley Racher & Braun attorney Amy Romig discusses the impact of a recent executive order which placed a moratorium on new administrative rules by state agencies.
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Teachers union could pay $14M to schools under settlement

August 13, 2013
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
The state’s largest teachers union and its national parent organization have agreed to pay $14 million under a tentative settlement announced Tuesday morning by Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson and Indiana Securities Commissioner Chris Naylor.
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Ex-IURC leader’s criminal charges dropped

August 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
The former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission won’t face trial on felony charges stemming from an ethics scandal at the agency, a judge ruled Monday.
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BMV announces credits for overcharged motorists

July 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana motorists who overpaid for driver’s licenses over the past six years will get the money back in the form of a credit on their next transaction at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the agency announced Friday.
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Department of Correction to request funding for upgrades at 3 facilities

July 9, 2013
IL Staff
Proposed upgrades to three of the state’s correctional facilities will be among the items considered during Wednesday’s meeting of the Indiana State Budget Committee.
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BMV reduces license costs that generated class-action suit

June 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana driver’s licenses will be $3.50 less expensive, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles announced Friday in a change taking immediate effect.
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Judge: School corp.’s inattentiveness doesn’t support benefits reversal

June 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was split Wednesday over whether a notice sent regarding a hearing on unemployment benefits required reversing the grant of benefits because the employer found the notice confusing.
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Low enrollment numbers in the Healthy Indiana Plan are questioned

June 25, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
As Indiana seeks federal approval to continue its Healthy Indiana Plan, a health insurance program for income-eligible uninsured Hoosiers, some state legislators are concerned enrollment in the program is not higher.
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Weinberger cases settle for $55M

June 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
Hundreds of patients of a former Merrillville ear, nose and throat doctor serving a seven-year federal sentence for health-care fraud will be compensated for their medical malpractice claims through a $55 million settlement.
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Lawsuit seeks impartial decision-maker in license plate dispute

June 19, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Indiana Youth Group challenging the authority of the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles to issue an order of remand on its administrative law judge’s order to restore the LGBT youth group’s specialty license plate.
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ACLU of Indiana files class-action lawsuit against FSSA for changes to Medicaid waiver programs

June 17, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The ACLU of Indiana has slapped the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration with a class-action lawsuit over the way the state agency operates two of its Medicaid waiver programs.
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Convenience store association says cold beer ban discriminatory

June 5, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Along with the usual reasons including giving consumers more options, providing price competition and sparking new investment in the state, Indiana convenience store owners have added a new argument to their push to sell cold beer – it’s their constitutional right.
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DLGF ordered to decide whether loan determination is unconstitutional

May 28, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Friday sent a case back to the Department of Local Government Finance for it to take another look at its approval of a $400,000 loan for a fire truck to be paid entirely by residents of a Morgan County township. Some residents argued that because the truck would be used by other townships, it’s unconstitutional to order them to be solely responsible for the loan.
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Prior knowledge of criminal history allows FSSA to disqualify employment

May 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday concluded that a woman employed by a license-exempt child care ministry in Indianapolis can’t circumvent a prohibition from being employed at any child care ministry by relying on the Indiana Restricted Access Act.
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Judge grants class certification in BMV lawsuit

May 8, 2013
IL Staff
A Marion Superior Judge ruled last week that a lawsuit brought against the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles for allegedly overcharging drivers may proceed as a class-action lawsuit.
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Tax Court denies excess levy sought by IndyGo

May 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis’ public transit system lost a bid in the Indiana Tax Court to recover a budget shortfall that the Department of Local Government Finance ruled did not exist.
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State must seek EPA approval before reclassifying ethanol plants

April 30, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Even though the Environmental Protection Agency changed a rule to exclude ethanol plants from the category of chemical process plants which would affect emissions permitting, Indiana had to seek approval from the federal agency before it could reclassify the ethanol production facilities.
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COA reduces $125k judgment against company to $200 in fines

April 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a liability administrative law judge erred in determining that a company that previously operated a call center in Fishers owed more than $125,000 in unemployment insurance contributions, interest and penalties for a year when the company had no Indiana employees, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed.
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Taking unauthorized courses online gets displaced worker booted from TAA program

April 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A displaced worker’s enrollment in online classes without permission is grounds for dismissal from the Trade Adjustment Assistance training program, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Indiana Senate president pro tem pushes for Constitutional Convention

March 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long admits his effort to convene a state-driven Constitutional Convention will be a struggle.
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Lawsuit accuses BMV of overcharging for driver’s licenses

March 7, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A lawsuit filed in Marion County claims that the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has overcharged residents for their driver’s licenses by as much as $7 per license.
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Medicaid expansion not dead but Legislature still divided

February 28, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
When talking about expanding Medicaid under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, both sides of the aisle in the Statehouse focus on the same point – costs.
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IDEM's application of new antidegradation rule raising ire

February 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
After more than 10 years of protracted and, at times, contentious debate, Indiana finalized protections for some of its most clean waters. But less than a year after taking effect, a short letter denying an antidegradation application has unleashed criticism that the state is not implementing the rule as intended.
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Tracking fracking in Indiana

February 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
Recent laws provide regulations, but an effort for advance plan approval gains little traction.
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  1. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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