This session of the Indiana General Assembly is scheduled to end March 14, but legislators are working to try to finish the session early. It's not known for certain when the House and Senate will wrap up, but both sides have the goal to possibly end by March 7, one week before the constitutionally scheduled deadline.
March 3 is the scheduled last day for reading Senate and House bills before the other chamber, but the last day for second reading in the House ended up being Wednesday. The last day for third reading in the House was Thursday.
- Senate Bill 36, a magistrates' bill, offered an amendment on second reading that weaved judicial-mandate language into the bill, but the amendment failed to pass. The bill passed unanimously on third reading Thursday and is ready for enrollment.
- SB 163, a child support bill with the controversial provision allowing for garnishment of back child support from casino winnings, was returned to the Senate with amendments. - Amendments to the grandparent visitation bill, SB 59, including one that would give children more of a voice as they get older regarding visitation, failed to pass on second reading. The bill died on third reading Thursday.
- SB 307, on Bartholomew, Clark, and Floyd courts, was returned to the Senate with amendments, including one on making new infraction judgments "advisory." The bill is now in conference committee.
- SB 149, regarding Department of Child Services matters, including out-of-state placement, passed by a vote of 83-16 on third reading.
SB 224, an electronic dissemination of indecent material and sex offender registration bill; SB 394, regarding attorney general matters; and SB 399, on fines for moving violations all passed second reading without amendments as of Indiana Lawyer deadline. In the Senate, three bills of interest to the legal community moved back to the House with amendments: House Bill 1154, on Marion County courts converting commissioners into magistrates; HB 1271, on problem-solving courts; and HB 1276, which includes Judicial Technology Automation Committee matters.
HB 1154 now has a stipulation that traffic infraction money doesn't revert to the county general fund or state general fund for general use, and the money can only be used to compensate commissioners or pay guardian ad litem costs. HB 1271 was amended so that mental-health records of a patient may be disclosed to the court without consent. Five amendments to HB 1276 failed on second reading, including one that required a program to collect domestic violence data and report it to the FBI; the only one to pass dealt with the kinds of medical records that should be available for public inspection.