Legislation that deals with power of attorney and that would give Allen Circuit Court a second full-time magistrate have made it through both houses of the Indiana Legislature.
Senate Bill 157 will allow for copies of a power of attorney to have the same force and effect as the original as long as the person granting the power of attorney certifies that the copy is correct and true. The bill also asks the Legislative Council to take a look at issues related to POA during the 2012 legislative interim. SB 152 allows for the Allen Circuit judge to appoint a second full-time magistrate beginning July 1, 2013. The bill repeals the judge’s authority to appoint a hearing officer who has the powers of a magistrate.
SB 97, which looks to narrow the scope of Indiana’s public intoxication law, is being considered by a conference committee. The bill will address the issues that arose in Moore v. State, in which the Indiana Supreme court reinstated the public intoxication conviction of a woman who was riding in her car that was being driven by a sober driver. The car was pulled over and police discovered the driver didn’t have a valid license. When Brenda Moore couldn’t drive the car because of her state of intoxication, police arrested her for public intoxication.
The legislation says that someone can’t be convicted of public intoxication unless the person endangers his or her own life, someone else’s life, or is likely to disturb the peace, create a disturbance, or harass someone else.
Another bill inspired by a Supreme Court ruling – Barnes v. State – has passed third reading in the House and has been sent back to the Senate with amendments. SB 1 specifies that a person may use reasonable force against any other person – including law enforcement – in certain circumstances.
SB 235, which would add a fee to address declining IOTLA funds, has stalled in the House Ways and Means Committee, but language was added to House Bill 1049 creating a $1 pro bono legal fee before July 1, 2020, that would go to the Indiana Bar Foundation. That bill, which also addresses courts, the inspector general and protection orders, is back in the House for consideration.
Legislation that would phase out Indiana’s inheritance tax, SB 293, has passed the House and been sent back to the Senate with amendments. SB 18, which dictates that a parent no longer has to provide child support after a child turns 19, is also back in the Senate with amendments.
Thus far, Gov. Mitch Daniels has received 26 enrolled acts this session and signed 18. To view the status of these or any other bills, visit the General Assembly’s bill watch page.