This is the fifteenth weekly installment of the Legislative Update for the 2011 legislative session. Below are the summaries of the bills of interest to the judiciary heard this week in committee.
If you are interested in reading the text of any bill introduced this session, you may find the bill information on Access Indiana at: http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo.
The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 217 regarding official misconduct sponsored by Reps. Koch and Grubb. IC 35-44-1-2 currently states that it is official misconduct if a public servant knowingly or intentionally performs an act that the public servant is forbidden by law to perform. The bill clarifies that a public servant, defined as an employee or deputy of a governmental entity, commits official misconduct if the public servant knowingly or intentionally commits a crime in the performance of the public servant’s official duties. The bill passed 7-0.
The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 464 sponsored by Reps. Foley, Grubb, and Sullivan changing the depository rule on criminal liability of government agents for improperly handling public funds. The bill consolidates the two current depository rules and expands the application of these rules to include public servants, defined broadly to include all employees and deputies of governmental entities. The bill also replaces the current Class B felony penalty so that a public servant who knowingly or intentionally fails to properly deposit public funds or deposits and withdraws funds in a manner not authorized by IC 5-13 commits a Class A misdemeanor if the amount involved is under $750, a Class D felony if the amount involved is between $750 and $50,000, and a Class C felony if the amount involved is at least $50,000. The bill passed 7-0.
The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 559 sponsored by Reps. Koch and Grubb concerning conflict of interest. The bill adds clarifying definitions for “dependent,” “governmental entity served by the public servant,” and “pecuniary interest” to the IC 35-44-1-3 D felony offense of conflict of interest. The bill also specifies that certain defenses apply to this crime. The bill was amended and passed 7-0.
The Senate Appropriations Committee heard HB 1001, the budget bill. The bill was amended to include an amendment to IC 35-38-2-1 to make disbursements by the governing fiscal body from the county or local supplemental adult probation services funds discretionary rather than mandatory. The amended bill passed 8-3.
The Senate Appropriations Committee heard HB 1001, the budget bill. The bill contains several provisions pertaining to juvenile law. The bill amends IC 29-3-5-1 to require the juvenile court to notify the Department of Child Services (DCS) of a hearing regarding the guardianship under this section if a CHINS petition has been filed involving the minor or an informal adjustment is pending with this minor; The bill creates IC 29-3-8-9 to provide that a probate or juvenile court may include the following conditions in an order establishing the guardianship of a minor: (a) a minor must reside with the guardian, and (b) terms or conditions a parent must meet to seek modification or termination of the guardianship. If a petition for modification is filed, the court shall refer the petition to the DCS to determine if the placement is in the best interests of the child. A court shall notify DCS if the court appoints a guardian for a minor who was subject to a CHINS petition or informal adjustment, and a petition to modify or terminate the guardianship is filed, and of any hearings related to the modification or termination petition. If the minor was the subject of a CHINS or informal adjustment, the court shall consider the position of DCS. If requested by DCS, the court shall allow the DCS to present evidence about the termination or modification of the guardianship, fitness of the parent, appropriate placement of the child and the best interests of the child. The bill also amends IC 31-9-2-17.8, the definition of “child services,” to include a recipient of other financial assistance provided to or for the benefit of a child who was previously adjudicated a CHINS or delinquent, including a guardianship established to implement a permanency plan. The bill amends IC 31-34-21-7.7 to provide for a permanency plan that permits the creation of a guardianship in accordance with IC 29-3-8-9. It also (1) permits the juvenile court’s order closing the CHINS case after creating this guardianship, to survive the closure of the CHINS case and (2) permits the probate court to assume or reassume jurisdiction of the guardianship if the juvenile court closes the CHINS case after creating the guardianship. The bill was amended to include an amendment to IC 31-40-2-2 to make disbursements by the governing fiscal body from the county supplemental juvenile probation services funds discretionary rather than mandatory. The amended bill passed 8-3.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard SR 84 authored by Sen. Head urging the Legislative Council to establish an interim study committee to study the issues regarding a child protection registry containing protected electronic mail addresses and other contact points. The resolution passed 8-0.