This is the first weekly installment of the Legislative Update for the 2012 legislative session. Below are the summaries of 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 Senate Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters Committee heard SB 4, authored by Sen. Head, regarding human trafficking. The bill, prepared by the Criminal Code Evaluation Committee, amends IC 35-42-3.5-1 to provide that a person who recruits, harbors, or transports a child less than 16 years of age with the intent of engaging the child in forced labor, involuntary servitude, prostitution, or sexual conduct commits promotion of human trafficking of a minor, a Class B felony. The bill also provides that a person at least 18 years of age who sells or transfers custody of a child less than 16 years of age for the purpose of prostitution or participation in sexual conduct commits sexual trafficking of a minor, a Class A felony. The Committee adopted an amendment making victim information confidential. Testimony in support of the bill was heard from Attorney General Zoeller and members of his staff as well as community and non-profit organization representatives. The amended bill passed 9-0.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard SB 32, authored by Sen. Bray, regarding guardianships. This bill as introduced allows a guardian of a minor who has not been adjudicated an incapacitated person to petition the court to extend the guardianship beyond the date the minor attains 18 years of age. It requires the guardian and minor to sign the petition in the presence of at least two witnesses, and authorizes the court to extend the guardianship up to the date on which the protected person attains 22 years of age, if the court finds that extending the guardianship is in the best interests of the protected person. The Committee heard testimony, and is holding the bill for two amendments, one which removes the two witnesses requirement for the petition.