The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 496, sponsored by Rep. McMillin, on the control of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. The bill as passed by the Senate would limit the amount an individual may purchase without a prescription to 61 grams a year, approximately an eight-month supply, and increase penalties for possession of more than 10 grams under certain circumstances. Testimony was heard from a number of mayors and police officials about the significant adverse impact on their communities of methamphetamine manufacturing. After this testimony, an amendment to give municipalities authority to require prescriptions for pseudoephedrine was defeated. Another amendment, to remove the criminal penalty changes passed by the Senate for B felony and A felony possession of more than 10 grams under specified circumstances, was adopted by consent. The bill passed as amended, 12-0.
The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 509, sponsored by Rep. McMillin, expanding the human trafficking offense to include trafficking of persons 16 and 17 years of age. A number of witnesses testified in favor of the legislation, and it was noted that the change in the bill would make Indiana’s law consistent with the trafficking offenses of other states and of the federal government. The bill passed, 12-0.
The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 536, sponsored by Rep. M. Smith, on synthetic drugs. The bill would provide for revocation of a retail license for selling or offering to sell either a synthetic drug or a lookalike synthetic drug. The bill also would continue the authorization for the state Pharmacy Board to declare substances to be synthetic, authorize the Attorney General to bring actions to obtain injunctions of the sale of synthetic substances or synthetic look-alikes, and add dealing in synthetic drugs or “synthetic drug lookalike substances” to both the list of offenses permitting forfeitures of vehicles and other property and to the Indiana RICO offense. It also would create a new A infraction/D or C felony of manufacturing or dealing a synthetic drug or “synthetic drug lookalike substance.” The bill passed, 11-0.
The Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee heard HB 1053, sponsored by Sen. Steele, Sen. M. Young, and Sen. Arnold, on sex offenses and sex offenders. The Committee previously amended the bill to make its language on rape and deviate conduct parallel the terminology used in HB 1006. The Committee rejected an amendment to remove the bill’s requirement that kidnapping and confinement require registration only if a court finds the offense was committed with a sexual purpose. The Committee also rejected an amendment to change the description of the “material” change in appearance the bill presently requires to trigger a registrant’s obligation to have a new registry photo taken. A third amendment, to increase the maximum amount a court may order as a sexual assault victim fee used to support rape crisis centers, was agreed to be considered on second reading if it was found not to have a fiscal impact requiring appropriations consideration. A technical amendment was adopted. The amended bill passed, 9-0.
The Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee heard HB 1093, sponsored by Sen. Landske and Sen. Arnold, on killing a law enforcement animal. Author Rep. VanDenburgh presented an amendment to strike authorization for the court to order a convicted defendant to pay “replacement costs” and substitute “cost to replace, which may include cost of training.” The amendment also authorizes the law enforcement agency whose animal is killed or permanently disabled to claim assistance from the violent crimes victims compensation fund. The bill passed as amended, 6-0.
The Senate Public Policy Committee heard HB 1225, sponsored by Sen. Glick, prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and making it a Class C infraction for an individual less than 18 years of age to purchase, accept for personal use, or possess an electronic cigarette. A major cigarette manufacturer and the American Lung Association testified in favor of the bill. The bill passed, 8-0.
The Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee heard HB 1382, sponsored by Sen. Bray, placing certain substances on the controlled substances schedules. The bill passed, 7-0.[Permalink]
The House Judiciary Committee heard SB 6, sponsored by Rep. Steuerwald, permitting a child in a dissolution case receiving child support under an order issued before July 1, 2012, to file a petition for educational needs until the child becomes 21 years of age. This matches the existing law for paternity cases. The bill also makes child support statutes in dissolution cases the same as in paternity cases. In addition, the bill provides that if an order was issued denying support for educational needs to a child less than between the ages of 19 and 21 years old, a subsequent petition for educational needs for the child may be filed for that support. The bill was amended to make technical corrections, to make the bill effective upon passage, and to move the date when a parent who is ordered to pay child support may claim the child as a dependent if the parent had paid 95% of the parent’s child support for the calendar year to December 31. The amended bill passed, 11-0.
The House Family, Children, and Human Affairs Committee heard SB 164, sponsored by Rep. Mahan, allowing a prosecuting attorney to request a juvenile court to authorize the filing of a Child in Need of Services Petitions (CHINS). The bill was amended to match the language in HB 1040. The Indiana Prosecuting Attorney’s Council testified in support of the bill, and testified that the Indiana Public Defender’s Council also supports the bill. The amended bill passed, 11-0.
The House Family, Children, and Human Affairs Committee heard SB 202, sponsored by Rep. Kubacki, requiring that persons filing petitions to modify custody and visitation must indicate if the person or the child has been the subject of a CHINS case. A technical amendment was taken by consent. The amended bill passed, 12-0.[Permalink]
The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 486, sponsored by Rep. Steuerwald, adding certain judicial officers. Author Sen. Steele explained that the bill, approved by the Commission on Courts, would add a new full-time magistrate for Hamilton Superior, two new magistrates for the Hendricks Superior Courts, and, effective Jan. 1, 2015, a second judge for Owen County while establishing a unified Owen Circuit Court. The bill passed, 11-0.
The Senate Judiciary Committee continued discussion on HB 1016, sponsored by Sen. Steele and Sen. Lanane, regarding problem-solving courts. This bill makes various changes to the problem-solving courts statutes. An amendment was adopted removing the funding language added on second reading in the House and urging the Legislative Council to evaluate the funding of veteran’s courts and make recommendation to the General Assembly. The amended bill passed, 6-0.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard HB 1061, sponsored by Sen. Becker, pertaining to magistrates. Rep. Bacon explained that the bill authorizes the judges of the Marion Superior Court to appoint 12 full-time magistrates after December 31, 2013, as added by the House Ways and Means Committee, and authorizes the judges of the Warrick Circuit and Superior courts to jointly appoint a magistrate. Judge Certo from Marion Superior Court, and a representative of the Warrick County Bar Association testified in support of the bill. The bill passed, 7-0.[Permalink]
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard HB 1056, sponsored by Sen. Steele, on probate and trust administration matters. The introduced version of this bill was prepared by the Probate Study Committee in consultation with the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) Probate Committee. The bill makes numerous changes to current law on personal representatives and trust administration. A representative of the ISBA Probate Committee summarized each provision of the bill for the Committee. The bill passed, 8-0.[Permalink]
This is the ninth weekly installment of the Legislative Update for the 2013 legislative session. If you are interested in reading the text of any bill introduced this session, you may find the bill information at the link below:
This week Senate and House committees heard the following bills of interest to the judiciary:[Permalink]
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard HB 1054, sponsored by Sen. Wyss and Sen. Lanane, regarding secretary of state filings and recordings. This bill allows the Secretary of State to refuse to accept certain financing statements and provides that if a person believes a financing statement is fraudulent the person can file a motion for judicial review. If the court finds the statement fraudulent, the court can award to the prevailing party all costs related to the review, declare the financing statement as ineffective, and order the office possessing the financing statement to terminate or purge the statement. The Secretary of State’s office testified in favor of the bill. The bill passed, 6-0.[Permalink]
The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 31, sponsored by Rep. McMillin and presented by Sen. Holdman, regarding the habitual offender charge filing deadline. The bill allows habitual offender amendments if the amendment is filed at least 30 days before trial, and permits an amendment to be made at any time if it does not prejudice the substantial rights of the defendant. It also provides that if an amendment is made less than 30 days before trial, the court shall grant a continuance to the State, for good cause shown; or to the defendant, for any reason. The Prosecuting Attorneys Council testified in favor of the bill and noted this would provide more time for prosecutors to investigate criminal history to determine if a habitual offender charge should be filed. The bill passed, 12-0.
The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee also heard SB 168 concerning chemical tests for intoxication, sponsored and presented by Rep. McMillin, expanding the class of persons in Ind. Code § 9-30-6-6 that may take chemical tests to include a person qualified through training, experience, or education to obtain a bodily substance sample. The bill also specifies that a law enforcement officer who is an arresting officer or involved in the investigation of an accident or crime may not draw a blood sample, but may designate another qualified person, including another law enforcement officer, to draw a blood sample. An amendment precludes the designation of another person from the same investigative entity to obtain the chemical test sample. The Public Defenders Council testified on the amendment. The bill passed as amended, 11-1.
The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 496, sponsored by Rep. McMillin, on control of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine sales. Extensive testimony was heard.
The bill was held to allow for additional testimony.
The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 536, sponsored by Rep. M. Smith, on synthetic drugs. The Committee held the bill to assess possible vagueness or overbreadth issues in the proposed new look-alike synthetic drug offense.
The Senate Corrections Committee heard HB 1053, sponsored by Sen. Steele, Sen. M. Young, and Sen. Arnold and prepared by the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee, on sex offenses and sex offenders registration. The Committee discussed the bill provision requiring an offender to have a new registry photo taken if his appearance changes “materially,” an issue discussed extensively during the House hearing on this bill. The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council objected to the bill’s provision that persons convicted of criminal confinement or kidnapping would not have to register if “the court finds that the offense was not committed for a sexual purpose.” The Committee held the bill for a week to address the concerns raised.
The Senate Corrections Committee heard HB 1093, sponsored by Sen. Landske and Sen. Arnold, on disabling or killing a law enforcement animal. After receiving testimony from Anderson police officers, the Committee held the bill to draft an amendment including training and related expenses for killed or injured animals.
The Senate Corrections Committee heard HB 1256, unlawful possession of items in penal facilities, sponsored by Sen. Steele and Sen. Arnold. Author Rep. Dermody explained that the bill increases sanctions for trafficking, particularly if the item involved is a controlled substance, a deadly weapon, or a cellular telephone or other wireless or cellular communications device. The Department of Correction testified in favor of the bill. The bill passed, 9-0.[Permalink]
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard HB 1016 concerning problem-solving courts, sponsored by Sen. Steel, Sen. Lanane, and Sen. Randolph, and presented by Rep. Koch. The bill makes several changes to the problem-solving court statutes, including expanding eligibility, authorizing the provision of rehabilitative services to problem-solving court participants, and simplifying the proble- solving court fee transfer process. The bill also included an amendment from the House regarding the establishing a pilot project in Lake County to use 50% of the county drug free community fund to support a veteran’s court. The Indiana Judicial Center testified specifically in support of the proposed changes to the current problem-solving court statutes. There was extensive testimony regarding the Lake County pilot project. Those speaking in favor of the pilot project included: Rep. Reardon, Sen. Mrvan, Lake Co. Sheriff, representatives from the American Legion, Fraternal Order of Police, Public Defender Council, Northwest Indiana Veterans Action Coalition, and the Mayor of Gary. The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute’s Substance Abuse Services Division Director testified on the current role of the Local Coordinating Council’s (LCC) funding in supporting local programs and services to further the mission of the Governor’s Commission for a Drug-Free Indiana. In testifying, the Director pointed out that LCCs statewide currently provide grants to existing problem solving courts under the priorities outlined for the use of these funds and opposed diverting additional LCC funds as proposed in this legislation. In addition, representatives from the Lake County LCC and agencies currently funded by the LCC testified that they support problem-solving courts and the need for a veterans court, but did not support this proposed funding source since it would negatively impact the current services in the area. The Committee held the bill to further review funding options for the Lake County pilot project.[Permalink]
The House Judiciary Committee heard SB 85, the technical corrections bill sponsored by Rep. M. Young, Rep. Arnold, and Rep. Banks. This bill resolves technical conflicts between differing 2012 amendments to Indiana Code sections and other technical problems in the Indiana Code. The bill passed 10-0.[Permalink]
The Senate Corrections Committee heard HB 1130, sponsored by Sen. Pat Miller and Sen. Hume, adding “gravely disabled” as an alternative basis to “dangerous” for detaining persons under the immediate detention statute. The bill makes the grounds for an emergency detention consistent with those provided for temporary and regular commitments. The bill passed, 8-0.[Permalink]