Introduced Version, Senate Bill 0159 another one from Senator Lanane. Allows a court to require psychological counseling as part of the sentence for a conviction of cruelty for animals. Probably appropriate, even though being an animal lover, I support vindictive justice in cases of animal cruelty.
Introduced Version, Senate Bill 0154 – This bill kind of suffers from some double negatives, but if I read it correctly, the open container provisions do not apply:
1. to a person in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for compensation (as long as the person isn’t the driver);
2. to a person in the living quarters of a house coach or trailer (not the driver).
3. where the container is in a locked glove compartment.
4. where the container is in the truck bed (or area behind the last seat in an vehicle not equipped with a trunk.)
Expands the open container provisions to vehicles in the right of way of a public highway even when not in operation.
Good article in the South Bend Tribune entitled SouthBendTribune.com: Daniels’ leadership faces test
Mitch Daniels has momentum and his party in charge of the entire Indiana government, but lack of money may mean he can’t get things done. This will be a good opportunity to see whether “The Blade’s” stint as Bush’s chief of the OMB resulted in tidal waves of red-ink based on personal preference or simply because he was a good soldier abiding by the Bush administration’s addiction to deficit spending.
He has to deal with a starting deficit of $600 million, $717 million in delayed payments owed to schools and an additional $150 million for school enrollment growth. On top of that, he wants to spend tax money on tax incentives for business and investment in research and capital. This means either spending cuts or tax increases. No indication has yet been given of what sorts of cuts or tax increases are contemplated.
School funding formulas will pit school against school. On the one hand, fast growing suburban school would probably like a flat, per-student formula; whereas rural and urban populations with stagnant or declining population and tasked with educating more expensive students would like a different formula.
Also, Medicaid costs are going up; Indy wants further government consolidation and gambling to finance the Colts; and Mitch wants Daylight Saving Time but has neglected to tell us which time zone he has in mind.
The above linked article describes a split in the Democratic Party between the “liberal” Dean faction and the “centrist” Democratic Leadership Council. I think this framing, and the article generally, contains some inaccuracies. First, I’m not sure the DLC is centrist so much as it is watered-down and unprincipled. Many times the DLC is credited with Bill Clinton’s success. I think the truth is the other way around. I think Clinton’s gifts were such that he could succeed with almost any set of stated principals. The DLC of Joe Lieberman and Tom Daschle is just plain ineffective.
Characterizing Howard Dean as “liberal” sort of misses the mark as well. He is certainly populist and was out front in his opposition to the invasion of Iraq. However, isolationist foreign policy has traditionally been the hallmark of conservatives. His tenure in Vermont showed him to be fiscally conservative as well. He almost makes a fetish of balancing the budget — which appeals to me, but doesn’t necessarily appeal to the big budget wing of the Democratic Party (and certainly cannot be a concern of any Bush supporter.) His focus on grass root issues and middle class wages can probably be considered liberal, but his ideas on budgets and foreign policy are conservative, if anything.
Whether he is the best hope for the Democratic Party, I don’t know. I don’t suppose I could be considered representative of a typical Democrat. My politics are socially permissive and fiscally conservative. “Do what you want, but don’t ask me to pay for it.” and “People who work hard and play by the rules should be able to succeed; those who don’t, shouldn’t.” So, I’m probably more in line with Libertarians and Paleoconservatives. Nationally, I have turned away from the Republican Party because of the shocking indifference to proper use of the Constitution exhibited during the impeachment abomination engineered by Gingrich & Co. This was followed by the Bush’s Budget-Busting Red-Ink Republicanism and opting to invade Iraq rather than focusing on al-Qaeda and Islamic fundamentalism. I’m also not real keen on the rise of the Religious Right and the control of the Old Confederacy on the GOP. Get me an Eisenhower or a Rockefeller, and I’ll probably vote Republican.
But I digress.
I installed MT-Blacklist. Comments are back on. We’ll see if I have it configured properly to stop comment spam.
As a follow up on SB 99, the Criminal Code Purpose Statement, the bill comes out of the Sentencing Policy Study Committee which has a final report. Presumably more substantive legislation will be (or perhaps has been) introduced. I only glanced at the final report, but the committee seemed very concerned about increasing prison populations and recidivism. Presumably (and it’s probably in that report), they have made recommendations as to approaches they think will reduce prison populations by reducing recidivism.
A good, and fiscally responsible goal. The existence of a high rate of recidivism would suggest that Indiana’s penal system isn’t meeting its reformative goal. And, while it may be serving the interest of retribution, that is a function the Indiana Constitution prohibits for the criminal justice system. Which is fine since retribution is emotionally satisfying but expensive, fleeting, and a waste of government resources. Prevention, deterrence, and reformation are the less satisfying but more logical goals.
Synopsis: Holocaust education course. Beginning with the 2005-2006 school year, requires each school corporation to include a study of the Holocaust as a part of the social studies curriculum.
I hope social studies programs do teach kids about the Holocaust, but I really don’t like the idea of the General Assembly getting this specific about the curriculum.
Introduced Version, House Bill 1045 This bill requires insurers to notify the BMV if a person’s policy is cancelled before the policy expiration date. The BMV is then required to revoke the person’s operator’s license if they don’t jump through some hoops proving their renewed financial responsibility.
I understand the problem it’s intended to address. Lots of people register their vehicle with a binder or other proof of insurance that doesn’t require they pay the full period in advance. Then they don’t pay their premium and keep driving. Then they get into an accident and can’t pay for the damage they caused. However, I don’t know that this approach will be especially effective. And woe to the person who wrongfully gets snarled in the BMV bureaucracy under this system.
Finally, the proper penalty should probably go to the registration of the vehicle. I am not sure on this point. (In fact, I think there is some question under Indiana law on this point.) But, I think insurance follows the vehicle more than it follows the driver. Seems like a person should be able to have a license without having their own vehicle and still be able to drive another person’s vehicle, provided that they are driving with the permission of the vehicle’s owner and thereby covered by that person’s insurance. That would not be possible under this system.
Introduced Version, Senate Bill 0148 Provides that an auto insurance company can’t use adverse information contained in an individual’s credit report or that of a spouse, family member or other named insured as a rating factor.
Maybe there are strong public policy reasons against using credit information in this fashion, but it seems to me that if there happens to be a strong correlation between bad credit ratings and high claim payouts, the insurance company ought to be able to use that information to assess its risk and adjust its premiums accordingly.