Introduced Version, House Bill 1025 is up for hearing today before the Public and Homeland Security Committee. I covered this a bit earlier and Rep. Koch as well. He also wants to require the DNR to make payments in lieu of taxes to counties in which its acreage is located. The payments come from the state general fund. So, it would basically be a matter of transferring wealth from counties without DNR land to counties with it.
Ron Stiver, a brand strategy and sales manager for Eli Lilly and Co., will be commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development, which handles unemployment claims, keeps statistics on Indiana’s work force and spearheads worker retraining efforts.
To be fair, he also appointed a Columbus corporate attorney, Miguel Rivera, to the Dept. of Labor. So, while it’s still the business community, it’s a good 35+ miles south of I-465.
State tax amnesty bill sent to House: Rep. Eric Turner has introduced a “tax amnesty” bill that gives tax debtors an as yet to be determined 8 week period to pay taxes without penalty or interest charges. Proponents say “we need the money”. Detractors say, “it’s a cheater’s rights bill.”
As written currently, HB 1004 would also double the penalty against a debtor who has the opportunity pay under the tax amnesty program but fails to do so.
This kind of makes me wonder what the current practice is with regard to tax collection efforts currently in litigation. I wonder if the State will cut a deal with debtors to settle in full if they pay a lump sum equal to their principal debt, waiving the extras. If they do that kind of thing already, I wouldn’t have any problem with this bill. If not, I have mixed feelings.
Introduced Version, Senate Bill 0217 It never passes, but Sen. Server has introduced a bill to raise the speed limit on Interstates from 65 to 70 mph.
(Maybe they could play up the economic development angle. When given an option, I chose a route that was a few miles longer because it was primarily through states with 70 mph speed limits.)
Introduced Version, Senate Bill 0206: “Requires a home medical equipment services provider to be licensed by the board of pharmacy.” Home medical equipment is defined as:
Oxygen and oxygen delivery systems, Ventilators, Respiratory disease management devices, Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, Electronic and computerized wheelchairs and seating systems, Apnea monitors, Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) units, Low air loss cutaneous pressure management devices, Sequential compression devices, Feeding pumps, Home phototherapy devices, Infusion delivery devices, Distribution of medical gases to end users for human consumption, Hospital beds, Nebulizers, and other equipment under rules adopted by the Indiana board of pharmacy.
Licensure is occasionally about protecting the public but seems usually to be more about protecting the licensed industry from competition. Normally you can tell that’s what is going on by the fact that there will be a grandfather clause that lets current practitioners be licensed, pretty much regardless of qualification. This bill calls for current providers to undergo an “initial inspection.” And, if they pass muster, they get licensed. Whether public safety is served all depends on that inspection I guess. Another somewhat non-obvious reason you sometimes see licensure bills is to benefit those organizations who would make money selling continuing education services. (Hey, at least this one isn’t “hair braiding”. That may have been the worst licensure bill I was ever called upon to draft.)
Provides that a consumer may prevent access to the consumer’s credit report by requesting that the consumer reporting agency place a security freeze on the consumer’s credit report.
This one seems riddled with potential problems. If an individual requests a “security freeze” on their credit report, the reporting agency is then only allowed to give the information to government and law enforcement entities, creditors of the individual for use in collecting on the debt, and the consumer. (I have some vague recollection that it is currently not entirely appropriate for creditors to use credit reporting information to collect a debt.)
It allows the reporting agency to disregard the request if it’s based on “false information” even though the individual isn’t required to provide any reason for the freeze. It also seems like there would be First Amendment and federal preemption issues involved. Maybe the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
I appreciate the sentiment, but I also get the feeling that the genie is already out of the bottle with regard to dissemination of our personal information. At this late date, I don’t think you can ever be certain that someone isn’t privy to your personal information.
[Derek] Kieper, a 21-year-old senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, died early Tuesday morning when the Ford Explorer he was a passenger in travelled off an icy section of Interstate 80 and rolled several times in a ditch. Kieper, who was riding in the back seat of the Explorer, was ejected from the vehicle.
Ironically, Mr. Kieper had written a polemic against government mandated seat belt use just this past September:
There seems to be a die-hard group of non-wearers out there who simply do not wish to buckle up no matter what the government does. I belong to this group. . . . [I]f I want to be the jerk that flirts with death and rides around with my seat belt off, I should be able to do that, too.
Introduced Version, Senate Bill 0174: Increases the Marion County small claims jurisdiction from $6,000 to $12,000 in contract claims except for landlord-tenant contracts.
Those dollar amounts seem rather high for small claims rules of evidence and procedure to apply. Maybe they work things differently in Marion County, but the small claims courts I practice in are pretty loose in terms of evidence and you don’t have much of a chance to flesh out the case prior to trial. That is entirely appropriate for claims that are, in fact, small. But, I’d be awfully mad if I lost a $10,000 case because of a legal theory raised at the last minute I hadn’t had time to research or because of hearsay evidence I was unable to rebut because I had no idea it was coming. On the other hand, I guess a Defendant can always get the case bumped up to the plenary docket if he or she is willing to pay the extra filing fee and acts quickly enough. And, the risk probably isn’t as large in contract cases as it would be in tort claims. (Landlord-tenant cases are always a headache.)
Introduced Version, Senate Bill 0171: Basically specifies that personal property taxes constitute a lien on personal property that is superior to that of another creditor. Requires a creditor coming into possession of personal property because of a lien to apply proceeds to the personal property tax before applying proceeds to its own lien.
Way to go Sen. Alting! This bill corrects what I assume to be a drafting error. The existing statute provides that an emergency technician providing emergency care is immune from civil liability unless their act constitutes “negligence or willful misconduct.” If the intent was to offer some protection to emergency responders, allowing them to attempt to provide care without excess concern over civil liability, the existing version doesn’t do a thing. If the medical provider isn’t at least negligent, there wouldn’t be any liability to begin with. The new bill amends the law to provide immunity unless there is “gross negligence or willful misconduct.”
I had a client ask me about this statute earlier in the year, and I advised them that it was essentially worthless.