Oh, super, another license plate bill. Like we don’t have enough different kinds of license plate. Introduced Version, House Bill 1029 This one is “in God We Trust”. Watch this and every other special interest license plate get put into a super license plate Christmas tree bill before, hopefully, dying a horrible death.
I like this one! Increases the attorney’s fee to be paid by the Medicaid office in personal injury recoveries. It’s not limited to PI recoveries, but basically what happens is that Medicaid covers the medical costs for an injured person. The injured person thinks someone else is responsible. Let’s call him a tortfeasor. So, injured person has a cause of action against the tortfeasor. The Medicaid office has a lien on the claim against the tortfeasor. Usually what happens is that the injured person hires an attorney on contingency to pursue the tortfeasor. This bill just increases the amount the Medicaid office has to pay the attorney as its “fair share” for benefitting in any recovery against the tortfeasor. It’s 25% before suit & 1/3 after, up from 7.5%/10%. Since contingency fees are usually around 1/3, the Medicaid office has been getting a free ride to the tune of about 25%, coming out of the hide of either the attorney (don’t cry) or the already impoverished injured party.
Introduced Version, Senate Bill 0039 Provides that the Karner blue butterfly is the state insect. Come on! I thought the firefly was Indiana’s state insect!
Maybe with new leadership in the House and the Governor’s Office we can get some much needed resolution on this vital issue.
Introduced Version, Senate Bill 0010 and Introduced Version, Senate Bill 0011 SB 10 provides for the elimination of the Indiana inheritance tax in 2009. In the meantime, it reduces the tax owed by 20% in 2005-2006, 40% in 2006-2007, 60% in 2007-2008, and 80% in 2008-2009. SB 11 just gets rid of it in 2005.
Now, I’m all in favor of reducing taxes to the extent possible. But, the fact is, government is necessary for certain purposes. And it has to be paid for. My proposal is to reduce government as much as possible. Then, if we have more tax money than we need, get rid of sales taxes, gas taxes, property taxes first. You know, taxes that ordinary people pay. Once those taxes are gone, then you go after the inheritance taxes. My position is that a person has a greater claim to his paycheck and money he’s actually earned than an heir has a claim on someone’s estate. That being the case, it’s more fair to deprive the heir of some portion of his claim on the estate than it is to deprive the common laborer of some portion of his earnings.
Requires every occupant of a motor vehicle to wear a safety belt, with certain exceptions. Prohibits retail sale of automobiles without seatbelts.
(Basically, it would require backseat passengers and occupants of trucks to wear seatbelts, which they are not currently required to do.)
Jury service exemptions. Eliminates automatic exemptions from jury service. Protects a person called for jury service from being subjected to adverse employment actions. Prohibits employers from requiring or requesting employees to use annual, vacation, or sick leave for jury service.
(One tidbit, one of the cleanup sections addresses the vital issue of ferry maintenance so that folks can get their horses across the river to serve on a jury.)
Apparently the random shooting in Lafayette Indiana on I-65 near SR 43 was just a case of an individual with severe paranoia. An alert went out a little after the shooting asking for the shooter’s emergency detention based on her husband’s request citing her recent erratic behavior.
The Indy Star has an article entitled Shake-up pro will take over the FSSA
I certainly wish him the best. The Family and Social Services Administration is not a glamorous place to be. Basically, the agency is charged with addressing intractable, expensive problems that the healthy, functioning part of society would rather not deal with: medical expenses of the poor and children in need. Even though I was favoring a Kernan administration, I was unhappy with his selection of Kathy Davis as a running mate. This unhappiness was more anectdotal than based on any systematic analysis of her career and capabilities. One summer, while working at Legislative Services, I was asked to arrange her attendance and testimony before the Indiana General Assembly’s interim commission on autism. Even dropping buzzwords like “lawyer” “senator” and “legislature,” I was unable to get a response from her or her office concerning her attendance at the meeting. If I was having that much difficulty, I can only imagine what kind of trouble a person who is poor, sick, uneducated, and in need of government assistance might have in getting aresponse.
Stop & go traffic on I-65 just north of Lafayette Indiana. A woman gets out of her car with a pistol, approaches the minivan behind her. The driver of the minivan gets out and runs. The woman with the pistol shoots the driver of the minivan in the butt. The pistol wielding maniac had a toddler aged daughter in the vehicle with her.
Among other things, an interview with Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville) shows Rep. Lewis as wanting to address the definition of pickup trucks:
He also wants to rewrite the formula that classifies pick-up trucks so the state has a clear definition of a passenger vehicle. In trucks, passengers don’t have to wear seat belts, and some of the money
registered owners pay is not put back into the local tax disbursement. Saunders said he’s just trying to get more money put back into local economies.
I happen to believe that the application of current law has been faulty in this respect. As I recall, the Indiana Code defines pickup trucks by their primary use. Basically, it shouldn’t be regarded as a pickup truck for taxes and seatbelts unless it is used primarily to haul material and not as a passenger vehicle. But, there is no doubt that it could and should be much clearer.
Another issue is Daylight Savings Time. This is one that Mitch Daniels has said is a priority. Maybe he can get a change in the law, but he’s going to run into the same problem everyone runs into on this issue. The state is divided about 50/50 pro-DST and anti-DST. Pretty much everyone has a strong opinion on the subject. However, the pro-DST crowd is divided into Eastern Time and Central Time camps. Folks in the west want to stick with Chicago and central time. Folks in the east want to go with New York and eastern time. Geographically, there is no really good answer. As a matter of actual daylight, I think Indiana is situated such that we’re better off year ’round on eastern standard time. (With no daylight savings time.)