Greg Taylor

Indiana Senate Democrats Unveil 2018 Agenda

Nov 16, 2017

Indiana Senate Democrats’ agenda for the upcoming legislative session is a retread of many past agendas: expanded voter access measures, a proposed minimum wage increase, and a push for a bias crimes law.

Drug Commission Formally Opposes Medical Marijuana

Nov 9, 2017

The Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse voted Thursday to formally oppose the decriminalization of marijuana in any form. The resolution that came one day after Gov. Eric Holcomb took the same stance.

Two members of the commission asked that it take a stand against medical marijuana in Indiana, according to the commission’s executive director Jim McClelland.

 

The Senate gutted a bill that deals with protesters who block traffic, sending the entire issue to a summer study committee.

The original bill required police to clear protesters who block traffic from roadways using “any means necessary.”

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana is one of only five states in the country without any bias or hate crime language in its laws. A democratic state senator wants to change that, proposing a bill that goes further than a failed proposal from the 2016 session.

VIEVU / http://www.vievu.com/

A bill regulating when police body camera videos are released to the public cleared one of its last major legislative hurdles Tuesday – the Senate passed the bill in a near-unanimous vote.

Sen. Rod Bray (R-Martinsville) says one of the biggest issues in the House version of the bill was the burden it placed on the public and the press to prove a police body cam video should be released to the public. 

The Senate switched that burden – now law enforcement would have to prove in a court that it shouldn’t.  Bray also notes the importance of what’s not in the bill.

Indiana Black Legislative Caucus / http://indianahousedemocrats.org/iblc

Indianapolis' seven African-American legislators are pushing back against a bill to appoint Marion County judges instead of electing them.

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus charges the proposal would disenfranchise African-American voters and give minorities less representation on the bench.

Sen. Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) charges the 14-member commission, with eight partisan appointees and six representatives of bar associations and the judiciary, would be, in her words, "stacked" against minority candidates.

Melanie Holtsman / https://www.flickr.com/photos/holtsman/4577259238

A proposal to make some cold remedies prescription-only is taking a back seat, with a Senate committee instead endorsing a pair of less stringent alternatives.

Senators voted to ban drug offenders from buying medication with pseudoephedrine, and to require pharmacists to question purchasers in a way that satisfies pharmacists the drugs won’t later become meth.

Fulton County pharmacists have taken that step on their own.

Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

State lawmakers can carry guns in the Statehouse, and they want their staff members to be able to do the same. A Senate committee Wednesday approved a bill that would grant that permission.

It’s a violent world, says Sen. Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville), the author of a bill that would allow staff members, not just lawmakers, to carry handguns in the state capitol building.

Tomes says allowing staff members to defend themselves is especially important, considering what he calls the dangerous area surrounding their workplace in downtown Indianapolis.

Senate Proposes Using School Buses As Rolling Billboards

Apr 14, 2015
Larry Darling / https://www.flickr.com/photos/tncountryfan/

Indiana school buses might feature ads next year under a proposal added to the state budget.

The Senate unanimously endorsed a pilot program allowing three Indianapolis-area schools to sell ads on their buses last year, but the proposal was deleted during negotiations with the House.

The Senate is trying again this year, agreeing on a voice vote to add the authorization to the state budget.

An amendment guaranteeing the right to hunt and fish is one step closer to becoming part of the Indiana Constitution after the state Senate approved the measure Monday.

“A sacred heritage” – that’s what Senator Brent Steele (R-Bedford) says he wants to protect.  The proposed amendment would put in the state’s constitution a right to hunting, fishing and animal farming.  Steele says those rights – which already exist under Indiana law – are under threat from groups such as the Humane Society.

However, Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) says the threat is imagined.

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