Archive for January, 2010

Senate passes resolution to ban gay marriage

An attempt to ban gay marriage in Indiana’s constitution took another step forward Thursday after the Senate voted thru a resolution that aims to do just that.

This resolution, like those proposed in two thousand and eight and two thousand and nine, will define marriage as a union of a man and a woman. But unlike previous legislation, the amendment proposed by Senator Carlin Yoder of Goshen, will go one step further to also ban civil unions.

Several Indiana companies have come out against the resolution saying the amendment sends a message of intolerance and will hurt their chances to hire top employees.

Opponents of the bill, like Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson of Ellettsville, also attacked Yoder’s claim that this bill is necessary to protect the institution of marriage.

“Senator Yoder said marriage needs to be protected, but I don’t feel threatened by other people loving each other. And I don’t feel threatened by other people marrying or living together and taking care of each other and protecting the rights of that relationship. What happens in someone else’s home; what happens in someone else’s doctor’s office; what happens in someone else’s life, has little to do with mine.”

Passing easily in the senate, the resolution now moves to the House. Where many see the legislation having little chance of passing.

Brian Caoimhghin Flood

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Indiana students may get longer summer break

Indiana students could soon see a longer summer break after a senate committee passed a bill that would require Hoosier schools to wait until after Labor Day to return to class.

Authored by Mike Delph of Carmel, the bill is intended to create a uniform summer break for all Indiana schools so parents can better plan family activities.

“There is very few things that control families like the school day and the school calendar. And so to me this is about family values, this is about putting families first and really reconnecting families, connecting them and empowering them to be in charge of their days.”

The bill will set school start dates after Labor Day and will not allow the school year to go beyond June tenth, but it does not touch on the currently required one hundred and eighty days of school, nor does it apply to year round schools.

Brian Caoimhghin Flood

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Bill Would Ban Texting and Driving

Sending text messages while driving is illegal in 19 states and may be banned in Indiana as well. Jo Ann Klooz reports.

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Gun Bills Gain Momentum at Statehouse

Gun owner rights are coming to the forefront of debate at the Indiana Statehouse. The package of bills now before the Senate and House, significantly alter current laws about where a gun owner is allowed to keep their firearm, and who has access to information about those gun owners. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Marianne Holland reports.

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School Funding Bills Before House and Senate

Schools across Indiana face nearly 300 million dollars in cuts. They need a way to absorb the blow and legislators are trying to find a fix. Jo Ann Klooz reports. Hear the Story

House discusses domestic violence bill

Domestic violence laws in Indiana could get stricter, if a bill before the general assembly is approved.

The legislation requires people convicted of domestic violence to attend violence intervention programs. It also lets Hoosiers as young as fifteen file a protective order. And it forces school corporations to provide domestic violence programs to their students.

Some who testified in committee today say there are two parts of the bill they don’t like. The first requires supervised visitation for fathers convicted of domestic battery. The second requires police to keep someone accused of domestic violence in custody for twenty four hours, three times longer than current law.

While opponents say that would violate accused batterers rights, Jon Kuss director of the Hoosier Hills Pact, says victims need more time to remove themselves from a dangerous situation.

“Often times these incidents, most of the time these incidents happen in the middle of the night. To give her eight hours to put together a safety plan and implement it is not enough.”

Bill author, Representative Sandra Blanton of Orleans, said she will work with opponents to iron out issues before the committee votes tomorrow morning.

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Senate approves new drunk driving law

The Indiana Senate has approved a bill to increase the penalty for killing a fetus when operating a vehicle while drunk or on drugs.

The bill, which passed unanimously, would require that crime to carry a charge of man slaughter on top of any other charges that may be brought.

The bill now moves to the house for consideration.

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