Matt Pierce

A committee plans to study how the state manages its forests this summer. The idea came from a failed House motion by Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) that would have set up a task force to look at practices like logging and make recommendations to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Legislation that could have put a moratorium on some new power plants in Indiana was overturned Thursday. The House passed an amendment to remove that language from a bill dealing with various utility matters.

House Democrats tried to pass two amendments this week that could have changed the way Indiana manages its forests. They added them to a bill covering a variety of things regarding the state’s natural resources. 

Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) says he has a "very strong, philosophical opposition to revenue sharing with private companies out of criminal penalties or criminal fines." (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

House lawmakers have changed a school bus safety bill to eliminate a way for schools to pay for cameras on school bus stop arms.

The legislation comes as a result of an incident that killed three Rochester, Indiana schoolchildren last year.

Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) says CBD regulations are burdensome and will drive up the cost for Hoosiers. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Lauren Chapman

Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, is one step away from legalization after lawmakers gave final approval to such legislation Wednesday.

The measure legalizes CBD oil as long as it has 0.3 percent or less THC, the ingredient in cannabis that creates a high.

An Indiana Democratic lawmaker will push the state to legalize assisted suicide under very limited circumstances. Proposed legislation would apply only to Hoosiers with a terminal illness and no more than six months to live.

The bill authored by Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) would establish rigorous procedures to allow assisted suicide. It would involve a form developed by the State Department of Health, multiple physicians, two witnesses who cannot be connected to the patient, and potential counseling to determine if the person is competent to make the decision.

 

The House passed legislation that aims to crack down on heroin dealers and those who rob pharmacies. But critics argue the legislature is “backsliding” to previous, failed attempts to address the drug epidemic.

The bill increases penalties for robbing a pharmacy and dealing certain amounts of heroin. It also prevents a judge from suspending all or part of some heroin dealing sentences.

Thomas Hawk / https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/

Indiana judges will no longer be able to reduce sentences for serious heroin or meth dealers.  The General Assembly made this change in the law this past session -- but some lawmakers say the change begins to unravel the recent overhaul of Indiana’s criminal code.

Maycomb Paynes / https://www.flickr.com/photos/24730945@N03/

House lawmakers approved a bill Monday that regulates Indiana’s high-fenced deer hunting preserves, sending the measure to the governor. That comes more than a decade after the legislature first began working on the issue.

The state tried to shut down high-fenced hunting preserves more than 10 years ago.  A court battle finally ended last year with a ruling that said the state couldn’t regulate the facilities at all, under current law. 

Dimitris Kalogeropoylos / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dkalo/

Senate Republicans will push this session to make it easier for prosecutors to try to convict people as drug dealers. 

Indiana’s recent criminal code reform required prosecutors to have evidence besides just the weight of a drug to prove someone was dealing drugs – for instance, scales and plastic baggies. 

Senator Mike Young (R-Speedway) wants to eliminate that extra requirement if a person is caught with at least thirty pounds of marijuana or ten grams of other drugs. 

Young notes those amounts are just a starting point and could change.

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