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Daniels: Lawmakers will decide on more state fair money

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Gov. Mitch Daniels said Thursday he will push for more money for victims of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse, but lawmakers will have to decide how much.

The $5 million cap placed on state payouts to the injured and family members of the seven people who were killed was clearly not enough, Daniels said. He will spend the 2012 session lobbying for a one-time additional payout to the families of the seven people who died and dozens of others who were injured during the stage collapse.

"I certainly think they ought to do something further, then let's figure out together what exactly that is," he said. "I think the best thing would be for the Legislature to pick out what is fair and just."

An outdoor stage toppled right into a crowd on Aug. 13 at the state fair as high winds swept the fairgrounds right before the country duo Sugarland was set to perform.

One option Daniels floated would be paying families of the seven people who died a total of $700,000 from the state, the maximum payout allowed under the state's tort limit.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and national disaster claims expert Kenneth Feinberg divided the state's $5 million among victims. The families of the seven people who died were given upward of $300,000 each under the formula they devised. People who were physically injured generally had two-thirds of their medical costs covered by the state.

Most of that money had been claimed by the middle of the month. Although Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry filed charges this week against two women he says fraudulently filed claims with the state even though they were not at the fair when the stage collapsed.

Indianapolis Democratic Representative Ed DeLaney has said he would like to raise the $5 million liability cap during the 2012 session. But Republicans, including House Speaker Brian Bosma, have balked at the idea, calling it a payout for lawyers rather than victims.

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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