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Indiana panel OKs criminal checks on medical workers

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Physicians, dentists, nurses, veterinarians, pharmacists and other medical workers would have to undergo a criminal background check when applying for a new state license under a bill approved Tuesday by an Indiana House committee.

The House Public Health Committee voted 7-1 in favor of the bill, which would permit state boards to suspend, deny or revoke the licenses of people with criminal offenses determined to affect the person's ability to perform their duties.

About 30,000 people apply a year for new health care worker licenses that are issued by 18 boards or commissions, said Marty Allain, general counsel for the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency.

"The current system is self-reporting, so you're looking at a better system of getting the information to the state to make better decisions," Allain said.

The Senate already has approved a version of the bill, which also would allow state boards to randomly select some seeking license renewals for criminal checks. Nearly 200,000 people are currently licensed or certified in one of the 20 professions specified in the bill.

The bill allows action against a person's license if they've been convicted of various offenses, including illegal drug possession, fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance and sex crimes.

Rep. Peggy Welch, who is a nurse, said she was bothered by the strain on the state licensing agency, which has a budget of about $5 million while some $18 million in licensing fees are paid each year. She said most of that money was going to the state's general fund.

"I have a concern about one more fee, one more fee, one more fee," said Welch, D-Bloomington.

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  • Fine
    A criminal background check had to be done on me in order for me to be employed in school systems (both public and private), and in a government position. I see no problem with this.
  • concern
    Does this new bill incorperate paramedics and all ems personal through out are state?
    Thank You
  • Contradicting Priorities
    So they want criminal checks for health care workers but remain silent on the issue of criminal checks for those purchasing firearms or to scheck for mental disorders.

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  1. Aaron is my fav!

  2. Let's see... $25M construction cost, they get $7.5M back from federal taxpayers, they're exempt from business property tax and use tax so that's about $2.5M PER YEAR they don't have to pay, permitting fees are cut in half for such projects, IPL will give them $4K under an incentive program, and under IPL's VFIT they'll be selling the power to IPL at 20 cents / kwh, nearly triple what a gas plant gets, about $6M / year for the 150-acre combined farms, and all of which is passed on to IPL customers. No jobs will be created either other than an handful of installers for a few weeks. Now here's the fun part...the panels (from CHINA) only cost about $5M on Alibaba, so where's the rest of the $25M going? Are they marking up the price to drive up the federal rebate? Indy Airport Solar Partners II LLC is owned by local firms Johnson-Melloh Solutions and Telemon Corp. They'll gross $6M / year in triple-rate power revenue, get another $12M next year from taxpayers for this new farm, on top of the $12M they got from taxpayers this year for the first farm, and have only laid out about $10-12M in materials plus installation labor for both farms combined, and $500K / year in annual land lease for both farms (est.). Over 15 years, that's over $70M net profit on a $12M investment, all from our wallets. What a boondoggle. It's time to wise up and give Thorium Energy your serious consideration. See http://energyfromthorium.com to learn more.

  3. Markus, I don't think a $2 Billion dollar surplus qualifies as saying we are out of money. Privatization does work. The government should only do what private industry can't or won't. What is proven is that any time the government tries to do something it costs more, comes in late and usually is lower quality.

  4. Some of the licenses that were added during Daniels' administration, such as requiring waiter/waitresses to be licensed to serve alcohol, are simply a way to generate revenue. At $35/server every 3 years, the state is generating millions of dollars on the backs of people who really need/want to work.

  5. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

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