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Senate passes new criminal sentencing rules

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A major overhaul of Indiana's criminal sentencing laws aimed at sending fewer non-violent offenders to prison has been approved by the state Senate.

The Senate voted 46-4 in favor of the bill Wednesday. It now goes back to the House, which earlier approved a different version.

Supporters hope changes to sentencing laws will direct more people convicted of low-level felonies to work release and other local programs. It also would require those convicted of the most-serious crimes to spend more time in prison.

The overhaul wouldn't take effect until July 2014 and Sen. Brent Steele says he expects the Legislature will consider many changes on specific crimes next year.

A state analysis projects the overhaul will prevent the need for more state prison space for at least a decade.

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  • top people
    They should be worried about getting the top people, not the small fry. It's the ones with the money who does not get put in jail.
  • Pence's Pot Policy?
    Is possession still a felony? As I smoked a little grass in college 45 years ago, I'm glad this posse did not convict me of a felony, thereby destroying my life, future, and long career as an IN teacher. The felony folly is draconian. As a former staunch Republican, I can't wait to vote Pence out, and someone will have to undo the damage he's done to this state - and his victims.
  • Drugs
    Drugs are a serious crime. They destroy families, children, and neighborhoods. These people need to be punished
  • drop pot
    It would also be nice if the House drops the new Marijuana language back to some reasonable level where 50% of the voting public would not be considered felons!
  • Bill Number?
    It would be nice if you included the bill number when talking about legislation.

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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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