Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 Indiana General Assembly Opening Day

Members of the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates and Indiana Shared parenting gathered at the Indiana State House Tuesday for the opening day of the second session of the 116th General Assembly. This session is known as a short session since it does not involve a budget. As time is limited to just about 10 weeks the greatest challenge will be getting hearings on the bills submitted. The list of submitted bills may be seen here.

The day started at 9:00am with legislators beginning to arrive around that time. We quickly met with or made arrangements for members to see their local legislators. We were able to meet with Rep. Phyllis Pond and discuss joint legal custody initiatives with her.

Matthew Barnes, State Director of the Capitol Commission, led a session of prayer by various legislators. Lunch then followed which featured sandwiches provided by Chick-fil-A4.

The House convened just after the 1:30 scheduled time followed by the Senate. Throughout the day I was able to exchange pleasantries with numerous legislators. I met formally with Senator Boots to discuss SB0070 which he introduced for me. I also met with Senator Greg Taylor who has introduced Senate Bill 0153 and SB0154 for me.

I met briefly with Representative Summers to discuss alternatives to incarceration for child support payment arrearages and also joint legal custody initiatives. Summers asked me to send information to her and to schedule a meeting with her to discuss these issues.

I was unable to coordinate time with Senator Steele to discuss SB0061 which came out of the ICCSAC interim session meetings. I will try to do that Wednesday. Also on Wednesday is the hearing for SB0163 in which I will be testifying. SB163 would mandate that casinos and other wagering facilities would be required to intercept winnings of people who have a child support arrearage and send any winnings up to that amount to the state child support collection bureau.

The bill would also allow for the suspension or revocation of state gaming licenses or permits for persons with a support arrearage who refuse to make arrangements to pay the arrears or agree to an income withholding order. The bill also has a provision that bars the state from charging to reinstate a drivers license after it has been suspended for child support payment arrears.

InCRA supports the bill because we feel that if a parent doesn't believe that he or she can afford to pay support then he or she should not be gambling.

If you would like to participate in any part of the legislative process or simply meet your legislators please contact me.


Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates

©2010 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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