INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
State lawmakers are returning to the Indiana Capitol Tuesday to fix a series
of problems with their sweeping overhaul of the state’s criminal sentencing
lawmakers wrapped up their 2014 session this past March, legislative leaders
discovered a series of drafting errors with the legislation they had just
passed which had serious consequences.
In one instance, a
child sex offense charge could be wrongly interpreted as a lower level
felony than what lawmakers intended. In another case, Indiana law was
accidentally changed so that police officers would not be able to
immediately arrest a suspected thief or shoplifter without obtaining a
The problems were
discovered in a sweeping overhaul of the state’s criminal sentencing rules
that lawmakers, lawyers and others have spent many years putting together.
The legislation was approved earlier this year.
Chairman Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, said that even with the thorough reviews,
the effort was so extensive it’s likely to result in some other errors
shaking out in the future.
literally a thousand sets of eyes on this thing, and the cooperation and the
input has been outstanding. At this point in time we’ve discovered any
issues we might have, but I’m pretty sure there are going to be others,” he
The goal of
Tuesday’s “technical corrections day” at the Statehouse is to approve the
series of fixes before the legislation takes effect on July 1.
Lawmakers are also
correcting separate legislation that was intended to limit the amount of tax
credits available for natural gas vehicles, but accidentally was applied to
all alternative fuels.
Assembly occasionally approves seemingly small errors in legislation which
have big consequences. In 2011, a measure was passed that accidentally
de-authorized the Family and Social Services Administration. Then-Gov. Mitch
Daniels was forced to draft an executive order that allowed the agency to