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Archive for the ‘Legislation’ Category

Below is the 2013 Indianapolis City-County Council Calendar. Be sure to tune in to watch the decisions that directly affect the daily lives of Indianapolis residents.

Click here during a scheduled meeting to watch live.

2013 Indianapolis City-County Council Calendar:

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Despite posting record attendance numbers the last few years, the Indiana State Fair (which gets no link-love for bad behavior) has decided that booze would somehow enhance the popular, 155 year-old annual summer event.

Rep. Robert Cherry, R-Greenfield, has filed a bill to lift a longtime ban on alcohol at the annual fair. Rep. Cherry says that alcohol sales could provide needed revenue to the State Fair and allow the event to showcase Indiana wine and beer.

However, while this bill is being spun as good for Indiana beers and wines, all the bill actually states is that the Indiana State Fair “may give a priority to value added Indiana agriculture when determining the kinds of alcoholic beverages to be sold at the state fair grounds.” Of course,  given that the reasoning for this bill is to provide additional revenue, isn’t it more likely that they “may” instead give priority to Anheuser-Busch’s deep-lined pockets?

HOUSE BILL No. 1093:

Check out 14(b)(5): The holder of a permit is “entitled to allow a minor to be present in the places where alcoholic beverages are sold.” Meaning…alcohol stands will likely be anywhere and everywhere.

If you care about the lasting legacy of this great Indiana event, be sure to write your State Representative and let him/her know in no uncertain terms that this bill is a stinker and should not proceed. I wouldn’t bother contacting the State Fair Board as they’ve apparently already given in to the almighty $$$.

Say NO to deep-fried Budweiser!

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Charlie White (R) was inaugurated yesterday as Indiana Secretary of State.

There are some ongoing inquiries related to voter fraud and there is “speculation in political circles and in the Statehouse is that if he is indicted by a grand jury, which is expected to take up the case in February, White’s tenure as secretary of state may be short. A felony conviction would bar him from the office, though a judge could opt to reduce it to a misdemeanor. Still, an indictment alone could be enough to cause Republican leaders to pressure White to resign.”

Either way, they’ve already changed the website and I’ve already sent an email inquiring as to Mr. White’s plans for the outdated state trademark system:

For more info, see IndyStar.com.

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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has endorsed the findings of a sweeping review of the state’s criminal code and sentencing guidelines, saying its recommendations if enacted would hold down the growth of the state’s prison population and save taxpayers money.

He said future growth would be lower if Indiana revises drug and theft sentencing laws to reserve prison space for its worst offenders.

For more info, see WISHTV.com

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The federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (the “Act”), as amended, establishes a temporary federal program (the “Program”) providing for a system of shared public and private compensation for certain insured commercial property and casualty losses resulting from “acts of terrorism.”

The Act defines an “act of terrorism” as an act that is certified by the Secretary of the Treasury, in concurrence with the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General of the United States, to be an act of terrorism; to be a violent act or an act that is dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; to have resulted in damage within the United States, or outside of the United States in the case of certain air carriers or vessels or the premises of a United States mission; and to have been committed by an individual or individuals as part of an effort to coerce the civilian population of the United States or to influence the policy or affect the conduct of the United States Government by coercion.

Insured losses caused by “acts of terrorism” to which the Program applies would be partially reimbursed by the U.S. Government under a formula established by the Act. Under that formula, the U.S. Government pays 85 percent of covered terrorism losses exceeding the statutorily established deductible paid by the insurance company providing the coverage.

Note that the Act contains a $100 billion cap that limits U.S. Government reimbursement as well as insurers’ liability for losses resulting from “acts of terrorism” to which the Program applies when the amount of such losses in any one calendar year exceeds $100 billion. If the aggregate insured losses for all insurers exceeds $100 billion, coverage may be reduced to the extent permitted by the Act or any regulations promulgated thereunder.

Contact your insurance provider to determine whether your insurance coverage includes coverage for losses by “acts of terrorism” to which the Program applies.

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The LA Times has a nice article detailing some recent changes in estate taxes that may affect your estate planning:

A decade-long phase-out of the estate tax eliminated the tax completely as of January. The catch: If nothing’s done, estate taxes will boomerang back to historic levels in 2011. That means any bequest of more than $1 million would be hit with a heavy levy on any amount above that limit after December.

But estate planning isn’t just about taxes, and it’s not just for the rich.

The legal vacuum that was created by the temporary elimination of the estate tax has created potential pitfalls even for people with modest estates.

For example, if you were to die this year and had an old “by-pass” trust, the elimination of the estate tax could cause you to accidentally disinherit your spouse, said Clay Stevens, director of strategic planning for Aspiriant, a wealth management firm in Los Angeles.

Ignoring your estate plan can land your children with ill-suited guardians or give them a pile of cash that they’re too young to handle. If you become incapacitated before you die, it can mean that your care could be dictated by a stranger — or even an enemy. And, doing nothing can cause your heirs to bicker and battle in court — sometimes for decades.

Click here for the full article.

Consider contacting an attorney soon to review your estate plans.

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