INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — State lawmakers made some mistakes during the 2014 General Assembly, including the accidental creation of a new tax on alternative fuels and shorter sentences for some people who commit some serious crimes.
The General Assembly will return to the Statehouse for a one day session on June 17 to fix those errors. It’s being done before two laws with serious flaws take effect on July 1.
Over a two-year period state lawmakers completely rewrote the Indiana sentencing guidelines to make sure that violent criminals serve more time in prison and non-violent criminals serve less. The governor signed the bill into law before mistakes were found. Lawmakers won’t specify what those mistakes are, but they are serious.
“Everyone walked away with the impression that one of the crimes was in the enhanced penalty column,” said House Speaker Brian Bosma, “and it, in fact, was not during the drafting and redrafting of the bill.”
“The intent of the bill was to make sure that people who commit crimes against kids get the fullest punishment available,” said House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, “and there may have been a couple technical drafting errors with respect to sections like that.”
Also, some minor crimes got more serious penalties.
The other necessary correction involves a tax on alternative fuels. The way a new law was written it places a tax on some alternative fuels that were included by mistaken. Again, lawmakers wouldn’t specify the fuels involved.
Regardless, the Legislative Council made up of leaders from both Houses and both parties voted unanimously to bring all 150 lawmakers back to the Statehouse for a make good.
“This will be the first time that a technical correction bill is entertained on Technical Correction Day,” said Speaker Bosma.
“It shows, I think, that the General Assembly is doing its best to protect the public,” said Rep. Pelath.
Last year lawmakers met on Technical Correction Day but that was to override a governor’s veto.