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Legislators Unanimously Approve Emergency Fixes to Misdrafted Bills

General Assembly returns for one day to fix criminal code revision before it takes effect

Legislators have unanimously approved a fast-track fix to mistakes in the drafting of two bills.

Legislators invoked a seldom-used provision allowing them to return for a single day to correct technical errors that can't wait till the next session. Several of those errors were in the sweeping rewrite of Indiana's criminal code set to take effect July 1. Some sentences for drug offenses didn't match what legislators had agreed on. Another provision would have prevented police from arresting misdemeanor suspects unless they personally witnessed the offense. And child molesting was inadvertently dropped from a list of crimes eligible for only minimal good-behavior credit.

A second bill would have prematurely ended an alternative-fuels tax credit without the correction.

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says he doesn't want the do-over sessions to become routine. But he says those mistakes are exactly the kind of emergency issues for which the option of the one-day session was created.

Legislators have used the provision only once before, to override Governor Pence's veto last year of a bill fixing an error in local income-tax levies. This is the first time the option has been invoked for a technical corrections bill.

The House needed just 20 minutes and the Senate 15 to pass the bill, with most of that spent on procedural motions.

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