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Interchange – Citizen Training

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Host Lisa-Marie Napoli interviews Mike Potts, Teacher, and Taylor Roberts, Student, both at Brown County Jr. High School, to discuss their recent statewide championship in the “We the People” competition.  The guests discuss the details of the “We the People” national educational program and how it enhances young peoples’ knowledge of the constitution and develops their civic skills.  The guests give a first-hand account of what the competitive program is about and also what they may expect when they travel to Washington, D.C. in April for the National Finals.

Daily Local News – February 12, 2014

The state legislature is still dealing with legislation to place a ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution; Senate Bill 212 was approved by the Indiana Senate in Indianapolis on Monday; The Bloomington Utilities Service Board voted Monday to approve a measure to protect city sewer lines from a deal struck by local sewer districts; With the constant change in winter weather, the demand for propane has been on the rise.

FEATURE
Planned Parenthood Hosts “Cupcakes and Condoms”
Every year, twenty million STDs and more than three million unintended pregnancies occur in the United States. To raise awareness about protecting sexual health, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky hosted “Cupcakes and Condoms” at Indiana University today. This was the first time the organization hosted the free event, which featured stations like Touch & Feel, How to Determine Condom Size, a condom valentines craft station, and more. Correspondent Daion Morton went on location to bring us today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE!
Emails that DON’T come from PayPal, or a Funeral Home, are the latest creative ways scammers are trying to keep you from hitting the “delete” key. If they weren’t so dangerous, they’d be pretty funny!

CREDITS
Anchors: Cathi Norton, Kelly Wherley
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy, Daion (Day-on) Morton, and Ally Tsimekles (Chim-uh-kliss),
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services.
Bloomington Beware was produced by Richard Fish with correspondent Andrew Huddleston,
Ilze Akerbergs produced our feature, with correspondent Daion Morton.
Our engineer today is Jim Lang,
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

HJR-3 Advances Through The Indiana House

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This morning the Indiana House of Representatives adopted the committee report from yesterday’s Elections and Apportionment Committee meeting, during which House Joint Resolution 3 passed, 9 to 3.

The proposed amendment to the Indiana constitution, which explicitly states that same sex couples do not have the right to get married, may now continue through the legislative process, and is expected to have a second reading before the House on Monday.

District 61 Representative Matt Pierce spoke on the floor today during the adoption, warning that the unprecedented process in which the bill came to the house floor would set a precedent for future speakers of the house to rearrange the legislative process to get the outcome they are looking for, just as House Speaker Brian Bosma reassigned HJR-3 once it fell short in the Judiciary committee.

“I made the argument that what the speaker had done was unprecedented,” Pierce said, “It was like a golfer taking a mulligan when they get their resolution stuck in the sand trap. It created a system where you can just have a do-over until you get the result you want. What the speaker did that was so unique is that he actually had a bill in a judiciary committee, the public testimony was taken, the committee had been educated on the issue, they were at the point where a vote could be taken and they obviously delayed it because they knew it wasn’t going to come out the way they wanted it to. For the speaker to then take the bill away from the judiciary committee and put it into elections, where clearly he had counted his votes to know he’d get a good reaction, is what is unprecedented. I ask for the members in the house to reject the committee report to essentially say we don’t want to set the precedent of having these mulligans going on every time we have a controversial bill. It did not work.”

House Representative and Elections and Apportionment committee member Woody Burton, District 58 is quoted in the Indianapolis Star acknowledging that there is a divide between the younger and older Republican members of the house and their views towards marriage equality, but a sister bill introduced this month may be a way of modifying the original bill to retain the vote of the more tolerant Republicans.

House Bill 1153 explains away a sentence regarding civil unions in the original resolution without actually making changes that would force the process back to square one, because the amendment can only be sent to a referendum if it is passed twice with the exact same language by two different assemblies.

Pierce says the companion bill brought additional challenges, rather than solutions.

“That bill actually catalogued all the potential unintentional consequences of that amendment,” Pierce said, “I think they thought that by listing them, that would be kind of like a lifeboat that a lot of republicans could put themselves in and feel safe enough to go ahead and vote for the amendment as is. What I think what happened instead is that after they heard from some legal experts explaining how it was unprecedented, that backfired and caused some members of the judiciary committee to decide they wouldn’t vote for it.”

Similar bills in nearby states have been ruled unconstitutional–most recently a federal judge in Ohio ruled their gay marriage ban as such.

Pierce says that when issues of discrimination and legality come up, proponents of HJR-3 claim that the decision is not theirs to make.

“Oftentimes issues come up asking is this bill constitutional?” Pierce said, “The truth of the matter is that since it’s a joint resolution amending the constitution, it automatically becomes constitutional once it becomes part of the constitution. The real issue is whether or not it’s unconstitutional under the federal constitution. The attitude of most members when that comes up is that they can come up with their own ideas of what’s constitutional or not, and that I will decide what’s the best policy and it’s the job of the court to decide whether the ruling is unconstitutional.”

When HJR-3 is brought to the House Floor, most likely on Monday, any Representative can offer amendments to the bill.  Amendments must have a majority of favorable votes to become adopted but with Republicans holding a super majority it is unlikely that any amendment offered by a democratic representative would pass.

Additionally, if HJR-3 is made too dissimilar to 2011’s HJR-6, it would not qualify for referendum this year. Pierce says the democrats are working on their strategy over the weekend, and have until two hours prior to the House Chamber meeting to offer amendments to be read on the house floor on Monday.

Interchange – Tim Lovelace and Eileen Braman: Constitution Day

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This week on Interchange, host Lisa-Marie Napoli, a member of the PACE [Political and Civic Engagement] faculty, interviews Tim Lovelace from the Maurer School of Law and Eileen Braman from Political Science Department about this foundational and essential, yet little-known document.

Did YOU know there was a U.S. holiday called “Constitution Day”?

A law establishing “Constitution Day” was created in 2004 with the passage of an amendment by Senator Robert Byrd to the Omnibus spending bill of 2004. Before this law was enacted, the holiday was known as “Citizenship Day”. In addition to renaming the holiday “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” the act mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day.  [Source: Wikipedia]

This week on Interchange, host Lisa-Marie Napoli, a member of the PACE [Political and Civic Engagement] faculty, interviews Tim Lovelace from the Maurer School of Law and Eileen Braman from Political Science Department about this foundational and essential, yet little-known document.

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