Where in the World is Mike Whitlock?

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Posted February 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Michael J. Whitlock, MCBA Executive Vice President - 0 Comments

Every now and then a bill will be introduced in a state legislature that has something for everyone.  Indiana State Sen. Brent Steele authored SB395 and filed it earlier this month and it should have broad appeal to all Hoosiers.

SB395 would benefit school kids, public safety, victims rights, fair competition, defendant's rights and taxpayers. This measure won a Do Pass vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee January 28th and must now receive sufficient votes to pass through the Senate.  That vote will take place Monday or Tuesday. SB395 must receive sufficient votes to pass.
 
All Indiana bail agents and recovery agents are urged to email or call their State Senator today and ask them to support SB395. Spread the word to your friends, family and teachers SB395 is good for them as parents, taxpayers and for their personal safety.  Here's why.

Indiana's Bail System has been imbalanced for decades.  A number of courts in Indiana have repurposed bail from guaranteeing a defenant's appearance in court to guaranteeing the payment of fines and cost and they're not shy about admitting to satisfying their fiscal needs at the expense of public safety.
 
If passed into law SB395 would significantly increase the amount of cash being contributed to Indiana's Common School Fund.  While forfeited insurance backed bail bonds already contribute to the Common School Fund SB325 proposes that cash bail deposit directly with court would go to the Common School Fund as well whenever a criminal defendant fails to appear for court.  Kids are rewarded when criminals behave badly. How good is that?

SB395 also increases the minimum cash deposit the court can accept from the defendant from 10% of the original bail amount to 15%. Translated, the court would only be able to grant a defendant an 85% discount on their bond instead of a 90% discount.
 
The increase in the minimum cash deposit the court can accept would effectively remove the government as a competitor to the private sector.  This is good because we know the government doesn't play by the same rules we do and the private business must perform to survive.
 
Finally, SB395 allows a criminal defendant to decide how they want to secure the bail set by the court. Presently, a judge can set the bail amount and then dictate to the defendant how to cover the bail. Indiana law provides bail can be secured with full cash, real estate, a bail bond or in many cases a mere 10% cash deposit to the court. SB395 would permit the defendant the choice.
 
An opportunity to favorably change the law does not come around often.  If you want to see bail help kids then call your Indiana Senator today and ask for their support of SB395.
 

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