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Friday, January 23, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - Attorney General presentation before House Ways & Means yesterday

Yesterday, Jan. 22nd, the House Ways & Means Committee heard the biennial budget request of Attorney General Zoeller. (The AG did not make an earlier optional presentation before the State Budget Committee.)

AG Zoeller began his presentation by pointing out that Indiana is one of 6 states where the AG is a legislative officer, not a constitutional officer. Thus, he said, there is no two-term limit on the AG.

Here is a copy of of the operating budget summary, and the 17-page slide presentation.

Some interesting points from the archived video of the testimony, which you may view for yourself:

At about 7:38 the AG says he is requesting an increase in general fund funding to cover the transfer of Dept. Child Services (DCS) appellate legal work "which we have now taken on in OAG, along with all the other appellate work. There is no appellate work that goes on anywhere in state government that is not part of our office."

Beginning at 15:20 Rep. Porter asks for an update on the tobacco settlement. The AG responds that "we did take a hit" of $120M/yr for the next 10 years. In response to another question, the AG replies that we did bring in a law firm to help with the arbitration. (ILB - If interested in this topic, you should listen for yourself.)

At 26:35 Rep. Klinker asks - "Does your office benefit from those various national AG settlements we read about. AG Zoeller's response begins, "We do." If the ILB understands correctly, it appears that such settlement money does not go to the general fund to be appropriated out by the General Assembly. The ILB is also unaware of any way to review these various settlements and an accounting of their disposition within state government.

No questions were asked dealing with the filing of amicus briefs in national cases and related issues.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 23, 2015 09:02 AM
Posted to Indiana Government