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Monday, April 03, 2017

Ind. Law - "Is it ever good if lawmakers have to preface law w/ their intent?"

Niki Kelly of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette tweets this morning: "Back at it this morning. Looking at new amendments on cold beer. Is it ever good if lawmakers have to preference law w/ their intent?"

Checking the current edition of the Drafting Manual for the Indiana General Assembly, page 51 [p. 65 in PDF]:

Avoid the use of preambles. A preamble is similar to a Concurrent Resolution; that is, it is a statement that does not have the effect of law but reflects the sentiment of the General Assembly at the time that it is passed. A preamble is permitted only in the rare instance when there is a need to express the reasons for legislation, the purpose of legislation, or findings related to legislation on the face of the bill itself. This material takes the form of "Whereas" clauses that are placed at the beginning of the bill following the title and before the enacting clause. Since a preamble appears before the enacting clause, the preamble is not printed as a part of the law in the Indiana Code but does appear in the session laws.
See also page 62 [p. 76 in PDF]:
(2) Purpose Provisions (See also BILL PREAMBLE, page 51.)
A well-drafted act requires no statement of what it seeks to accomplish or the reasons prompting its enactment. In general, do not include language stating the purpose of an act or reciting the facts upon which an act is predicated unless the included language would be useful in upholding the act against constitutional attack or is necessary to give meaning to a provision for liberal construction. Note that problems can arise if a purpose provision conflicts with other parts of the statute.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 3, 2017 09:00 AM
Posted to Indiana Law