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February 11, 1994     The Message
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February 11, 1994

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10 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana :i Indiana Catholic Conference i? :i Looking at legislation on welfare, protecting children, violent BY COLEEN WILLIAMS Indiana Catholic Conference Legislation aimed at getting welfare recipients into jobs, protecting children, and stem- ming violent crime met the first major deadline in the In- diana General Assembly -- the point at which all bills must pass through their house of ori- gin in order to continue through the legislative process. Two contrasting welfare re- form bills, with similar objec- tives, passed their original chambers. House Bill 1142, ap- proved in a 95-5 vote, attempts to give welfare recipients a chance to work their way off the Aid to Families with De- pendent Children (AFDC) pro- gram. The bill would establish pilot programs in three coun- ties that enable AFDC recipi- ents to retain their benefits and their wages until they reach federal poverty level. In a 38-12 vote, state sena- tors took a different approach by passing a bill which limits AFDC benefits to two years re- gardless of income level. SB 64 would place a 24 month limit on benefits within a six year period and would reduce the amount of benefits for addi- tional children while on AFDC. The bill would also require school-age beneficiaries to at- tend school and all able-bodied recipients to work. A $2 co- payment would be imposed for each Medicaid service. Senators debated the bill at length and from all perspec- tives. Sen. Howard "Luke" Kenley, R-Noblesville, de- fended his bill as a way to get welfare recipients "out of the permanency of the system" and take responsibility for their ac- tions. "Welfare is not a perma- nent right," he said. "It is a privilege." Sen. Kathy Smith, D-New Albany, thought the bill per- petuates myths people have of those on welfare. "Welfare re- cipients in our state do not have it made in the shade," she said pointing to the maximum benefit level of $288 a month compared to the $990 per is pleased to announce that ROBERT J. PIGMAN has become a partner in the firm in the practice of law Attorneys and Counselors at Law 313 Main Street Evansville, Indiana (812) 425-8101 (800) 622-3604 in Indiana (800) 327-0182 Outside Indiana Charles L. Berger, Sheila M. Corcoran, Mark W. Rietman month federal poverty level for a family of three. She said the program is in place "to protect children in our state." Keeping child molesters from teaching or caring for children passed the Senate. SB 24 would require persons con- victed of child molestation to register their names and ad- dresses on a government reg- istry during their probation and parole. The registry would be made available to public and private schools, local po- lice, and state agencies and other organizations which serve children. Employment contracts of convicted child mo- lesters would be revoked and the state would be required to notify private schools of con- victed offenders on the registry so that appropriate action could be taken if necessary in those schools. HB 1125 which would estab- lisha child fatality review task force to study preventable deaths of children less that 18 years of age passed the House. The bill would also provide family preservation services such as 24-hour crisis inter- vention. Legislation aimed at protect- ing Hoosiers from violent crime successfully met the crossover deadline last week. HB 1414 would create a gun-free school zone where it would be a Class C felony for carrying a hand- gun to a juvenile by an adult and the dangerous possession of a handgun by a juvenile would be prohibited. Under HB 1414, juveniles 16 and 17 years of age would au- tomatically be transferred to adult court for criminal gang activity or intimidation, or for carrying a gun without a li- cense. SB 4, passed by the Sen- ate, would lower the age of au- tomatic transfer to 14 years of age, while youths age 10-13 convicted of those crimes would have to show in a hear- ing why they should not be sent to adult court. The bill would also include a controversial ban on local gun control ordinances, a measure which could jeopardize the tough gun control laws in cities such as Gary. Holy Rosary f__,enten .edure ,..qeries February 24 ...... Crises in Families Lisa Provost, Family and Children's Services March 10 .......... Religion and Prayer in Family Life Jim Corr, Director of Religious Education March 24 ......... Promoting Family Life Today Paul & Jane Leingang, Christian Family Movement Presidents 7:00 p.m. m Baby Sitting and refreshments -- Everyone welcome 1994--- Year of the Family Death penalty legislation surfaced as part of the solution to criminal gang activity. Rep- resentatives approved HB 1063 which would allow the death penalty for murder com- mitted during criminal gang activity or drive-by shootings. The house also supported a bill that would prohibit imposing the death penalty or life in prison without parole for mur- der committed by mentally re- tarded persons. Often legislation is intro- duced as starting points to re- form. "The Indiana Catholic School Continued from page 7 Lauren Brady and Ann Weber earned Division 2 ratings for piano solos. Memorial's Academic Decathlon Members of the Academic De- cathlon at Memorial High School, Evansville, placed sec- ond in the small schools division at the Southern Indiana regional competition. The team received 35 medals and an invitation to advance to state competition. Team members include Steve Akins, Tom Amodio, Chris Brown, Carlos Domingo, Kim Conference these beginnings by ! welfare persons by offering and benefits as they way off of Desmond Ryan, director ference also favors which attempts to dren and assists considerable the ( prevention poses exe cerns about inf Folz, Dan Halter, Andrea Brandon Stenger' : Geog at St. J Jacob Weis the School, St. the competition Please sen for scHOOL Mary Ann sage, P.O. ville, IN for copy i before Family ties Students at Good Shepherd School, grouped into classes, they are also During special events, the students "families" led by a family leader The students from the upper grades, one above, Emily Jarboe, Jonathan RietmSv Carly Bacurin, Abby Bender and Jessica ;d;00ii! i!ililil !:I00:III00I0000!111:2111111!!ifI !:I i; 00.LOW W600o BECHER & KLUESNER FUNERAL HOME Downtown Chapel, 214 E. 7th North Chapel, 33rd Newton WHOLESALE TRIBUTtON & YARD 482-1961 Ph: 482.1125