Get Active – Help Make Change

Everyone sits around from time to time and tries to solve the problems of the world.  Realistically, the probability of change from that activity is very low.  But, you can help make change by getting involved with the legislature and through the rulemaking process.

In Indiana, we are entering a critical time when bills will be drafted for introduction into the next General Assembly session, which starts in January 2015.  The General Assembly produces our statutes or laws.   You do not have to be a lawyer to suggest changes.  Being passionate and informed helps.  Stories help inform.  This is where you go to find  how to contact your legislator.

Many of the legislators participate in interim study committees and committees during the legislative session.  Many of those committees hear testimony about the topics being covered.  Usually, to get on the agenda, you simply have to sign up on a sheet provided before the meeting or arrange to get on the agenda beforehand.  This testimony can make a difference on whether a bill is introduced, modified, or proceeds.

Another way to make legal changes is to suggest a change to the rules, such as the Rules of Evidence or Rules of Criminal Procedure.  For instance, Indiana Evidence Rule 617 currently requires that custodial interrogations for felony acts generally must be video and audio recorded, but not juvenile interrogations.  To change that or any rule, a modification must be suggested to Indiana Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure.  There is a form that must be filled out to submit the change.  This is the same procedure that was followed for the early appointment of counsel rule proposal.

Everyone can tell their story and make suggestions.  You just need to take the time to reach out to the proper folks.  Do it!

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