Fighting meth through ephedrine restrictions

State Senator Bob Deig of Mount Vernon joined a panel of experts to discuss Indiana’s growing methamphetamine problem on a recent episode of INFocus, a monthly show produced and aired by WTIU. Discussed on this episode, “Meth and Its Correlation to Over the Counter Drugs,” was whether Indiana law should be changed making the key ingredient in meth, ephedrine, available by prescription only.

Deig, who is a member of the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee that has been studying this issue this interim, explains that everything they’ve learned in the past two years tells him that making ephedrine a prescription drug is the most comprehensive way to address the problem. Although the electronic tracking systems that pharmaceutical companies have proposed would be more effective than the paper logging system now used in Indiana, Deig believes the tracking system leaves too many loopholes for “smurfers” and other criminals.

Also featured in the show is Rob Bovett, District Attorney of Lincoln County in Oregon. Oregon was the first state to make the change to prescription-only, and Bovett says since the change meth arrests have decreased 20 percent and meth lab busts have decreased 90 percent.

Watch the INFocus episode:

InFocus is a live, 30 minute monthly production, airing on WTIU and WFIU. Each show includes a panel of experts, discussing the proposed topic of the month. The focus of this program is to highlight issues or concerns in the state. See http://indianapublicmedia.org/infocus for more info and to watch past episodes.

Audio: Deig offers strengthened incentive clawback for unfulfilled jobs

Today State Senator Bob Deig of Mount Vernon offered a proposal that would allow local governments to recover funds if companies move operations or fail to employ the number of individuals promised in the agreement. The clawback provision would allow tax incentives to be recouped and used for other economic development projects or returned to taxpayers.

Deig said his proposal was, in part, in response to the recent announcement by Whirlpool that the company would move the Evansville production operations to Mexico, putting approximately 1,100 local workers on the unemployment rolls.

The proposal was offered as an amendment to Senate Bill 239 and was defeated in the Senate.

Listen to Sen. Deig’s comments from the Senate floor today:

Audio: Senate Democrats push for jobs bills in Senate

Today members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, including Senator Tim Lanane, Senator Bob Deig, Senator Sue Errington, and Senator Vi Simpson, held a press conference introducing a series of legislative amendments today aimed at protecting Hoosier jobs and encouraging businesses to rehire laid off workers.

Listen to the full press conference below:

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Video & Audio: State of the State Response

Governor Mitch Daniels delivered his sixth State of the State Address to a joint session of the Indiana General Assembly tonight.  Watch, listen, or read Governor Daniels’ address here >

Senate Democrat Leader Vi Simpson responded saying she was disappointed by the lack of vision for the future of Indiana as the state recovers from the recession. She said the focus of the rest of the legislative session needs to be putting Hoosiers back to work, and she hopes to see more leadership from the governor on that effort.

Watch the video below to hear her comments:

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Watch and listen to more Senate Democrat responses below:

State Senator Jim Arnold, District 8

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State Senator Bob Deig, District 49

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State Senator Sue Errington, District 26

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State Senator Lindel Hume, District 48

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State Senator Tim Lanane, District 25

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