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Criminal Code Reform Bill To Move Without Key Authors

Representative Ralph Foley and Senator Richard Bray have led the legislature’s work on criminal code evaluation for years, but both are retiring this fall.

Ralph Foley

Photo: Indiana House of Representatives

Ralph Foley speaks on the floor of the Indiana House of Representatives.

As lawmakers finalize an exhaustive overhaul of Indiana’s criminal code, a comprehensive bill will make its way through the General Assembly without two of its key drafters involved.

Martinsville Republican Representative Ralph Foley and Senator Richard Bray have led the legislature’s work on criminal code evaluation for years, but both are retiring this fall. Foley says he and Bray are feeling nostalgic about letting go of a project they have devoted years to.

He says its passage, without the pair in the legislature to help it, will depend on who steps up to take leadership of the effort.

“I think there’s general acceptance of the project as a project, though like any project this size, there are little nuances or differences in the code that people have different perspectives on,” he says.

Bedford Republican Brent Steele will be the bill’s lead sponsor in the Senate. He says Foley and Bray’s retirements won’t end their involvement.

“The fact that they’re not here daily is not, I don’t think, going to be a hindrance at all,” he says. “And if we need help, I can always pick up the phone and call these guys. They can’t hide from me.”

The Criminal Code Evaluation Commission will finalize and vote on the package next week before presenting the draft to the legislature when session begins in January.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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