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Daniels Allows Criminals’ Seized Assets To Go To Schools

The bulk of proceeds from criminals' seized assets will continue to go into the common school fund.

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Photo: Adam P Schweigert/WFIU

Governor Mitch Daniels, seen here speaking at the 2007 Indiana Governor's Arts Awards, has vetoed a bill that would have diverted funds from criminals' seized assets to law enforcement and prosecutors' offices.

Governor Mitch Daniels vetoed a bill Friday that would have directed only about ten percent of forfeiture money to the common school fund.  The remaining funds would have gone to law enforcement and prosecutors’ offices, helping to offset expenses accrued in collecting the money.

The governor vetoed the bill because he believes it would violate the Indiana Constitution. Daniels cited a constitutional provision that all proceeds that “all forfeitures” should go into the common school fund, adding that a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision emphasized that point. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who supports the intent of the bill, said he will continue to work on this issue.

“It’s my hope that another legislative proposal can be developed for the 2012 session that would address the concerns that have been raised,” Zoeller said.

Forfeited funds contribute a small percentage to the common school fund. A report from the State Auditor shows it received about $100,000 from controlled substance seizures in fiscal year 2010. The fund currently has nearly $84 million on hand.

 

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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