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Governor Vetoes Forfeiture Bill

The governor vetoed the bill because he believes it would violate the Indiana Constitution.

Daniels

Photo: Michael Krieg

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels

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

The bill Daniels vetoed Friday would have directed only about 10% of forfeiture money to the common school fund. The remaining funds went to law enforcement and prosecutors offices, helping offset expenses in collecting the money. The governor vetoed the bill because he believes it would violate the Indiana Constitution. Daniels cited a constitutional provision that proceeds from “all forfeitures” should go to the common school fund. He adds a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision emphasized that point.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who supported 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,” said Zoeller.

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 cash on hand.

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