5/17/18 Tippecanoe County Courthouse, Superior Court

An Indiana General Assembly Senate committee voted unanimously Wednesday morning to approve a bill that would add another judge to handle crimes in Tippecanoe County.

Tippecanoe Superior Court 1 Judge Randall Williams told committee members that a legislature study committee last summer approved the proposal, which has the backing of Tippecanoe County law enforcement and judicial officials.

Senate Bill 568 would add a seventh superior court to help handle an overload of smaller felony crimes, such as those that involve drugs.

"We're not unique in that regard," Williams said. "This is needed."

He said the plan would be to elect a new judge in 2020 for the new court, which would begin in 2021. County officials are already talking about where a new courtroom would go.

The committee voted 10-0 to approve the measure and send it to the appropriations committee for funding approval.

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