Dozens of new Indiana laws take effect July 1

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Dozens of new laws are set to go into effect on July 1, ranging from cracking down on overdue child support to relieving overcrowded prisons, strengthening drunken driving penalties to protecting property rights, according to State Sens. Ron Alting and Brandt Hershman (Rs-Lafayette).

“In all, 115 bills were passed and signed into law benefitting children, taxpayers, employers and employees, homeowners, military troops and gun owners,” Alting said.

“Legislators achieved our top priorities by delaying $400 million in unemployment insurance premium increases to help avoid layoffs and create jobs, passing sweeping government ethics reforms, as well as allowing Hoosiers to have the final say on whether property tax caps should become permanent,” Hershman said.

Alting and Hershman offered a snapshot of new laws set to go into effect today (July 1, 2010):

Child Support: In an effort to collect more than $2 billion in overdue child support payments, lawmakers passed a bill to withhold casino winnings from those who ignore their court-ordered obligations. The Indiana Department of Child Services estimates more than 165,000 “deadbeat parents” each owe more than $2,000 in support payments. Colorado passed a similar law in July 2008, resulting in more than $320 million in delinquent payments.

Drunken Driving: Legislation designed to stiffen penalties against drunken drivers also memorializes an innocent victim, an Indiana family’s unborn son. In 2007, Danielle Brookshire lost her unborn son in a car crash believed to be caused by a drunken driver. Lawmakers worked with Brookshire and local prosecutors on the bill’s language.

Costly, Crowded Prisons: Senate Enrolled Act 415 eases the burden on Indiana’s over-crowded correctional facilities and saves tax dollars. Every year of incarceration costs taxpayers at least $20,000 per inmate, and SEA 415 allows parole boards to consider early discharges for long-term, non-violent offenders who have been incarcerated for 21 consecutive years and have completed a four-year college degree or other approved community transition program.

Utility Co-Ops: Lawmakers passed a measure allowing rural telephone and electric cooperatives to merge into single co-ops. Supporters of Senate Enrolled Act 126 say merging co-ops could increase the utilities’ management efficiencies and streamline efforts to more cost-effectively bring service to Hoosiers in rural communities.

Independent Research: In an effort to make the legislative branch less dependent on lobbyists for research on public policy topics, Senate Enrolled Act 84 allows lawmakers and the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency to access state-funded research resources at Indiana colleges and universities. Feasibility of establishing a research and policy development division will also be explored.

Voting Accessibility: House Enrolled Act 1109 makes voting easier for those with disabilities and military personnel serving our country overseas. The new law ensures disabled voters have the same access to private, independent voting methods when casting ballots early or absentee as they do when voting on Election Day. It also provides more options for military personnel to cast a vote when serving overseas.

Property Rights: Aimed at protecting Hoosier homeowners’ rights to display political signs on their property, lawmakers approved a bill allowing homeowners associations to regulate but no longer ban the display of political signs during election seasons. Senate Enrolled Act 64 prohibits associations from adopting restrictive rules that outright prohibit the display of political signs 30 days before an election. Associations may still adopt and enforce rules restricting the size, number and location of signs.

Motor Vehicle Offenses: Senate Enrolled Act 93 seeks to protect roadside workers by stiffening penalties for drivers who fail to slow down and move over when approaching a stationary utility vehicle on the side of the road. Senate Enrolled Act 170 increases penalties for drivers who kill a law enforcement officer or law enforcement animal, like a K-9 dog, while driving drunk or resisting arrest.

Suicide, Violence Education: Senate Enrolled Act 226 establishes a study of teen suicide and prevention measures, including teacher training to recognize early signs of suicidal tendencies in youth. Senate Enrolled Act 316 requires the Department of Education to develop dating violence education materials, which can later be used to assist schools with preventive programming.

Gun Rights: House Enrolled Act 1068 aims to keep the names, addresses and other identifying information of more than 300,000 Hoosiers with handgun licenses – also referred to as concealed carry permits – confidential, like tax records. House Enrolled Act 1065 prohibits most businesses from enacting policies that prevent licensed gun owners from keeping legal firearms in their locked vehicles out of sight.

Rx Abuse: Lawmakers supported a bill aimed at combating prescription drug abuse in Indiana. Senate Enrolled Act 356 expands the data collected by Indiana’s prescription monitoring program (INSPECT) and allows INSPECT to release information on prescribers and patients to the state toxicologist, Medicaid fraud investigators and substance abuse assistance programs. This change should help better identify problem prescribers and ‘doctor shopper’ patients in an effort to reduce prescription drug abuse.

For more information on these new laws and other state matters, Alting and Hershman encouraged area residents to call toll-free 1-800-382-9467 or e-mail them at Senator.Alting@iga.in.gov or Senator.Hershman@iga.in.gov.

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8 Responses to “Dozens of new Indiana laws take effect July 1”

  1. Karen says:

    LAWS LAWS LAWS What good are they if you don’t make the old ones work. All it is too make it look good. Releasing from the prisons early isn’t good at all. It doesn’t matter if they are violent or not.They was given a time too serve for their crime.So now that doesn’t matter. What about the ones too killed someone.Let them out so they can do it all over again? I know two that you did release cause of good time that they served and came out and did it again. The ones who signed this BILL INTO LAW should be held responsible for each and everyone they let go. I’ll make a new LAW !!!!If a family or person is a victim of a crime of someone that was let out early because of this NEW LAW. Send the ones who signed the LAW to Prison. What do you think they are going to do when you do release them.There are no jobs for felons. No housing.They will be on the street doing drugs or sealing to make it. Maybe the ones who signed the LAW in has plans to get them jobs? Well if that is true then why not help the honest citizen out in finding a job?
    It is the LAW MAKERS of Indiana job to protect the citizens that pays them their large pay checks to protect us. Now that didn’t happen.

  2. Garth says:

    I only see 11 of the 115, and if these laws are like every other they will only affect law abiding citizens who cant find a loophole.

  3. Garth says:

    If over crowded prisons is an issue then why did Danials over crowd our prisons with out of state prisoners that someday be released right back into Indiana?

  4. Marcie says:

    Title of the story says dozen’s of law’s. Hows about posting less details on each law, and list EACH law. What if a law went into effect and we do not know about it. What if an honest citizen breaks a “new” law and does not know about it. Our representatives need to make more effort of informing citizens of the laws that have been passed.

    • Anna says:

      Medical Professionals are VERY concerned about a Bill 363 that now is law that will go into effect July 1st. This law is concerns fingerprinting and investigations into these professional’s lives. The reasoning for the law, was “protect the community.” What this law does allow is for commissions, committees, boards to have access to all information, including personal and financial. What they didn’t get thru, as of yet, are all licensed and certified person’s of the State. That was their goal, but watch these sneaks, they’ll most surely attempt to place it on another bill, and then when “the deer in the headlights” syndrome hit, the law will already be passed. Our forefather’s fought for the right to have privacy and with a sweep of a pen our existence could be at stake. I for one do not want my information placed in the hands of someone who could take private information and use for another use that isn’t intended. There is a scam every 3 sec’s.

      • Bob says:

        seems to me laws should be published. the ysay ther is no excuse for ignorance of the law. except nobody except the cops and the people who made the law know wht the new laws are .

  5. chasity says:

    i have a little brother that passed away because the people in the house didnt render him any aid they let him die because hey were afraid of getting into trouble for drugs being in the house witch later they said was his. People told us it was not a law to render aid but people should just have the comon sence to call 911 but they dont have to if they dont want to that is wrong and i guess it will just have to be brought up again because no one would listen we contacted Joe Pierceson and Tim Harris but there boards were to full and we never got a return phone calls how is it possible that these bills protecting drug dealers and getting them out of jail and giving them more room in prison is more important then saving a life…….. so some one else does not lose another loved one…

  6. chasity says:

    There should have been a law for people who have not rendered aid(help) to people in their home as a result the people pass away

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