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New state laws take effect today

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Today is July 1, and that means that many of the 115 new laws adopted by the Indiana Legislature this year are now in effect.

State Senators Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, and Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, issued statements outlining some of the new laws, as follows:

SEA 23, which Tallian co-authored, creates a small business ombudsman’s office under the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to provide assistance and help identify areas where regulations can be reduced for the state’s small business owners and operators.

Under SEA 75, sales clerks are now required to ask all patrons for photo identification to verify that the purchaser is over 21 years of age for the carry-out purchase of alcohol. The new law also allows Indiana’s microbreweries to sell their product for carryout on Sundays. Two other provisions of the law that already went into effect allows alcohol sales on election days and extends the hours for bars and restaurants to serve alcohol on Sundays.

SEA 163 requires Indiana’s riverboat casinos and horse racing facilities to withhold cash winnings for those who owe $2,000 or more and are at least three months late in child support payments.

Under HEA 1234, a court can now require a defendant in a domestic violence case to wear a GPS tracking device as a condition of bail. Also, courts can now order an offender to complete a batterer’s intervention program after conviction.

The Indiana Department of Education will develop policies and materials to increase student awareness about dating violence under SEA 316. The new law, known as “Heather’s Law,” is named in memory of an Indiana resident who was brutally murdered by her estranged high school boyfriend in 2007.

Under SEA 224, schools may now offer instruction on the risks and consequences of sending suggestive text messages, e-mails and other online messages. A study committee will further explore issues involving teen “sexting” offenders for recommendations to the lawmakers next year.

HEA 1320 requires pharmacies and other retailers selling drugs containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine to post a sign warning customers that the purchase of more than 3.6 grams of the substance within one day is a criminal offense in Indiana.

For counties that anticipate delivering delayed property tax bills, HEA 1059, sponsored by Tallian, requires that a provisional spring tax bill be issued to taxpayers.

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.

Under SEA 64, homeowner associations can no longer 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.

SEA 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. Also, SEA 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.

Under SEA 226, a study will be conducted on teen suicide and prevention measures, including teacher training to recognize early signs of suicidal tendencies in youth.

For a complete list of new laws, see


New Indiana laws on guns, alcohol take effect Thursday


Associated Press Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The latest batch of Indiana laws will take effect Thursday, with new provisions raising the age at which teenagers can get driver’s licenses and requiring ID checks for everyone buying alcohol.

Perhaps the most controversial new measure allows workers to keep guns locked in their vehicles while parked on their employers’ property. Businesses will no longer be able to prohibit workers from keeping firearms in a locked trunk or glove compartment or out of sight in their locked car. The law includes exemptions for schools, prisons and other facilities.

Bill supporters say gun owners have rights under the Second Amendment and the Indiana Constitution to bring guns to work. But opponents — including the Indiana Chamber of Commerce — say the law could lead to workplace violence and believe businesses have a right to ban firearms in their parking lots and buildings.

Indiana Chamber president Kevin Brinegar said many businesses prohibit employees from bringing guns to work because businesses are charged with providing a safe working environment. Brinegar said chamber members who oppose the new prohibitions have discussed challenging the law in court, arguing that their rights as business owners should trump the Second Amendment.

“What we really have is a clash of constitutional rights,” Brinegar said.

Another new firearms law prevents the public from accessing gun permit records. Currently, information such as the names of people with permits to carry handguns is public record. The new law makes that data private, although police will still have access.

“The individual rights of citizens who have licenses to carry concealed weapons are more important than public access to that information,” Rep. Peggy Welch, D-Bloomington, said in a statement.

Another new law allows residents to submit voter registration forms online. The secretary of state’s office says Indiana will be the eighth state to offer online registration, and that other states offering online registration have seen a 60 to 70 percent shift away from paper applications.

Online registration “helps local election administrators better serve voters and should cut their costs, all while enhancing accessibility, accuracy and security,” Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita said in a statement.

Citizens must have a valid Indiana driver’s license or state-issued ID card to use the online form at Once the online form is submitted, the registrant’s information is cross-checked with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the county voter registration office will approve or reject registrations based on the same criteria as mailed or in-person applications.

A teen driving law requires drivers with learner’s permits to get 50 hours of supervised driving experience — 10 of those hours at night — before getting a driver’s license.

The law raises the minimum age for drivers, and the minimum ages are different depending on whether a student takes driver’s education classes. Those who do will be able to get a learner’s permit at 15 years and six months — instead of the current 15 years — and a probationary license at 16 years and six months instead of the current 16 years and one month.

Teens who don’t take drivers ed can get a learner’s permit at age 16 and a probationary license at 16 years and nine months.

After Thursday, Indiana residents who want to buy alcohol must show proof of age no matter how old they are. The law requires stores to check a photo ID for anyone purchasing alcohol. The rule applies to liquor and convenience stores, pharmacies, and supermarkets but not to restaurants, bars and other businesses where patrons consume alcohol onsite.

Another new law aims to get more people to pay child support they owe. Welfare recipients could risk losing their benefits if they don’t cooperate with prosecutors trying to collect child support, and casinos will withhold winnings from those who are behind on child support payments.

Other new laws encourage teenagers to donate blood and allow securities fraud victims to recover some of their losses through a new fund.


Posted 7/1/2010




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