-- Indiana lawmakers entered this year’s session with limited ambitions when
compared to years past.
They still passed
dozens of new laws. And while many of the most attention grabbing ideas --
like legal Sunday retail alcohol sales -- were already made the law of the
land, more are set to take effect on Sunday.
Here’s a look at
some of them:
THAT RESULTS IN
Starting July 1,
anyone who “knowingly or intentionally manufactures or delivers a controlled
substance” that results in the death of another can be charged with a felony
that could send them to prison for decades. The measure was part of Gov.
Eric Holcomb’s agenda this year. While Holcomb has sought to take a
compassionate approach toward the opioid crisis, calling addiction a disease
and expanding access to drug treatment, the Republican has also maintained
that the state needs to get tough on drug dealers.
Ruckelshaus has said that he is not aware of any harmful incidents in
Indiana that have arisen from the obscure practice of eyeball tattooing. But
that didn’t stop the Indianapolis Republican from taking action to curtail a
practice he views as a potential public health scourge.
His measure, which
was signed into law by Holcomb, was proposed following a flurry of news
reports last fall about a Canadian model who had major complications from
getting her eyes tattooed purple.
Tattooists will be
prohibited under the law from coloring the whites of an individual’s eyes.
An exception would
be made for procedures done by licensed health care professionals. But that
sets a threshold so high -- further complicated by professional ethics
guidelines, which obligate medical providers to do no harm -- that the law
amounts to an effective ban of the procedure.
The law imposes a
fine of up to $10,000 per violation.
A new sex education
law will allow parents to review curriculum and “opt out” their children
from such classes.
The law will also
require public schools to make two attempts to notify parents in advance of
planned sex education classes.
The bill’s sponsor,
Sen. Dennis Kruse, initially wanted to make it mandatory for parents across
the state to “opt in” their children for sex education. But the Auburn
Republican, who chairs the Senate education committee, backed down after
other GOP legislators objected and agreed to switch it to an “opt out”
opposed the bill, arguing that it’s important for students to learn more
about sex education, including sexual identity.
SHORT TERM RENTAL
Rep. Matt Lehman
succeeded this year in passing a property rights bill that curtails local
governments’ ability to restrict those who rent out their homes on short
term rental websites like Airbnb.
officials in Carmel, one of Indiana’s wealthiest cities, have thumbed their
noses at the law, saying it doesn’t apply to them. That sets the stage for a
possible court fight.
Lehman, who’s from
the northeastern Indiana city of Berne, is one of the most powerful
Republicans in the House. He tried to pass a similar measure last year, but
members of his own caucus revolted.
The law passed this
year allows people to rent out their primary homes. But municipalities are
allowed to pass restrictions on secondary homes, such as requiring a permit
to rent, or adopting noise and nuisance ordinances. Homeowners associations
are also allowed to restrict short-term rentals. Municipalities that had
short-term rental ordinances on the books before Jan 1, 2018, are exempted
from the law.
As of Sunday, the
Say’s Firefly becomes Indiana’s official state insect.
Cumberland Elementary School in West Lafayette championed the effort for
years, but had been unsuccessful until Holcomb made it part of his agenda
for the year.
He praised the
young students for their perseverance and civic engagement at a bill signing
The insect was
named by Indiana native and entomologist Thomas Say in 1826.