NEW LAWS IN EFFECT – Straight From The Senate

Although the Indiana General Assembly concluded the 2015 legislative session on April 29, many of the new laws enacted this year didn’t go into effect until the start of the state’s new fiscal year on July 1.

These changes reflect a wide variety of legislative priorities, including education, public safety, property rights and more. Listed below are some of the key changes that are now in effect. I hope you’ll take time to stay informed about these and other new policies affecting Hoosiers.

*SEA 500 eliminates 79 burdensome school regulations that restricted local control of schools and diverted resources away from teaching to administrative tasks.

*A comprehensive ethics reform bill that passed the General Assembly with wide bipartisan support holds legislators and government employees to higher standards of transparency and accountability.

*SEA 464 takes aim at the root causes of crime by expanding access to mental health and addiction treatment for criminal offenders to help them stay drug-free, healthy, and out of the criminal justice system.

*Doctors, dentists and other health care professionals can now offer their services to low-income individuals in volunteer settings without fear of being subject to frivolous, expensive lawsuits under a new law that provides them with civil immunity from such lawsuits.

*SEA 298 honors our men and women in uniform, who have made great sacrifices for our state and country, by allowing private employers in Indiana to establish a preference policy for hiring, promoting or retaining a veteran.

*Under HEA 1394, students who have held a valid learner’s permit for at least 180 days and successfully complete a driver’s education course and at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice can receive their driver’s license when they are 16 years and 90 days old. This is six months earlier than allowed under current law.

*SEA 330 makes the annexation process fairer to property owners by making it easier for citizens to stop unwanted annexations.

*Recognizing the difficulty for some victims to report a rape, SEA 94 lets prosecutors bring charges against a rape suspect regardless of how long ago the crime occurred, provided law enforcement finds suspect-specific evidence.

You can view a summary of all new laws on my website at www.IndianaSenate Republicans.com/Long by clicking on “Publications.”

As always, please contact me with your thoughts and ideas concerning legislation at 800-382-9467 or Senator.Long@iga.in.gov.

David Long - IN Dist. 16 Senator

David is a former Republican member of the Indiana State Senate representing the 16th district which encompasses Waynedale. He served as the President Pro Tempore of the Indiana State Senate. David writes the "Straight From The Senate" column for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer