Great Legislation (2/14/2014)

Friday, February 14, 2014 7:00 pm

Start Date:  2/14/2014  Start Time:  8:00 AM
End Date:  2/14/2014  End Time:  8:00 AM
We are officially done with the first week of the second half of the 2014 legislative session. We have sent more than 140 House bills to the Senate for their consideration, ranging from economic development to education to government reform and everything in between.

Every bill is important to someone, and in many cases the pieces of legislation we work on have an impact on the entire state.

I talk frequently about my role as vice-chair of the Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee and related legislation, but this week I’d like to share two interesting bills heard in other committees to give you an idea of some topics being discussed in other areas.

Senate Bill (SB) 329 passed out of the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee, and should be particularly interesting to those of you who are looking to buy or sell a new house in the near future. SB 329 requires that attic spaces, and basements or crawl spaces (if applicable) to be inspected during a home inspection. 

Attics, basements and crawl spaces are not currently on the list of areas that home inspectors are required to check for potential problems. Black mold, dry rot, termite damage or other dangerous problems might be lurking in these areas, leading home owners to unknowingly purchase or sell a home not fit for dwelling.

Sometimes, the legislature looks back on previously passed laws and finds ways to improve them. SB 227 expands what is commonly known as the Indiana Lifeline Law which was first passed in 2012. This bill provides that a person cannot be arrested or prosecuted for certain alcohol offenses if they are reporting a medical emergency, reporting what they believe to be a crime or is the victim of sexual assault. Currently, immunity is only available if the person reports a medical emergency related to alcohol consumption.

This law does not interfere with the ability of law enforcement to prosecute for other criminal offences like providing to a minor, operating a vehicle while intoxicated or possession of a controlled substance. 

In order to receive immunity, the person requesting medical assistance is required to remain at the scene with the victim until emergency medical assistance arrives. Furthermore, the person must cooperate with authorities to ensure that the situation is resolved. This is the type of law that will save lives and encourages Hoosiers to do the right thing when put in a difficult scenario. 

We are making great progress for Indiana, and I look forward to seeing what other great legislation comes to the House for discussion. We have about four more weeks of session at the Statehouse, and I will continue updating you on our progress. 

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Rep. Ziemke represents portions of Rush, Fayette, Franklin, Ripley and Decatur counties.

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