[r55] Locally Grown Ideas (8/23/2013)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Start Date: 8/23/2013 Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Date: 8/23/2013 End Time: 8:00 AM

Every law starts with a problem in need of a solution. Ideas from Hoosiers, like you, inspire lawmakers with ways to make Indiana a safer, more productive environment for our communities. Everyone has a different perspective on how to make things better and by sharing that perspective, great things can happen.

Even the smallest changes can have a huge impact our state. One new law that might affect you personally is HEA 1082 which removes the requirement that the person whose name appears on a vehicle registration must sign it. As a result of this bill, individuals who fail to sign their registration will no long be subject to a Class C infraction. This issue was brought to a legislator by someone who was charged with a Class C infraction and a $138 charge for forgetting to sign her registration. 

Another example was a bill from this past session, House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1029. The idea for this bill came from a Kokomo family who had difficulty accessing medical history information after their father, an adoptee, passed away from colon cancer. They brought their issue to the Legislature and the idea took hold. With the passage of HEA 1029, the relatives of an adoptee and pre-adoptive sibling can now obtain medical history information about an adopted child with a little more ease.

A more well-known issue brought to the attention of legislators by the public was actually the work of college students. Students from Purdue University, Indiana University and University of Southern Indiana were instrumental in the creation of Senate Enrolled Act 274, also known as the Indiana Lifeline Law. This law creates a shield of protection against prosecution when helping a fellow student or Hoosier in need of medical attention due to alcohol consumption. 

Student governments from these campuses and many others saw a problem with the way the law handled those who reported alcohol poisoning, resulting in few reports and many deaths. By stepping forward and presenting the facts of how this negatively affects everyone involved, these students saved many lives.

I encourage anyone who sees a problem in Indiana that can be solved legislatively or has an idea of how to improve our state to contact my office by emailing h55@iga.in.gov or calling 317-232-9850. I want to incorporate your ideas and thoughts into the 2014 legislative session, but I cannot do that without your contribution. I value your input and look forward to hearing your ideas.

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State Rep. Cindy Ziemke serves as Vice Chairman of the Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee. She also serves on the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee and the Select Committee on Government Reduction.  Rep. Ziemke represents portions of Rush, Fayette, Franklin, Ripley and Decatur counties.

Ziemke_LocallyGrownIdeasColumn.docx