Starting on July 1 many of the bills we passed this legislative session will take effect. There are several that I thought you would find interesting and would like more information on including a texting and emailing while driving ban, increased transparency in our state government, and a tougher stance on meth use.
Studies in recent years have shown that people who text while driving are 23 times more likely to crash than those who don't. We heard both emotional and scientific testimony when first considering this bill and believe that by prohibiting texting while driving we can save lives in Indiana. On July 1, Indiana will become the 31st state to ban texting while driving. This new law will prohibit drivers from reading and sending text and e-mail messages while operating a moving vehicle. However, a driver may still use a hands-free device or make a phone call.
As taxpayers, we all want to know that our money is being spent wisely. There has been a call for more transparency in government and we worked to answer that call. Hoosiers will now have access to financial information for all state agencies, school corporations, local governments and state universities on a user-friendly website. By allowing taxpayers to see where their money is being spent we can better assure Hoosiers that their tax dollars are hard at work. When a website address is released I will be sure to let you know where to find the information.
Meth abuse is a problem for many communities across America. The drug wreaks havoc on lives. This session we worked to implement a statewide electronic tracking system that will monitor the sale of certain medications that are commonly used to make meth. I believe this will help crack down on meth production without inconveniencing the majority of Hoosiers who purchase these medications for legitimate heath care purposes.
Finally, an announcement was made by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources that Indiana residents will not need a license to go fishing in Indiana waters the weekend of June 4-5, 2011. A free fishing weekend is held each year so that Hoosiers can get reacquainted with a favorite past time of many in the state. Many events including cooking classes, casting clinics and fishing derbies are being held this weekend across the state. For a complete list and more information you may visit www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild.
Thank you for your continued feedback and support.