New laws impacting Hoosiers
July 1 has come and gone, meaning that most of the legislation passed last session is now law in Indiana. There were a lot of bills filed last session that I needed to research and understand, over a thousand between the two chambers. But, the legislative process, as convoluted as it may seem, works to vet every issue with less than 300 bills becoming laws. I have said it before, but I am truly humbled to be your voice at the Statehouse and honored to have had a hand in crafting these laws.
I went through the digest of enactments from this session, and I wanted to share some of the laws that I believe will have a positive impact on you and other Hoosiers across the state.
House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1053 – Tightens loopholes in the sex offender registry to make sure the offender reports any change in address or appearance to local authorities. Those who fail to comply with the added information requirements may be charged with a Class D felony as a first time offense or Class C felony if they have a prior offense.
HEA 1151 – Creates the Blue Alert program to notify the public when a law enforcement officer is killed, seriously injured or missing in the line of duty.
HEA 1170 – Expands the Training 2000 Program, which will provide incentives and assistance to new or expanding businesses for the training or retraining of incumbent employees. The program will also to curb the costs for Hoosier businesses to retrain and upgrade employee skills required to support existing capital investment. This legislation is meant to help address the skills gap affecting the Hoosier workforce and retain talent.
HEA 1482 – Allows certain non-sexual and non-violent crimes to be expunged from the criminal records of Hoosiers. A record may only be expunged one time, and a petition to expunge a conviction may be filed no earlier than:
• 1 year after an arrest that was not prosecuted or if a conviction was overturned on appeal.
• 5 years from the date of conviction of a misdemeanor.
• 8 to 10 years from the date of conviction of felonies.
Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 5 – Changes Indiana law so that when a hospital receives a settlement amount that is less than their current lien, the hospital no longer has the ability to go after the patient for the remainder of their charges. Before this legislation, if an individual was admitted into a hospital and received care regarding personal injuries caused by carelessness of another person or corporation was allowed to have a lien filed against them by the hospitals and/or ambulances.
SEA 382 – Creates the Senior Consumer Protection Act, giving the Attorney General a way to protect senior citizens from financial exploitation.
SEA 509 – Gives authorities the ability to investigate human trafficking cases of a child less than 18 years old. It is imperative we do everything we can to insure the safety of our children. This legislation strengthens Indiana’s current laws against human trafficking, giving authorities the tools to enforce these criminal code violations.
SEA 582 – Allows action to be taken immediately by trained hospital police officers, ensuring hospital staff and patients are in a safe environment at all times. Currently, if an issue arises at a Hoosier hospital, hospital authorities are required to call 911 and wait for local responders. This legislation allows for hospitals to have their own police officers to be on the scene immediately if a situation should arise, creating a safer environment for all patients.
I was proud to work with other legislators, both Republican and Democrat, to offer real solutions to Hoosiers’ every day trials. To check out a full list of laws passed last session I encourage you to visit www.in.gov/legislative.