[R75] The BLT: Bills to assist charity gaming and synthetic drug ban pass House (2/23/2012)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Start Date: 2/23/2012
End Date: 2/23/2012

Last week, the members of the General Assembly agreed to a plan to finish the 2012 Legislative Session three days early on March 9.  That leaves us only two weeks to complete our business, but based on the productivity and cooperation this week, I’m confident we’ll reach our goal. 

Because we’re on an accelerated schedule, legislation is moving quickly through the House and Senate. One that I’m pleased to see move forward, and that I co-sponsored, is Senate Bill (SB) 315. It would allow national charity organizations and foundations to acquire a single charity gaming license to cover all their local Indiana affiliates.  Local chapters of groups like the NRA foundation, Ducks Unlimited, and the Wild Turkey Federation hold charity gaming events to raise money for education in conservation, hunting, and firearms safety.  These groups often find it difficult to decipher all the rules and reporting requirements for a charity gaming event.  Other charities and foundations are also affected by the regulations of the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC).

SB 315 was passed by vote of 76-19 in the House this week, and was previously passed unanimously in the Senate.

Another bill passed by the House this week involves the sale of synthetic drugs.  SB 234 addresses new concerns that drug manufacturers are selling new designer drugs labeled as bath salts.  These chemical compounds have no history of cosmetic use as bath salts.  Their sole purpose is to take advantage of a loophole in our state’s drug laws to legally sell dangerous drugs to young people.

SB 234 adds these new compounds to the list of illegal substances, and prohibits future drugs with similar chemical structures.  If an unforeseen drug hits the market in the future, the Board of Pharmacy could adopt a temporary emergency regulation if the drug is already banned by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency or another state.  Furthermore, if a retailer continues to sell these drugs once they have been banned, the retail license would be suspended for one year.  We need to update our laws and anticipate future loopholes to stay ahead of drug manufacturers.

SB 234 was passed unanimously in both the House and in the Senate.

The House amended both of these bills from their original Senate versions.  If the senators who authored the bills agree to the changes, they will go to Gov. Daniels for his signature.  If not, a bipartisan conference committee will work to reach an agreement first.  If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please contact me by phone at 317-232-9671 or by email at h75@in.gov.  Thank you for your support and have a happy and safe weekend.

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The BLT, Bills for simpler charity gaming and synthetic drug ban pass House.docx