STATEHOUSE — Two bills authored by State Representative Matt Lehman (R-Berne) passed through the Indiana Senate on Tuesday. House Bill (HB) 1012, a bill regarding the sale of public school buildings, passed the Senate with a unanimous vote. A second bill, HB 1225, deals with the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. It also passed the Senate with a 31-18 vote.
HB 1012 allows a school corporation to sell a vacant school building after the building is made available for sale or lease to a charter school for at least two years. Current law allows school buildings to be sold after four years.
“This bill helps reduces the time that schools are required to maintain and operate a vacant facility,” said Rep. Lehman. “HB 1012 helps to clarify the process for selling a school building and allows for an expedited sale if a charter school is not interested. Doing so will reduce the burdens to school districts who have unused buildings and should reduce their costs and administrative difficulties, too.”
HB 1012 also allows a school district to request a waiver from the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) negating the requirement that the building be made available to a charter school. The IDOE will then notify the charter school organization and within 30 days if no charter has come forward with a credible objection, the school can dispose of the building in any lawful manner.
HB 1225 prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, to anyone under 18 years of age. This bill aims to apply the same regulations to e-cigarettes that are already placed on regular cigarettes because both contain the addictive drug, nicotine.
“This bill will keep Indiana ahead of federal regulations as the FDA is expected to develop regulations regarding e-cigarettes in the next few years,” said Rep. Lehman. “This measure is supported by those involved with the e-cigarette industry as they recognize the potential problems with allowing minors to use nicotine products.”
These bills now head to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
To stay up-to-date on bills as they move through the legislative process, visit www.in.gov/legislative.