Three bills co-authored by State Rep. Mike Murphy (R-Indianapolis) become effective Thursday, July 1.
This year's major Ethics Bill, known as House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1001, closed several loopholes for lobbyists, legislators and the way the two groups may interact with each other.
Starting Thursday, legislators may not accept an honorarium for giving a speech, such as a keynote at a graduation ceremony. In addition, lobbyists must report gifts to legislators if the gift is valued at $50 or more ($100 has been the threshold).
"I'm glad to see the historic ethics reform now in place in Indiana," said Rep. Murphy. "Some minor adjustments need to be made next year, but the mandate is clear: business as usual is no longer acceptable at the Statehouse."
Rep. Murphy also co-authored HEA 1021, which exempts earned income tax credits from bankruptcy proceedings. Under current law, only a debtor's federal earned income tax credit is exempt property. The law, which passed unanimously, brings Indiana's income tax law in line with federal law.
"Ultimately, the effect of this bill is to allow working poor who find themselves in the unfortunate circumstances of bankruptcy to keep minimal assets for basic needs," said Rep. Murphy.
Starting Thursday, Indiana workers may also keep a gun locked in their car while at work, no matter what their employer's gun policy is.
HEA 1065, which was also co-authored by Rep. Murphy, does contain several exemptions for workplaces such as schools and child care facilities.
Rep. Murphy encourages local constituents to contact him with questions or concerns through e-mail at email@example.com or by calling the Statehouse toll-free at 1-800-382-9841. It is also possible to write him at 200 W. Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204.