State Rep. McNamara highlights several new laws effective July 1

McNamara says notable changes support Hoosier teachers, patients & first responders

Posted by: Jordan Wallace  | Tuesday, June 30, 2020

STATEHOUSE (June 30, 2020) – With many new laws effective July 1, State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) said several important changes support Hoosier teachers, patients and first responders.

"Several of the new laws effective this week are the direct result of constituents reaching out to their lawmakers seeking changes," McNamara said. "These laws continue putting Hoosiers first by streamlining processes, removing red tape, curbing health care costs and protecting those who protect us."

Here's a look at notable new laws McNamara said Hoosiers should know about:

Teachers, Students and Schools
McNamara said as part of House Enrolled Act 1002, a law she co-authored, standardized test scores will no longer be required to be a part of teacher performance evaluations. She said this should reduce the pressure educators often feel to teach to the test and, as a result, make teaching more attractive as a career. To help cut red tape, House Enrolled Act 1003 went into effect earlier this year to allow the State Board of Education to streamline the timing and frequency of required teacher trainings and grant waivers for schools to bypass over 1,500 regulations. As Indiana continues to transition to the new ILEARN exam, lawmakers passed Senate Enrolled Act 2 so that school accountability grades cannot be negatively impacted by student scores for two years.

McNamara co-authored House Enrolled Act 1283 to support students with mental health issues, including those involved in bullying, and experiencing behavioral problems or physical illnesses. The new law ensures aspiring educators receive training on best practices to recognize students' behavioral reactions to trauma so they can address these issues in their classrooms with increased understanding and insight.

Patients
Under House Enrolled Act 1004, patients will be protected from receiving surprise medical bills from out-of-network providers, and, in the case of an elective procedure, the patient will have the right to receive an upfront, good-faith estimate of expected charges. In addition, Senate Enrolled Act 5 requires hospitals, outpatient surgery centers and urgent care clinics to publish their average prices online, and McNamara said a new HIPAA-compliant database of all health insurance claims will empower consumers by providing information about cost and quality.

First Responders
McNamara, chair of the House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code, authored House Enrolled Act 1225 to protect first responders by increasing the penalty for failing to yield to emergency vehicles. McNamara said the law works to prevent tragedies similar to that of former Evansville police officer Allen Gansman who now suffers from injuries sustained after being struck by a distracted driver while helping a stranded motorist.

In addition, McNamara co-sponsored Senate Enrolled Act 146 to help victims of sexual violence as they seek justice. She said survivors of sexual assault will be provided certain rights and connected with professional advocates who will advise, comfort and support them through the legal process, at no cost.

For more information on these and other new laws set to take effect July 1, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) represents House District 76, 
which includes portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.