STATEHOUSE (July 15, 2020) – With many new laws effective this month, State Rep. Denny Zent (R-Angola) said several important changes support Hoosier teachers, farmers and military families.
"From cutting burdensome red tape for our teachers, schools and military families to expanding much-needed health care access for our Hoosier farmers, many new laws now in effect make positive changes for those who call Indiana home," Zent said. "Over the summer and fall months I will continue to listen to the voices in our district, and I encourage constituents to reach out if they have ideas on how we can make our communities and our state even better."
Here's a look at notable new laws Zent said Hoosiers should know about:
Teachers, Students and Schools
Zent said as part of House Enrolled Act 1002, standardized test scores will no longer be required to be a part of teacher performance evaluations. He 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.
Zent said House Enrolled Act 1283 supports students struggling 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.
Farmers and Rural Communities
Senate Enrolled Act 184 allows the Indiana Farm Bureau to offer a health benefits plan to its members. Zent, said this plan is not health insurance, but would provide similar benefits to help many farmers who have limited access to affordable health care options. Other states, such as Kansas and Tennessee, have implemented similar programs through their Farm Bureaus.
To support rural communities, House Enrolled Act 1370 allows cities and towns to band together and enter into regional land banks to acquire tax-delinquent and blighted properties to restore them.
Zent sponsored Senate Enrolled Act 427 so spouses of active military members assigned to Indiana can receive a provisional license for a regulated occupation, like dental hygienists, cosmetologists, plumbers and more, at the same practice level as the license they held in their previous state. He said this will help military spouses who move to Indiana begin working sooner and support their families, as well as better meet the state's workforce needs.
For more information on these and other new laws effective this month, visit iga.in.gov. Constituents can contact Zent by calling his Statehouse office at 1-800-382-9841 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Rep. Denny Zent (R-Angola) represents House District 51, which includes most of LaGrange and Steuben counties.
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