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June 2016

#NewIndianaLaws: Kirk’s Law

Starting July 1, Indiana will be the first state to begin developing an online child abuse registry.

This new law, named after Kirk Coleman, is the result of Kirk’s death while under the care of a babysitter who had been previously charged with child neglect.

In a year from now, possibly sooner, people will be able to access an online registry providing a list of all individuals convicted of child abuse or neglect — similar to sex-offender registries.

Protecting and providing a safe environment for Hoosier children to grow and learn is a priority for House Republicans. The goal of this law is to prevent tragedies like Kirk’s by providing caregivers with a tool to better ensure those caring for children are nonviolent and trustworthy.

Follow #NewIndianaLaws on social media and our blog series for more highlights of laws effective July 1, 2016.

 

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#NewIndianaLaws

In 2016, House Republicans placed special emphasis on enacting policies promoting greater public safety for Hoosiers.

Unfortunately, human trafficking is the fastest growing and second largest criminal industry in the world. Three new Indiana laws focus on combating this heinous crime.

House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1199, authored by State Rep. Wendy McNamara, requires an individual found guilty of promoting the trafficking of a minor to register as a sex offender on the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry. The Indiana Department of Correction and police officers across the state monitor the database to track offenders to ensure they are not breaking the law once released.

HEA 1028, authored by State Rep. Randy Truitt, increases penalties for individuals profiting from human trafficking and those who knowingly visit places in violation of trafficking laws. Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 305, sponsored by State Reps. Dave Frizzell and Wendy McNamara, allows the Department of Child Services to intervene and serve children who are victims of human trafficking.

Here are highlights of other new laws to keep Hoosiers safe:

  • HEA 1105: Protecting children conceived as the result of rape by allowing mothers to request the termination of the rapist’s parental rights.
  • SEA 14: Increasing penalties for criminals convicted of child exploitation and pornography crimes.
  • HEA 1048: Requiring motorists in minor crashes to safely move vehicles to the side of the road and out of traffic.
  • SEA 248: Prohibiting motorists convicted of speeding twice in work zones within a year from driving for 60 days.
  • SEA 357: Posting names and records of individuals convicted of child abuse on an online registry maintained by the state court system.
  • HEA 1019: Balancing public transparency with the privacy rights of citizens by establishing guidelines for releasing police video recordings.
  • HEA 1211: Increasing penalties for criminals who cause property damage while manufacturing meth, and tracking meth-fire incidents to combat the problem.

Follow #NewIndianaLaws on social media and our blog series for more highlights of laws effective July 1, 2016.

 

 

#NewIndianaLaws: A Healthier Indiana

In the 2016 legislative session, policymakers worked on new laws that will help foster a healthier Indiana. Here are highlights of legislation, effective July 1, promoting the wellbeing of Hoosiers across the state:

  • Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 11: Creating a savings program that Hoosiers with disabilities can use for disability-related costs without placing other benefits at risk.
  • SEA 165: Protecting the successful Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 for the nearly 370,000 Hoosiers who have enrolled.
  • SEA 315: Providing pregnant Hoosiers information about voluntary umbilical cord donation, a medical practice that can help in life-saving treatments.
  • House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1263: Implementing a variety of telemedicine practice standards and remote prescribing rules to provide convenience to Hoosiers.
  • SEA 186: Encouraging pregnant Hoosiers suffering from drug addiction to get help rather than fear prosecution by keeping drug-screening results private.
  • HEA 1012: Increasing the safety of Hoosiers with developmental disabilities by providing bracelets or identification cards to those who request them.

House Republicans remain committed to enacting health-care policies on behalf of Hoosiers.

Follow #NewIndianaLaws on social media and our blog series for more highlights of laws taking effect July 1, 2016.

#NewIndianaLaws: Veterans

House Republicans worked diligently in the 2016 session to pass legislation supporting the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect our country. Several laws will take effect on July 1 to benefit our Hoosier veterans:

  • SEA 295: Expanding the Military Family Relief Fund, which provides grants to military families in need, to all Hoosier veterans who served on active duty.
  • House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1089: Determining the duties, standards and practices of veteran district service officers who help address individual service-related needs throughout the state.
  • HEA 1313: Increasing access to programs benefiting veterans by including the military service of those who do not currently meet federal criteria.
  • HEA 1359: Waiving the maximum hiring-age restrictions previously placed on veterans who apply to become police officers and firefighters.
  • HEA 1373: Extending employment protections to National Guard members called to active duty.
  • SEA 154: Increasing the funeral allowance from $4,000 to $8,800 for members of the Indiana National Guard who give their lives while protecting our freedoms.
  • SEA 219: Expediting the issuance or renewal of licenses, certificates, registrations or permits to military spouses.
  • HEA 1187: Establishing penalties for stolen valor, making it a crime to profit financially by lying about military service.

Our veterans and their wellbeing are a priority. House Republicans are committed to supporting policies providing service members and their families the care they have rightfully earned.

Follow #NewIndianaLaws on social media and our blog series for more highlights of laws taking effect July 1, 2016.

Nearly 1.2 million Hoosiers are employed by a small business, with more than 97 percent of all Indiana businesses being classified as small.

Indiana Entrepreneurship Week, which is June 19-25, celebrates “all things entrepreneurial.”

The week highlights those individuals who have dedicated their lives to entrepreneurship and small business. To honor those men and women, Entrepreneurship Week shines a light on those who turn their passions into reality and are igniting Indiana’s economy.

Entrepreneurs across Indiana are encouraged to share their events online and promote them using #INEWK on social media.

The state offers a one-stop shop for Hoosier entrepreneurs online with information regarding grants and loans, development programs and connections to advisors. The Indiana Small Business Development Corporation also has important data and resources for those planning on going into business in Indiana.

Activities, seminars and workshops are planned across the state throughout Entrepreneurship Week. Check out the full schedule.

Celebrating 200 years

The Indiana Bicentennial Forever Stamp is now here! The stamp, which was unveiled at a Statehouse ceremony, features a photo of a vivid sunset over a Kosciusko County cornfield taken by photographer Michael Matti.

The commemorative stamp is just a small piece of Indiana’s 2016 Bicentennial Celebration to honor our state’s rich history and culture. In addition to statewide projects highlighting our 200 years of statehood, all 92 counties are preserving historical landmarks, educating youth and bringing together families and communities with local projects.

The statewide Bicentennial Signature Projects include the Bicentennial Plaza, which is located west of the Statehouse and will include two public art pieces interpreting the Indiana Torch and an interactive time capsule. The Bicentennial Nature Trust, a program acquiring land for conservation and recreation, will provide matching funds to encourage public and private partnerships, as well as to support local projects and access.

The Bicentennial Torch Relay is sure to be an exciting event where peer nominated torchbearers will pass on the torch in distinct ways that represent Indiana’s heritage. The torch will be relayed through all 92 counties within a five-week period. At the end of the relay, there will be a celebration at the Statehouse.

For information on local projects taking place during the Bicentennial, visit http://www.in.gov/ibc. To purchase Indiana Bicentennial Forever stamps, visit the U.S. Postal Service website or a local post office.

Don’t forget to share your Bicentennial celebration memories using #Indiana200!

When it comes to college tuition, every little bit helps. Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars Program, which was recently renamed in honor of former governor Evan Bayh, was established to help students from low-income families achieve their goal of going to college.

To help scholars stay on track for college, the Scholar Success Program provides a guide for participants to follow and track their progress.

Hoosiers can enroll in the program as early as seventh-grade, but no later than June 30 of their eighth-grade year. To sign up for the program and learn about eligibility requirements, visit scholars.in.gov.

My Indiana Home

For some, owning a home is considered a symbol of achieving prosperity and the American Dream. This month, Indiana and the nation are promoting homeownership by raising awareness about organizations that can help in the process and resources available to Hoosiers who want to become homeowners.

According to the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), Indiana’s homeownership rate is 70.5 percent, which remains well above the national average of 63.5 percent. IHCDA works to increase this number by promoting self-sufficiency and strengthening communities in order to build a sustainable quality of life for all Hoosiers in the community of their choice. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity and the Indiana Builders Association also work tirelessly to help make the American Dream a reality.

Homeownership provides a strong foundation to help support a family, start a business or fund education through home equity. House Republicans remain committed to responsible government spending, low taxes and investment in our communities in order to make owning a home a reality for residents in Indiana.

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