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New Indiana Laws 2018

Promoting Public Safety

House Republicans are committed to increasing public safety. Among other important policies providing protections for Hoosiers, we enacted new laws to help motorists and keep serious felons off the streets.

Any Hoosier driver can now stop by their local fire department to request a free carbon monoxide test for inside their vehicle. Called Savannah’s Law, this policy was named after an Indiana high school student who died in a car crash after the deadly gas infiltrated her vehicle due to a faulty exhaust system.

Another new law ensures justice is sought for every life lost in a violent crime. Tragically, some violent crimes against pregnant mothers result in the death of their unborn children. Under this law, charges can now include murder and manslaughter if a person commits a felony that results in the death of a fetus, which could add up to 20 years to their sentence if convicted.

To curb illegal drug use and trafficking, a new law increases the penalty for anyone convicted of drug dealing that results in the death of the user. The dealers in these cases can be charged with the highest possible felony and sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.

Follow #NewIndianaLaws on social media and our blog series for more highlights of new laws now in effect.

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Attacking the Opioid Epidemic

New state laws are helping to combat opioid addiction from every angle. From curbing the supply to strengthening enforcement and expanding treatment options, these laws work to save more lives and end the cycle of addiction.

Before prescribing potentially addictive medications, health care professionals throughout Indiana will begin checking the state’s prescription monitoring system, INSPECT. By consulting INSPECT, pharmacists and doctors will be able to determine if a patient is “doctor shopping” for multiple, simultaneous prescriptions.  A similar database, NPLEx, has been instrumental in the fight against meth labs. The system tracks and enforces Indiana’s cold medication purchase limits, helping prevent meth cooks from obtaining crucial meth-making ingredients.

Enforcement is key in decreasing the supply of and demand for deadly drugs. Now, those who deal or illegally manufacture drugs that lead to the death of a user can be charged with the highest possible felony.

To better ensure Hoosiers are within an hour’s drive of receiving help, the number of opioid treatment locations in the state will be increased from 18 to 27.

As lawmakers continue to address this important issue, we need accurate and data-driven information on the number and locationof drug overdose deaths. A new law outlines autopsy and data reporting requirements for local coroners when they investigate suspected overdose deaths.

By attacking this public health crisis, hopefully we can prevent addiction before it starts, keep drug dealers off our streets and get more Hoosiers into lifesaving treatment.

Follow #NewIndianaLaws on social media and our blog series for more highlights of laws enacted this legislative session.

Improving School Safety

Ensuring school safety is an issue at the forefront of our country right now. This is a complex problem with no simple solution, but taking a multifaceted approach can help better protect our students.

Indiana is on the right track. Last year, the Security Industry Association highlighted our state as a “national leader” for implementing and investing in school safety policies. Indiana is 1 of 5 states with a “red flag” law, which allows guns to be taken from individuals a court determines to be dangerous to themselves or others.

Indiana’s School Safety Specialist Academy has trained and certified nearly 2,500 specialists at no cost to schools. We are also 1 of 2 states to require every school district to employ a certified specialist who is trained annually on best practices.

In addition to these measures, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a new law authored by State Rep. Wendy McNamara putting more protections in place for Hoosier students. The law appropriates up to $5 million to the Indiana Secured School Safety Grant Fund in addition to the $45 million already allotted to support initiatives to keep schools safe and secure.

Under the new law, school safety specialist training will include information on identifying, preventing and intervening in actions by a person on school property who has the intent to harm others.

The mass murderer in the recent Parkland tragedy pulled the school’s fire alarm in order to fill the hallways with students and faculty. To help prevent copycat attacks, protocol in the event of an unplanned fire alarm is updated to allow an employee to barricade or block a door for up to three minutes while the fire alarm is investigated by a designated school official.

Students go to school to get an education, and they should not have to worry about senseless violence in their classrooms. Hoosier lawmakers, educators and law enforcement officers have worked and will continue working to ensure the children in our schools are safe and protected.

2018 Legislative Goals Met

House Republicans successfully advanced their top priorities before the legislative session concluded late Wednesday.

Lawmakers passed legislation providing a funding boost for K-12 schools, strengthening Indiana’s workforce, attacking the opioid epidemic and increasing government efficiency.

Legislation providing an increase in funding for K-12 schools would account for a higher than expected increase in enrollment at traditional public schools. This increase would be in addition to the $7 billion Indiana spends on K-12 education annually.

Currently, $1 billion is being spent on 30 workforce programs annually across nine state agencies. However, Indiana’s workforce shortage continues to persist. Legislation would re-evaluate workforce-related programs using return-on-investment metrics enacted in 2017. The bill would also match Career and Technical Education students with local businesses and encourage students to complete training in high-demand fields. The legislation also doubled the funding for workforce training grants to better connect Hoosier workers with high-demand, high-wage jobs.

House Republicans passed two pieces of legislation to help combat the growing opioid epidemic by expanding substance abuse and treatment options, and streamlining licensure and credentialing for mental health professionals. Nine additional opioid rehabilitation centers around the state will be established to ensure no Hoosier is further than an hour-long drive from treatment. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, there was a 52-percent increase in opioid deaths from 2015 to 2016.

To further reduce government bureaucracy, House Republicans passed two bills in order to streamline local and state government operations and reporting requirements.

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