Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

The Indiana House approved legislation Wednesday to create a new type of payday loan – with interest rates of up to 200 percent – that opponents argue amounts to predatory lending.

The legislation creates a loan of between about $600 and $1,500, with a term of up to 12 months. Rep. Woody Burton (R-Whiteland) says the loans are aimed at those with poor credit who have nowhere else to turn.

A Senate committee took a small step Wednesday toward creating a tracking system statewide for rape kits.

Sen. Mike Crider (R-Greenfield) says his bill  is step one of a two-step process that will better track Indiana rape kits. He says a comprehensive tracking system is important in part to help empower victims.

Bill Would Allow Guns In Churches On School Grounds

Jan 31, 2018

Hoosiers licensed to carry a firearm could bring their gun to church – even if it’s on school property – under a bill approved by a Senate committee Wednesday.

But a change to the bill means houses of worship still retain control over who carries a gun into their facility.

Legislation Update: Sex Ed, Computer Science

Jan 30, 2018

The State Senate approved a bill Tuesday requiring parents to opt-in to sex education.

Some senators pushed back on the proposal before the vote. Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) called it dangerous, and asked if parents should be allowed to keep their children from learning other subjects they don’t morally agree with.

Senate Education Committee Chair Dennis Kruse, says it gives parents rights they should have.

The bill passed, 37-12.

House Unanimously Votes To Legalize CBD

Jan 30, 2018

Cannabidiol, or CBD, would become legal for anyone in the state of Indiana under legislation unanimously approved by the full House.

There are several bills dealing with the issue this session, in both chambers. The measure approved Tuesday takes the simplest approach.

Bill To Increase Minimum Smoking Age Dies In House

Jan 30, 2018

House Republicans effectively killed legislation Tuesday that would have raised Indiana’s minimum smoking age to 21 years old.

The Indiana Senate approved legislation Tuesday to require doctors and clinics to send more information to the state about women who receive abortions.

One provision of the bill details abortion complications that must be reported. That includes conditions ranging from blood clots and cardiac arrest to depression and anxiety.

New Police Mental Health Awareness Law Celebrated

Jan 30, 2018

A Lebanon police officer will join U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday.

Taylor Nielsen helped inspire a new law that grows mental health resources for officers. After responding to a 2016 murder of a mother and her young son, Nielsen displayed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“And then I was diagnosed with PTSD in July and that following October is when I attempted to take my own life,” says Nielsen.

House School Discipline Bill Met With Concerns

Jan 30, 2018

Some educators and teachers are pushing for changes in school discipline practices, but a bill considered in the House Education Committee Tuesday was not received well by all members.

HB 1421 aims to reduce things like expulsion or suspension in all Hoosier schools. Supporters of the legislation, like Darreyel Laster, from pilotED Schools, says positive discipline is more effective, and should be used everywhere.

Indiana will remain one of five states without a hate crimes law after the Senate Republican caucus opted not to take a vote on the bill this session.

The hate crimes bill would have allowed a judge to impose harsher penalties if the crime was committed in part because of a victim’s characteristics. One of those characteristics was gender identity – which bill author Sen. Sue Glick (R-LaGrange) says was a significant sticking point.

So-called “serious” sex offenders would be allowed to attend church services on school property under legislation approved by a Senate panel Tuesday.

Serious sex offenders – those who committed crimes involving children – are currently barred from schools. But an Indiana Court of Appeals ruling says they’re entitled to attend worship services – even if the church is on school grounds.

Funding to help schools in central Indiana develop substance abuse prevention programs is available. The new grant initiative called Prevention Matters from the Fairbanks Foundation aims to connect Marion County students with opportunities for education.

High school aged students who receive proven prevention education are more than 60 percent less likely to use hard drugs like heroin or cocaine.

Indiana Senate Republicans rebuffed Democrats’ attempt Monday to create an independent redistricting commission that would draw the state’s legislative district lines.

An amendment offered by Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) would have established that commission to largely take over the duties currently performed by lawmakers.

Bullying, Human Trafficking Legislation Move Forward

Jan 29, 2018

Student safety was a major focus of the House Education committee Monday, and lawmakers approved a set of bills centered around bullying and human trafficking.

Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) says human trafficking is a problem, but not all teachers know the signs to identify students who might be at risk.

“I am in my 24th year of education. And I had not really understood or known or been educated about human trafficking until I actually came up here,” McNamara says.

House Committee Votes To Increase Smoking Age To 21

Jan 29, 2018

Hoosiers age 18 to 20 would no longer be able to buy cigarettes under legislation unanimously approved by the House Public Health Committee Monday.

There’s a common argument made against the bill to raise the minimum smoking age to 21: that those old enough to serve in the military shouldn’t be barred from smoking.

Former Army National Guard Deputy Surgeon General David Wilmot dismisses that argument.

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