Indiana Legislature

Courtesy of the Indiana General Assembly

Legislation headed to the Indiana House would allow 12-year-olds to be sent to the Department of Correction for crimes that include attempted robbery.

That bill cleared the Senate as the 2020 session’s first half finished.

The bill expands the list of crimes that could send a delinquent child to the Department of Correction and lowers the age of those children to as young as 12. It also potentially puts children in DOC longer, up to age 22 (while they’re currently released at 18).

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Legislation aimed at Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears’s decision not to prosecute simple marijuana possession won’t advance this session.

The bill didn’t make it past the Senate floor.

The legislation said if a local prosecutor makes a policy decision not to prosecute certain crimes, the Indiana Attorney General could appoint a special prosecutor to do so and charge the county to pay for it. It garnered almost no support from those who testified on it, though the committee passed it.

FILE PHOTO: Brandon Smith/IPB News

Senate Republicans gutted a bill Monday that would have required employers to reasonably accommodate pregnant employees’ needs.

The legislation is a priority of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

A bill that aims to align Indiana’s workforce policies from preschool all the way to career preparation passed through the House on Monday. It would add more members to the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet.

The bill would increase the minimum membership of the cabinet from 23 to 32 people by adding representatives from schools, colleges, state political caucuses and business organizations. It also requires the governor to appoint a representative from a technology company to the cabinet.   

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Legislation advancing in the Senate would require teachers who carry guns in school to undergo training, including specialized weapons training and behavioral assessments.

Teachers can currently carry guns in schools – if a school board approves – without any training.

The bill would require educators and staff who carry guns in school to complete 40 hours of training in a variety of areas, including emergency medical preparation, legal ramifications, and psychological assessment.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The Senate Corrections Committee passes two controversial bills. Speed cameras legislation moves forward. And the state’s longest-serving legislator announces this session will be his last.

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

Bill Targets Marion County Prosecutor

Hands-Free Driving Law, With $500 Fine, Passes House

Jan 30, 2020
Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Hoosiers could be fined up to $500 for using their cell phones while driving – unless hands-free – under a bill approved by the House.

Indiana would become the 22nd state to pass a hands-free driving law.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

A Senate committee easily approved legislation Wednesday that requires medical facilities to develop policies for burying and cremating fetal remains.

The bill – which follows up on a 2016 anti-abortion law – is the only abortion-related measure advancing this session.

Pregnant Worker Protection Bill Passes Committee

Jan 27, 2020
Courtesy Indiana General Assembly

A bill that would require businesses to provide “reasonable accommodations” for pregnant workers passed through committee Monday. After hours of arguments, the bill now moves to the full Senate.  

Brandon Smith/IPB News

It will be significantly harder to get married under age 18 in Indiana if a bill approved by a House committee Monday becomes law.

More than 500 Hoosier minors have gotten married in the last five years, the vast majority of them girls.

Under current law, anyone under age 18 must have parental consent. And minors as young as 15 can get married in Indiana, if the girl is pregnant.

Donna Pollard was one such girl. She says the system makes it very hard for child brides like herself to escape often abusive spouses.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Legislation reached the governor’s desk for the first time this session. Hands-free driving easily cleared committee. And a controversial coal bill moved forward.

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

Surplus Spending To Governor

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Legislation to spend nearly $300 million in excess budget surplus dollars on higher education building projects is headed to the governor’s desk.

The Senate approved the measure 38 to 8 Thursday.

Democrats have sharply criticized the bill. Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) argues it’s about priorities.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

A state House bill would require utilities to get the state’s permission before shutting down a coal plant — at least until Indiana can develop a statewide energy plan. 

Brandon Smith/IPB News

A bill going to the Senate floor would create a program for high schoolers to try out careers while performing community service, called the Indiana Youth Service Program. 

The program would last for 10 weeks during the summer between a high school student’s junior and senior years. Public or private high school students could apply. A pilot group of students would be selected by a panel based on their curiosity, work ethic, and desire to serve others.

Indiana Lawmakers Consider Requiring Youth Bicycle Helmets

Jan 22, 2020
David Richard/AP Images for Elves and More

Safety advocates are pushing for an Indiana law requiring all youths to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, skateboard or skates on public property.

A bill discussed Tuesday by the Indiana House public safety committee would give police officers the option to issue tickets with maximum $25 fines to violators under age 18 or impound the riding device until the child is shown to have a proper helmet.