NEW LAWS GOING INTO EFFECT IN INDIANA TODAY- JULY 1ST, 2021
(sampling - there are actually almost 100)
In the wake of protests turned riots around the state last summer, lawmakers tried to encourage police to protect monuments and increase penalties for rioting.
Starting July 1, rioting will be a Level 6 felony if it results in serious bodily injury or property damage between $750 and $50,000, and it will be a Level 5 felony if it results in catastrophic injury, death or property damage of at least $50,000.
Senate Bill 187 also allows the state to withhold discretionary grant funding from local governments that do not protect public monuments from destruction.
Due to the passage of a massive bipartisan police bill, officers will soon be limited to using chokeholds only in circumstances where deadly force is allowed, such if the person poses a threat of serious bodily injury to another person and the officer has given a warning.
Once implemented, House Bill 1006 also will strengthen the state law enforcement board's ability to decertify an officer for misconduct, require an officer to be criminally punished for turning off their body camera to hide a crime and require agencies to request an officer’s employment record from the officer’s previous agency when hiring.
Free handgun licenses
Starting July 1, Hoosiers applying for a lifetime license to carry a handgun no longer have to pay the $125 fee, due to a line in the state's two-year budget that passed during the 2021 legislative session.
Usually, some of that money goes toward local police training, so lawmakers back filled the financial loss for local communities in the budget.
Those who already purchased a permit will not get their money back.
At the start of the legislative session, Gov. Eric Holcomb pushed for legislation that would require employers to provide accommodations for their pregnant workers. That never made it anywhere.
But what did pass and what will go into effect in July is a bill that allows workers to ask for those accommodations and for employers to respond in a timely fashion. Businesses do not have to grant those requests.
Indiana lawmakers passed a bill during session that will make it easier for those who get their license suspended due to economic reasons back on the road legally. That includes people who had theirs suspended for not having car insurance, failing to pay fines or failing to appear in court.
Under House Bill 1199, Hoosiers will be able to get their licenses reinstated if the provide proof of future financial responsibility.
The bill does not affect people who have had their licenses suspended due to moving violations, such as driving while intoxicated or reckless driving.
The proposal was part of Holcomb's 2021 legislative agenda.
Starting July 1, abortion clinics will have to provide information in writing about a so-called abortion "reversal" drug that some groups say is based on shaky science.
Some anti-abortion groups say progesterone can reverse medically-induced abortions, as long as a mother has only taken one of the two required abortion pills.
Due to House Bill 1577, parents will also soon have to take an additional step when they write to consent to their minor receiving an abortion: That consent would need to get notarized.
Unemployment insurance fraud
Indiana lawmakers tried to crack down on unemployment fraud during the 2021 legislative session.
Under House Bill 1152, Hoosiers will soon be penalized for intentionally putting incorrect information on their unemployment applications, even if they never received a payment from the state.
The bill was touted as a clarification of employment rules, but opponents worried it would lead to people being punished who make honest mistakes.
One marijuana reform bill made it across the finish line this legislative session: Senate Bill 201.
That bill provides a defense to prosecution for a person who operates a vehicle with marijuana in their blood, under a narrow set of conditions.
If a person did not cause an accident, was not intoxicated and the substance was identified through a chemical test, he or she could soon be off the hook for any consequences.
Safe haven expansion
Lawmakers expanded the state's safe haven law that allows adults to give up an infant without any fear of prosecution.
Starting in July, an adult can call 911 and emergency medical services will come retrieve the infant, as long as it's less than 30 days old. The parent can stay anonymous.
Already there are baby boxes at limited places throughout the state where parents can surrender their infants.
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