July 1 marked the start of Indiana’s new fiscal year, when many of the laws passed by the Indiana General Assembly during the 2016 session take effect.
My colleagues and I addressed a wide variety of issues during the last legislative session. From keeping children safe in school and under the care of a babysitter, to ensuring veterans receive the help they deserve once they return home from military service, I believe these new laws will have a positive impact on Hoosiers throughout the state.
Here are some of the new laws passed by the Indiana General Assembly that are now in effect:
- I authored Senate Enrolled Act 11, known as the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. It allows individuals with disabilities to establish tax-free savings accounts without placing benefits they receive at risk.
- Eligibility for the Military Family Relief Fund (MFRF) was expanded to include all Indiana veterans who served during a national conflict or war with Senate Enrolled Act 295. The bill also creates a place on state income tax forms to enable a taxpayer to donate all or part of their refund to the MFRF if they wish to do so.
- Senate Enrolled Act 145, which I authored, establishes a proper military burial process for remains of deceased veterans who have no surviving family members.
- House Enrolled Act 1005 requires all Indiana schools to check with the Indiana Department of Child Services to see if there are substantiated reports of child abuse or neglect against any employee or contractor.
- I also co-authored Senate Enrolled Act 357, known as Kirk’s Law, which creates a child-abuse registry similar to the sex- offender registry. This gives families another resource to ensure they are choosing trustworthy individuals to care for their children.
- Senate Enrolled Act 80 allows a pharmacist to deny ephedrine or pseudoephedrine sales to a customer if the pharmacist believes the product will be used to make meth. This will help curb the increasing number of meth labs in Indiana without affecting law-abiding citizens’ ability to purchase the cold medicines they need.
- House Enrolled Act 1087 promotes fairness, transparency and reliability in BMV services by simplifying the Indiana Code concerning BMV activities, streamlining registrations and driver’s licenses and reducing the complexity of the BMV’s fee structure.
To view a summary of all laws passed during the 2016 legislative session, visit my website at www.IndianaSenateRepublicans.com/Houchin and click “Publications” on the right side of the webpage.