Jan. 31 Bill tracker

Rape penalty

Bill number: SB 94

Author: Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield

Summary: A rape charge otherwise barred by the current five-year statute of limitations may be brought to prosecution if the state discovers DNA evidence to charge the offender or if a person confesses to the crime. Bill stems from Jenny Wendt Ewing, a Greenfield native who was raped in 2005 but could not press charges when her assailant confessed in 2014 because the current statute of limitations is five years.

Status: Approved by the Senate, the bill now heads to the House for consideration

This week: The bill was approved by the Senate Tuesday in third and final reading, 49-1.

Rep. Bob Cherry, R-Greenfield, was added as a House sponsor.

Property or casualty insurance

Bill number: SB 125

Author: Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield

Summary: Prohibits insurance companies from denying payment on a claim or refusing to issue a new policy with respect to an innocent coinsured member. Stems from incidents in which one spouse maliciously damages property during divorce or separation.

Status: Assigned to a Senate committee on insurance and financial institutions.

This week: Discussion was held in the Senate committee; no action.

Disguised firearms

Bill number: SB 224

Author: Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield

Summary: Makes it a Class C infraction to remove a safety indicator and openly carry a toy or imitation firearm in public. Makes it a Class A misdemeanor to possess a firearm modified to resemble a toy firearm, and makes it a Level 6 felony if the person possessed the modified firearm while committing a crime.

Status: Assigned to a Senate committee on corrections and criminal law.

This week: No action; Crider says the bill is dead because it will not be heard in committee.

Voluntary veterans employment policy

Bill number: SB 298

Authors: Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield, Sen. Amanda Banks, R-Columbia City, and Sen. James Arnold, D-LaPorte

Summary: Provides a voluntary veterans’ preference policy for hiring, promoting or retaining a veteran in private employment.

Status: Approved by the Senate, the bill now heads to the House for consideration.

This week: The Senate approved the bill unanimously on final reading Friday.

Electric suppliers’ service areas

Bill number: SB 309

Author: Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield

Summary: Prohibits a city that owns an electric utility from petitioning to a state agency to acquire a new service area during an annexation.

Status: Assigned to a Senate committee on utilities.

This week: No action.

Tax increment financing

Bill number: HB 1018

Author: Rep. Bob Cherry, R-Greenfield

Summary: Requires Tax Increment Finance districts established after June 30, 2015, to be funded differently, so more property tax money goes to units of government.

Status: Assigned to the House committee on ways and means.

This week: No action.

Sales tax on ethanol

Bill number: HB 1126

Author: Rep. Bob Cherry, R-Greenfield

Summary: Excludes ethanol from gasoline use tax.

Status: Assigned to the House committee on ways and means.

This week: No action.

Annexation

Bill number: HB 1268

Author: Rep. Bob Cherry, R-Greenfield, is a co-author, alongside Reps. Sharon Negele, Timothy Wesco and Cherrish Pryor.

Summary: Places additional notification requirements on cities that are annexing land and eases the remonstrance process for property owners.

This week: No action.

Sunday alcohol sales

Bill number: HB 1026

Author: Rep. Sean Eberhart, R-Shelbyville

Summary: Legalizes the sale of alcoholic beverages for carryout on Sundays for those who hold an alcoholic beverage permit. Eberhart co-authored HB 1624, which would allow Sunday alcohol sales with time restrictions.

Status: Assigned to a House committee on public policy.

This week: No action.

Ethics

Bill number: HB 1002

Author: Rep. Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis

Summary: Requires Indiana lawmakers to file more financial disclosures and prohibits elected officials from using state resources for political purposes. Stems from recent ethical concerns regarding former state Rep. Eric Turner and former Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett.

Status: Assigned to a House committee on government and regulatory reform.

This week: No action.

Redistricting

Bill number: HB 1003

Author: Rep. Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis

Summary: Creates a committee to study how legislators draw district lines and whether the method should be changed. This could affect which geographic areas state and federal lawmakers represent; a redistricting commission could also be established.

Status: Assigned to a House committee on rules and legislative procedures.

This week: No action.

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Noelle Steele is editor of the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3232 or nsteele@greenfieldreporter.com.