INDIANAPOLIS — State lawmakers have spent the past two months debating about 1,000 bills proposed by legislators across the state.

They’re charged with passing a two-year state budget, finding funding for preschool programs and money for road improve projects for the state’s interstates and highways.

This week marked the halfway point of this year’s meeting of the Indiana General Assembly, when bills have passed the first set of hurdles they face on their way to becoming law.

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Now, proposals that were approved in the House move to the Senate and vice versa, where they’ll face scrutiny by lawmakers in the opposite chamber.

Rep. Robert Cherry, R-Greenfield, Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield, Rep. Sean Eberhart, R-Shelbyville, and Rep. Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, who represent Hancock County, have proposed about 45 bills among them since the start of the session.

The topics and issues they address differ widely, from alcohol sales on Sunday to insurance.

Identifying veterans, surviving spouses

Bill number: Senate Bill 382

Author: Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield

Proposal: Originally, the bill waived the driver’s license and identification card renewal fee for veterans who agreed to include their military status on their ID. The bill was penned in hopes of tracking veterans more easily so federal agencies could notify them of benefits they’re owed. The bill provided the same benefit for surviving spouses’ IDs following the veteran’s death. After lawmakers learned waiving those fees would cost an estimated $918,000 in state revenue loss, the bill was amended and language to waive those fees was deleted.

Status: Pending — the bill passed the Senate 47-2 and was sent to the House, where it’s been referred to the roads and transportation committee for consideration. Cherry is sponsoring the proposal in his chamber.

Allowing Sunday alcohol sales

Bill number: House Bill 1433

Author: Rep. Sean Eberhart, R-Shelbyville

Proposal: The legislation allows for Sunday carry-out sales of alcohol. For years, lawmakers have lobbied for Sunday alcohol sales; a bill to legalize Sunday sales is proposed annually, but the proposal has yet to get the votes needed to become law.

Status: Dead — the bill was assigned to the House committee on public policy but didn’t move forward. A similar bill, Senate Bill 83, authored by Sen. Phillip Boots, R-Crawfordsville, also didn’t get the approval needed to move forward.

Protecting innocent policy holders

Bill number: Senate Bill 233

Author: Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield

Proposal: The bill requires insurance companies to cover intentional property damage (like a purposely set house fire) if the co-policy holder was not involved in the incident. The bill aims to protect policy holders whose property is purposely damaged in a domestic dispute. Crider has penned the bill every year since first getting elected in 2012. The bill requires the innocent policy holder whose claim is paid to cooperate with any related police investigations and prosecution.

Status: Pending — the bill passed the full Senate 48-0 and was sent to the House, where it’s been referred to the insurance committee for consideration.

Abolishing the superintendent of public instruction office

Bill number: House Bill 1005

Author: Rep. Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis

Proposal: The bill abolishes the state superintendent of public instruction office, which is currently an elected position, effective in 2021, after current superintendent Jennifer McCormick’s first term ends. Instead, the governor would appoint a secretary of education. The bill follows four years of contention between Republican state leaders and former Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, a Democrat.

Status: Pending — the bill passed the House 68-29 and was sent to the Senate, where it’s been assigned to the rules and legislative procedure committee for consideration.

Increasing penalties for exploiting vulnerable adults

Bill number: Senate Bill 234

Author: Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield

Proposal: The legislation increases the penalties for exploiting a dependent or an endangered adult. For example, a caregiver who steals $10,000 or less from the adult in their care would face a Level 6 felony rather than a Class A Misdemeanor, the penalty allowed by current Indiana law. A caregiver who takes $150,000 or more would face a Level 3 felony, increased from a Level 6.

Status: Dead — the bill was assigned to Senate corrections and criminal law committee; it didn’t advance out of that committee to the full Senate for a vote.

Designating the state insect

Bill number: House Bill 1034

Author: Rep. Robert Cherry, R-Greenfield

Proposal: The bill would make the Say’s Firefly, named for Indiana entomologist Thomas Say, who first described the firefly, the official state insect. Cherry penned the bill for a group of elementary students in West Lafayette who petitioned the state to make the change as part of a class project.

Status: Dead — The legislation was assigned to the House natural resources committee; it didn’t advance out of that committee to the full Senate for a vote.

Adjusting advertising signs

Bill number: House Bill 1101

Author: Rep. Robert Cherry, R-Greenfield

Proposal: The legislation allows owners of billboards and advertising signs to relocate or readjust a sign’s height if visibility is obstructed. Should the readjusted height or location violate a county’s zoning ordinance, the county or municipality must grant a special exception.

Status: The bill passed the House 68 to 22 and was sent to the Senate, where it’s been assigned to the local government committee for consideration.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.