Lawmakers adjourn for 2018 session

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INDIANAPOLIS — Of the more than 800 bills filed during the start of this year’s legislative session, more than 100 have been sent to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

Legislators wrapped up this year’s legislative session Wednesday, passing on measures they hope the governor will approve. He has seven days to veto a bill, and any bills not signed automatically become law.

Local lawmakers penned more than a dozen proposals this legislative session. Here’s a look at where those proposals stand.

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House Bill 1358 and Senate Bill 265

Authors: Rep. Bob Cherry, Sen. Mike Crider

Status: Passed, awaiting the governor’s signature

Bill details: Originally, the bill would have provided property tax deductions to farmers whose crops located near an intersection don’t exceed 3 feet. Senate Bill 265 and House Bill 1358 were inspired by a local resident’s request.

Farmer Ronnie Mohr asked Crider and Cherry to carry the legislation after his brother, Joe Mohr, was involved in a fatal accident at a Hancock County intersection. Mohr told investigators he couldn’t see the truck he struck because high corn limited his visibility. While the original bill did not garner the support needed to become law, lawmakers have agreed to study the issue over the summer.

Senate Bill 68

Authors: Sen. Mike Crider, Sen. Travis Holdman, Sen. Greg Walker.

Status: Dead

Bill details: The bill would have established the internet crimes investigation fund. The Indiana State Police department would have overseen the fund, reserving up to half the money to be given to county, city and town law enforcement agencies that investigate Internet crimes against children. The money could have been used to purchase equipment, train officers or cover expenses accrued by investigating those crimes. The bill was approved by the Senate but did not move forward when passed over to the House.

Senate Bill 264

Authors: Sen. Mike Crider, Sen. Randall Head

Status: Passed, awaiting the governor’s signature

Bill details: The bill begins to address the backlog of untested rape kits in Indiana. The legislation requires the Indiana Statewide Sexual Assault Response Team to submit a report to the Legislative Council by Dec. 1 regarding the feasibility of creating a kit-tracking and testing database. The report must also consider sources of funding.

The bill comes after last year’s legislative session, when Crider authored a resolution that urged the Indiana State Police to conduct an audit of all untested sexual assault examination kits in Indiana and report the findings and recommendations to the lawmakers. That audit found 2,560 untested kits in Indiana for which the reason the kits remained untested was not clear.

Senate Bill 152

Authors: Sen. Michael Crider, Sen. Ron Alting

Status: Dead

Bill details: Under current law, only the families of Indiana State Police officers and local police officers killed in the line of duty are provided with health coverage. The bill, which passed the Senate but did not move forward in the House, would have extended that benefit to full-time firefighters, police officers, sheriffs and sheriff’s deputies employed by the state or local governments, universities and schools, airports and hospitals.

Senate Bill 152 would have required the employer of any public safety officer who dies in the line of duty after June 30 to offer to pay for health coverage for their surviving spouse and children, including step- and adopted children.

Senate Bill 262

Authors: Sen. Mike Crider, Sen. Michael Delph

Status: Approved, awaiting the governor’s approval

Bill details: The bill ensures veterans who qualify for a disabled veteran Indiana license plate can make a one-time request for a permanent parking placard that indicate they can park in handicapped parking spaces. The bill eliminates the need for them to make the request annually and allows veterans to use them in any vehicle.

House Bill 1017

Authors: Rep. Doug Gutwein, co-authors include Rep. Bob Cherry

Status: Signed into law on March 8

Bill details: The bill adds spinal muscular atrophy and severe combined immunodeficiency — both rare genetic disorders that are potentially fatal — to the list of disorders newborns are screened for in Indiana hospitals.

House Bill 1001

Author: Rep. Sally Siegrist, co-authors include Rep. Bob Cherry

Status: Passed, awaiting the governor’s signature

Bill details: The bills aims to close a funding gap for K-12 education. Lawmakers say more students enrolled in Indiana public schools than expected, creating a more than $20 million funding shortfall. The bill transfers $25 million to close that gap and reserves funding for next year.

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Interested in the status of other bills passed by Hancock County representatives? Visit in.gov/legislative to learn more.

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Have an issue you want your representative to study before next year’s legislative session? Contact him.

Sen. Mike Crider

The Republican represents all of Hancock County.

He can be reached at 317-232-9400 or 800-382-9467. Email him at [email protected].

Rep. Robert Cherry

The Republican represents the 53rd District, which includes most of Hancock County.

He can be reached at 800-382-9841. Email him at [email protected].

Rep. Brian Bosma

The Republican represents the 88th District, which includes parts of Vernon, Center and Buck Creek townships. He can be reached at 800-382-9841 or 317-232-9677. Email him at [email protected].

Rep. Sean Eberhart

The Republican represents the 57th District, which includes part of Sugar Creek Township.

He can be reached at 800-382-9811 or 317-232-9793. Email him at [email protected].

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