Indiana Legislative Session Coming to a Close

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YLEH INDIANA

The Indiana General Assembly is in its final moments of the 2016 legislative session.

Thursday is the last day for the House and Senate to receive Conference Committee reports.

Both the Indiana House and Senate must adjourn by Monday, March 14.

Several bills are being currently considered by state lawmakers.

Here’s a look at some of the bills being discussed in the General Assembly this week and how they affect you:

HB 1337 – Abortion

How it affects you:

Under this bill, women must be given the opportunity to view fetal ultrasound images and hear the heartbeat at least 18 hours before the abortion is performed.

The bill states a woman can’t get an abortion because of the baby’s gender, ethnicity or a diagnosed developmental disorder such as Down syndrome.

The bill requires pregnant women to obtain informed consent for an abortion in a private setting.

The bill also regulates how fetal remains are handled.

Status:

The bill passed the Senate and House, and is headed to Gov. Mike Pence for consideration.

SB 333 – Road Funding and Regional Cities Initiative Funding

How it affects you:

The specifics of this bill may change, but the latest version provides for the transfer of the state’s excess reserves to the local road and bridge matching grant fund and the state highway fund.

It also appropriates $42 million to the Regional Cities Development Fund for the purpose of funding a third grant under the regional cities initiative.

If this bill passes, it would guarantee funding for southwestern Indiana under the initiative.

If it does not pass, funding would only be present for two grants and the winners of the initiative were not ordered or ranked.

So it’s unclear exactly how failure for the bill would affect the area’s Regional Cities grant.

Status:

The final version of the bill is being negotiated by the House and Senate Conference Committees. A final vote is expected Thursday.

HB 1395 – ISTEP

How it affects you:

The bill would extend the ISTEP Program and have it expire July 1, 2017.

Under the bill, student scores must be reported to the State Board of Education no later than July 1 of the year the test was given.

The Board of Education must also provide sample essay responses from former students during the ISTEP test.

The bill would establish a panel to look at alternatives to the ISTEP and to recommend replacements for the test.

Status:

The final version of the bill is being negotiated by the House and Senate Conference Committee.

HB 1019 – Police Body Cameras

How it affects you:

The bill would regulate public access to police recordings such as an officer’s body camera footage.

As it stands now, anyone can request a copy of video and the police agency has the right to refuse.

But if a person can appeal to a judge who has 30 days to hear the case, law enforcement would have to prove why it should not be released.

Status:

The Senate approved the final bill Thursday morning after the House approved it Wednesday.

It’s headed to Gov. Pence’s desk.

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