A rundown of Indiana's new laws now in effect

Most of the legislation passed in the 2019 General Assembly goes into effect July 1, including many bills News 18 has been following.

Posted: Jul 1, 2019 6:58 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) — Most of the legislation passed in the 2019 General Assembly goes into effect July 1, including many bills News 18 has been following. Here's the changes you need to know:

School Bus Stop Arm

The school bus stop arm bill will create stronger punishments for people who violate school bus stop arms.

News 18 has been covering the process of this bill since December of last year. That's when State Senator Randy Head first talked about his plans to sponsor the bill.

The new law comes after three siblings were killed last October in Fulton County. The children were crossing a two-lane road to board a school bus. The bus had stopped and lowered its stop arm. All three were struck by a pickup truck. Another child was also hit by the truck and survived.

Under the new law, if someone is injured or killed, the crime will be a level six felony. Before, it was a Class A misdemeanor for anyone who recklessly passes a school bus when its stop arm is extended if the action results in injury.

The new law also allows judges to suspend a driver's license for 90 days for passing a school bus with its stop arm out.

Animal Cruelty

Another bill that's gotten a lot of the state chatting is Senate Bill 474, the animal abuse cruelty bill.

Before July 1, a person convicted of animal cruelty could go right back to any shelter or pet store and get a cat or dog as soon as they get out of jail.

This bill takes away the privilege of domestic pet ownership from convicted felons while they are on probation or parole. As News 18 previously reported, it was authored by Lafayette State Senator Ron Alting, and he quickly gained support. 

The bill passed unanimously from both the Indiana House of Representatives and the Indiana Senate.

Hate Crimes

Beginning Monday, Indiana has a hate crimes law.

The Hoosier state was one of five state without one before this law. The law will allow judges to impose longer sentences for crimes motivated by bias.

That includes mentions of color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion and sexual orientation. However, this bill does not explicitly cover age, sex or gender identity.

Back in April, Gov. Holcomb told the senate he would sign it as soon as it reached his desk.

Revenge Porn

Monday the revenge porn law will take effect. It bans people from sharing intimate pictures of another person without their consent.

The law also allows the victim of such "non-consensual pornography" to collect damages up to $10,000.

High School Naturalization Test

Indiana high schools will have to administer the US naturalization test, as part of a mandatory government course that's given to immigrants hoping to become US citizens.

An initial plan had proposed that students had to pass the test to earn a high school diploma, but that plan was scrapped

Those against the act criticize placing an additional mandate on schools in Indiana. Senators who supported the act argue the test will make sure Indiana students get the civics knowledge they need.

Hemp Production Bill

A bill legalizing the production of hemp in the state of Indiana will go into effect Monday. 

Not everyone can grow a patch of hemp in their backyard. Anyone who grows hemp without a license will be growing illegal marijuana under the eyes of the law.

All state senators and representatives from the WLFI viewing area voted in favor of this bill. The bill was authored by State Senator Randy Head from District 18. The law will go into effect in July 2019.

Sports Betting

Sports betting is now legal in Indiana and construction of two new casinos will be allowed in the state under a bill. 

Sports betting is only allowed at casino sites, as some argued it would easily allow illegal wagering by minors. Senate sponsors pushed to allow sports wagering through smartphones, arguing that doing otherwise would be an unreasonable limit.

The Indianapolis-based NCAA rescinded its policy prohibiting championship events from being held in states that have legalized sports gambling. 

Indiana’s law will allow wagering on collegiate sports, but not on high school or youth sporting events.

Wrongfully Incarcerated Collection

Another new law includes allowing people who are wrongfully incarcerated be eligible to receive $50,000 for each year behind bars once a conviction is vacated due to innocence.

For an entire list of the bills, click here. 

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749532

Reported Deaths: 13746
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030911775
Lake554681006
Allen41636691
St. Joseph36947564
Hamilton36527416
Elkhart29363459
Tippecanoe22862225
Vanderburgh22542400
Porter19331325
Johnson18405388
Hendricks17588317
Clark13200193
Madison13120344
Vigo12604253
LaPorte12394221
Monroe12163175
Delaware10947198
Howard10263225
Kosciusko9614119
Hancock8549144
Bartholomew8162157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7772180
Grant7229179
Wayne7155201
Boone6917103
Morgan6736141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6206116
Cass5991108
Henry5894108
Dearborn588978
Noble580186
Jackson508674
Shelby500897
Lawrence4732121
Gibson444093
Harrison440773
Clinton440055
DeKalb438785
Montgomery434690
Whitley406042
Huntington402281
Steuben399259
Miami392768
Jasper386954
Knox375790
Putnam372160
Wabash360583
Ripley346570
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White330253
Daviess3031100
Wells295181
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284864
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269955
Clay265848
Washington244934
Randolph244683
Jennings235149
Spencer234231
Starke227558
Fountain218647
Sullivan213943
Owen211058
Fulton201542
Jay200932
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175726
Vermillion173644
Franklin170235
Tipton165846
Parke149016
Pike138034
Blackford136132
Pulaski120247
Newton112736
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton101014
Martin91515
Warren83615
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
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