2014 Indiana General Assembly

How did the Indiana legislative session affect you?

2014-03-15T19:30:00Z 2014-03-15T20:19:40Z How did the Indiana legislative session affect you?Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
March 15, 2014 7:30 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | For better or worse, there's likely something affecting every Hoosier in at least one of the 224 legislative proposals the Republican-controlled Indiana General Assembly has sent Republican Gov. Mike Pence for his signature or veto.

Here's a look at how some of them might impact your life.

If you:

Drive on highways — Expect more road construction starting this summer. Lawmakers voted to spend up to $400 million in previously set aside funds to add lanes to major state roads, likely including Interstate 65 between Merrillville and Lowell. (House Enrolled Act 1002)

Own a business — You'll be getting a tax cut. The Legislature agreed to reduce the corporate income tax rate from 6.5 percent next year to 4.9 percent by 2021. Counties and cities also are getting new options for abating business taxes and eliminating the business personal property tax for some or all companies. (Senate Enrolled Act 1)

Are a criminal — Prison terms for the most serious crimes are going up July 1, and day-for-day credit time is being replaced by one day credit for three days good behavior. Low-level felons mostly will serve time in county jails or community corrections programs under the state's new criminal code. (House Enrolled Act 1006)

Have a 4-year-old — State-funded preschool may be available. Pence is expected to approve a plan creating a preschool voucher program to pay for at least 1,000 low-income children in five to-be-determined counties to attend high-quality preschool classes. (House Enrolled Act 1004)

Are a teacher — Good luck figuring out what you should teach. Indiana is replacing the Common Core education standards it has used since 2010 with new state-created standards July 1 that are focused on preserving the state's sovereignty and which must be "the highest standards in the United States." (Senate Enrolled Act 91)

Use drugs while on welfare — You can keep it up without fear of losing your benefit. Late Thursday night, the Senate rejected a House-approved plan to require Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients be subject to drug testing as a condition of receiving benefits. (House Bill 1351)

Run a day care — You'll have to meet new standards for safety, staff ratio, play time, nutritious snacks and employee training to continue receiving federal Child Care and Development Fund voucher payments. (House Enrolled Act 1036)

Bring your gun everywhere — You can have it on school property. Licensed handgun carriers can possess guns in school parking lots, provided they are kept out-of-sight in a locked vehicle. Previously it was a felony to have a gun on school property. Guns still can't be brought inside school buildings. (Senate Enrolled Act 229)

Play high school sports — You'll have to sit out for at least 24 hours if you suffer a suspected concussion. (Senate Enrolled Act 222)

Are considering adoption — The state will encourage you with a tax credit. In addition to the federal adoption tax credit, Indiana will kick in up to $1,000 to cover adoption expenses starting in 2015. (House Enrolled Act 1222)

Like recycling — Indiana likes it, too. Lawmakers set a state goal of recycling 50 percent of all municipal waste and will work over the next few years to develop an aggressive plan for hitting that ambitious target. (House Enrolled Act 1183)

Own rental properties — You might be able to avoid municipal registration and inspection requirements, if you hire an independent inspector to check out your properties and meet other conditions. (House Enrolled Act 1403)

Earn the minimum wage — Sorry, no raise for you. The House and Senate rejected multiple attempts by Democrats to boost the state's minimum wage above the federal rate of $7.25 per hour.

Work for the government — The state-managed annuity you can purchase upon retirement will not be privatized until at least 2017, though interest rates will fall to more closely match current market rates. (House Enrolled Act 1075)

Want to learn CPR — Go back to high school. Every public and private high school must teach students cardiopulmonary resuscitation and how to use an automated external defibrillator as part of its health curriculum. (House Enrolled Act 1290)

Live in a gated community — Don't answer your door around Election Day. Politicians and their volunteers no longer can be blocked from entering gated communities or other neighborhoods with soliciting restrictions while campaigning (House Enrolled Act 1079)

Drive a church bus — Prepare to be inspected. Indiana State Police are mandated to establish a program for inspecting private buses, such as church buses, for safety violations as a condition of registering the bus with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. (Senate Enrolled Act 238)

Win an Olympic medal — Congratulations, you don't have to pay state income tax on the value of the medal or any prize money awarded by the U.S. Olympic Committee. (Senate Enrolled Act 161).

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