INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana House on Monday completed its work on House-sponsored legislation and will begin hearing Senate-approved measures starting next week.
Tuesday is the deadline for Senate-sponsored proposals to win approval in that chamber. The Senate will begin considering House-approved measures Monday.
Several proposals sponsored by Northwest Indiana lawmakers were approved by the House and Senate on Monday, including:
School safety — Senate Bill 1, co-sponsored by state Sens. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, and Jim Arnold, D-LaPorte, provides up to $15 million in matching grants for schools to hire additional police officers to work as school resource officers.
Gangs — Senate Bill 352, co-sponsored by state Sens. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, and Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek, requires the Indiana Department of Education to develop gang activity awareness education programs.
Elections — Senate Bill 519, sponsored by state Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake, makes numerous changes to state election law including clarifying candidate residency requirements and granting permission to share the state's voter list with federal immigration authorities.
School buses — Senate Bill 421, sponsored by Rogers, requires school bus drivers to instruct riders once a semester on how to use seat belts if the bus is equipped with them and conduct a bus evacuation drill.
Drug-free commission — House Bill 1575, sponsored by state Rep. Vernon Smith, D-Gary, permits legislator members of the Commission for a Drug-Free Indiana to vote on commission decisions.
Energy development — Senate Bill 529, sponsored by state Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, moves oversight of Indiana's energy strategy to the governor's office and empowers the lieutenant governor to develop defense-related industries.