INDIANAPOLIS | Republican Gov. Mike Pence has signed 25 proposals approved by the General Assembly into law over the past two weeks, including six measures primarily sponsored by Northwest Indiana legislators.
- House Enrolled Act 1261, allowing LaPorte County to skip its provisional spring property tax bill and send only a full-year property tax bill in the fall. Most LaPorte County property owners recently paid up to six prior-year tax bills due to delays caused by an assessment dispute.
The new law was sponsored by state Reps. Tom Dermody, R-LaPorte, and Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, and state Sens. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso; Jim Arnold, D-LaPorte; and Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes.
- House Enrolled Act 1256, sponsored by Dermody, Arnold and state Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond, increasing the fines and penalties for smuggling a cellphone or unauthorized weapon into a state prison or juvenile facility.
- House Enrolled Act 1130, empowering a police officer to detain and take a gravely disabled person with a mental illness in need of immediate hospitalization to an appropriate facility. In the past, the person was also required to be dangerous.
The law was sponsored by state Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, and state Sen. Lonnie Randolph, D-East Chicago.
- House Enrolled Act 1276, requiring township boards meet in February, instead of January, to approve the annual report of the township trustee. The sponsor, state Rep. Rick Niemeyer, R-Lowell, said end-of-year financial records often aren't yet available in January.
That law was also sponsored by Randolph and state Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake.
- House Enrolled Act 1037, sponsored by state Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, and Niemeyer, Charbonneau, Arnold and Randolph, permitting the Indiana Department of Transportation to set varying sight-line distance requirements at railroad crossings.
Motorists stopped at gate-equipped crossings must currently be able to see 250 feet down the track.
- House Enrolled Act 1380, enabling municipal port authorities to buy fuel without going through the traditional bidding process if the fuel is to be resold to the public, at a marina gas station, for example.
Pelath, Charbonneau, Tallian and Randolph sponsored that law.