INDIANAPOLIS | The Republican-controlled Indiana House and Senate met briefly Thursday to give final approval to another batch of legislation that now goes to Republican Gov. Mike Pence for his signature or veto.
Lawmakers dealt only with concurrences, which are votes to accept all changes to a proposal made by the opposite chamber.
For example, if the Senate added a paragraph to legislation that originated in the House, a House concurrence on that change is needed to send the revised proposal to the governor, because the Indiana Constitution requires proposed laws pass both chambers in identical form.
Next week, the final week the Legislature is permitted by law to meet for the year, the focus turns to conference committee reports.
Those are crafted by a small group of representatives and senators, chosen by leadership, who meet to hammer out compromise legislation that typically blends elements of the separately approved House and Senate versions of a proposal.
Both chambers must then approve the conference committee report for the compromise measure to go to the governor.
Here are some of the legislative proposals that won final passage Thursday:
Drug emergencies — Senate Enrolled Act 227, sponsored by state Sen. Lonnie Randolph, D-East Chicago, and state Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond, authorizes first responders to treat Hoosiers suffering drug overdoses with naloxone — a so-called miracle drug that quickly neutralizes the effects of heroin and other opioids. Heroin overdoses killed 46 region residents last year.
The legislation, which passed 40-0, also provides criminal immunity to underage drinkers if they call police to report any medical emergency, a crime or that they were a victim of sexual assault. The measure requires three state studies examining sexual violence against children.
Tan ban — Senate Enrolled Act 50, sponsored by state Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso; state Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake; state Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond; state Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary; Randolph and Lawson, prohibits children younger than 16 from using a tanning device at a tanning facility. Current law allows a child younger than 16 to tan if a parent is with the child at the tanning salon.
Lawmakers said the measure is needed because an increasing number of studies show early tanning is more likely to lead to skin cancer later in life. Under the plan, children between ages 16 and 18 still could use a tanning device if a parent signs a permission slip at the tanning facility. It passed 26-12.
Abortion — Senate Enrolled Act 292, sponsored by state Rep. Tom Dermody, R-LaPorte, mandates the state health department keep a written record of the hospital admitting privileges for each doctor who performs abortions or shares his or her admitting privileges with an abortion clinic.
The legislation, which passed 34-6, also permits the state health department to inspect abortion clinics annually, and requires women who have an abortion be more explicitly advised of an existing telephone service to report complications.
CPR training — House Enrolled Act 1290, sponsored by Dermody; state Rep. Shelli VanDenburgh, D-Crown Point; and state Sen. Jim Arnold, D-LaPorte, requires every public and private school to teach students cardiopulmonary resuscitation and how to use an automated external defibrillator as part of its health curriculum. It passed 86-6.
Expungement — House Enrolled Act 1155, which passed 74-19, clarifies the process for expunging a criminal record. It also prohibits a person from waiving his or her right to seek expungement as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.
Olympic medals — Senate Enrolled Act 161, sponsored by Charbonneau and state Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, exempts from state income tax the value of an Olympic medal and any prize money paid by the U.S. Olympic Committee for winning an Olympic medal.
The tax break, which passed 37-2, benefits one person — Nick Goepper, 19, of Lawrenceburg, who won a bronze medal and $10,000 in ski slopestyle at the 2014 games.