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Daniels signs early education study into law

State Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, left, shakes hands with Gov. Mitch Daniels after he signed into law her proposal requiring that the Indiana Education Roundtable study the state's early childhood education programs. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett looks on.

INDIANAPOLIS | Gov. Mitch Daniels signed 27 more bills into law Thursday, including five sponsored by Northwest Indiana legislators.

• Porter Co. alcohol — House Enrolled Act 1054, sponsored by state Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, and state Sens. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, and Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, allows alcohol to be sold in the pavilion at Indiana Dunes State Park. It also expands the area in downtown Valparaiso where restaurants can claim existing liquor licenses.

• Early childhood education — Senate Enrolled Act 268, sponsored by state Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, and state Reps. Vernon Smith, D-Gary, and Shelli VanDenburgh, D-Crown Point, requires the Indiana Education Roundtable study the state's early childhood education needs.

• Airport boards — Senate Enrolled Act 173, sponsored by Soliday, prohibits executives or managers of commercial airline companies from serving on an airport authority board.

• Internet service — House Enrolled Act 1201, sponsored by state Rep. Tom Dermody, R-LaPorte, and state Sen. Lonnie Randolph, D-East Chicago, limits use of the state's I-Light high-speed Internet service to universities, law enforcement and public broadcasting.

• Highway classification — Senate Enrolled Act 301, sponsored by Charbonneau and Soliday, permits INDOT to designate roads extra-heavy-duty highways, instead of requiring a state law for each designation.

The Republican governor also signed House Enrolled Act 1283 into law, designating the Grouseland Rifle crafted between 1803 and 1812 by John Small of Vincennes as the official state rifle.

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Statehouse Bureau Chief

Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.