A sampling of this year's legislative proposals
In just two short weeks, the Indiana General Assembly has introduced nearly 900 pieces of legislation. While most remain in committee, some have already received first, second and/or third readings on the long road to becoming state law.
Issues governing abortion and education are receiving a great deal of attention this year, as well as laws concerning daylight saving time, minimum wage and cell phone usage while driving.
The following is just a sample of some of the potential changes being considered, including the legislator sponsoring the bill.
For a complete list of pending legislation visit www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch.
SB 0048 Provides that a person may not be required, as a condition of training, employment, pay, promotion or privileges, to dispense: (1) a medical device or drug that may result in an abortion; or (2) artificial birth control. [Includes doctors, nurses, and pharmacists] Jeff Drozda (R), Marvin Riegsecker (R).
SB 0076 Requires a health care provider to provide a pregnant woman with information regarding the availability of ultrasound imaging and auscultation of heart tones of a fetus before performing an abortion on the pregnant woman. R. Michael Young (R), Patricia Miller(R).
SB 0393 Defines "abortion clinic" as a facility that performs surgical abortions, drug induced abortions, or abortions by another method. Specifies that the hospital council shall propose, and the executive board of the state department of health may adopt, rules concerning the operation and management of abortion clinics. Dennis Kruse (R), R. Michael Young(R), Jeff Drozda (R).
SB 0235 Requires the state department of health to establish procedures for the inspection and licensure of a medical facility that performs: (1) more than four first trimester abortions in a calendar month; or (2) at least one second trimester abortion. Makes it a Class A misdemeanor to operate or advertise the operation of an unlicensed medical facility that provides abortions. Jeff Drozda (R).
SB 0166 Requires each school corporation to include instruction regarding human fetal development in the school corporation's high school health education curriculum. Jeff Drozda (R).
SB 0256 Provides that the Indiana statewide testing for educational progress (ISTEP) tests must be administered during the spring semester. Theresa Lubbers (R).
HB 1417 Abolishes the public school textbook rental and library programs. Requires a school corporation to establish a textbook fund to purchase and distribute textbooks. Peggy Welch (D).
SB 0291 Requires the governing body of a school corporation to establish either a full day or a combination full day and half day program for kindergarten. Provides that the parent of an enrolled kindergarten student determines whether the student attends kindergarten for a full day or half day. Billie Breaux (D).
SB 0332 Requires a United States flag to be displayed in each classroom of a school corporation. Requires a school corporation to provide a daily opportunity for students to voluntarily recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Provides an exemption for students who choose (or whose parents choose for them) not to participate in the Pledge. Requires a school corporation to establish a daily moment of silence in each classroom. Requires the attorney general to defend a school corporation in a civil suit based on an act authorized under these provisions. R. Michael Young (R).
HB 1047 Requires each school corporation to include a study of the Holocaust as a part of the social studies curriculum. Clyde Kersey (D).
HB 1190 Requires the state board of education and the professional standards board plan to implement the "academic study of religion in secondary schools." Jerry Denbo (D).
HB 1104 Allows the executive branch of state government or a political subdivision to substantially burden a person's exercise of religion only if the governmental entity can demonstrate the application of the burden is: (1) essential to further a compelling governmental interest; and (2) the least restrictive means of imposing the burden. Cindy Noe (R), Jeffery Thompson (R).
HB 1034 Requires Indiana to observe daylight saving time throughout the state. Jerry Torr (R), Jack Lutz (R), Carolene Mays (D), Tiny Adams (D).
HB 1146 Increases Indiana's minimum hourly wage to $5.65 on September 1, 2005, $6.15 on March 1, 2006, and $7 on September 1, 2006. John Day (D).
HB 1090 Provides that a member of the general assembly may not register as a lobbyist during the period that ends two years after the date that the term to which the individual was most recently elected as a member of the general assembly expires. Provides that the prohibition applies only to an individual who retires from the general assembly after June 30, 2005. David Frizzell (R).
SB 0343 Makes it a Class B infraction with a fine of $1,000 to operate a motor vehicle while using a mobile telephone, except in emergency situations. Authorizes an individual who views an operator of a motor vehicle committing this violation on certain highways to report the incident to the state police or sheriff. Rose Ann Antich-Carr (D).