Thursday, January 10, 2008

Legislative Update

From the Arc:

The Arc of Indiana
Legislative Memo #1
Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Indiana General Assembly convened the 2008 Legislative Session on
Tuesday of this week and focus has been as expected, on property
taxes. The House Ways and Means Committee held meetings in Fort Wayne
and South Bend this week to receive public input on the property tax
issue. Several bills relating to property tax reduction and
elimination have already started receiving committee hearings.

Legislative Bills are still being filed and released at this time.
The deadline for filing bills is early next week. The deadline for
bills to pass their house of origin is January 30th. It will be a
quick month trying to keep up with bills and committee hearings!

Bias Crimes Legislation

Several bills have been filed regarding crimes against people with
disabilities. The bills provide for harsher sentencing for offenders
who choose their victim based on having a disability. The Arc of
Indiana will be supporting these bills and providing testimony. The
incidence rate of crimes against people with disabilities has risen as
more people are enjoying life in the community rather than
institutions. We will alert you when these bills are scheduled for a
committee hearing.

SB 171 – Crimes against persons with a disability. Introduced by
Senator Tim Lanane (D-Anderson). Makes committing an offense against
a person with a disability as aggravating circumstance for sentencing

SB 306 – Bias Crimes. Introduced by Senator Tim Lanane
(D-Anderson). Requires law enforcement officers to receive training
in identifying, responding to and reporting bias crimes. Makes
commission of a crime because of the (1) victim’s actual or perceived
color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, sexual
orientation, gender identity, sex, or homelessness; or (2) actual or
perceived color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion,
sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex of an individual affiliated
or associated with the victim; an aggravating circumstance that may be
considered by a judge when the judge imposes a sentence for the

Lead Poisoning Legislation

Several bills have been filed to raise awareness of the dangers of lead.

SB 143 – Childhood lead poisoning prevention. Introduced by Senator
Beverly Gard (R-Greenfield). Specifies certain requirements for
laboratories, the state department of health, local health departments,
residential rental property owners, child care providers, and retail
establishments related to childhood lead poisoning prevention.

SB 290 – Keys and lead safety. Introduced by Senator Jon Broden
(D-South Bend). Prohibits an employer from providing a key to an
employee if the key contains more than .06% lead.

SB 291 – Labeling consumer commodities. Introduced by Senator Vi
Simpson (D-Elletsville). Requires a consumer commodity to display a
label that indicated: (1) the country of origin where the commodity was
manufactured, grown, or processed; and (2) the presence of any toxic
material in the commodity.

Other Bills of Interest:

HB 1163 – Vaccines containing mercury. Introduced by Representative
Matt Bell (R-Avilla). Requires that before a person administers a
vaccine that contains more than a trace amount of mercury, the person
must inform the person who will be vaccinated that there are
alternatives to mercury preserved vaccines.

HB 1171 – Autism training for EMS personnel. Introduced by
Representative Dennis Tyler (D-Muncie). Requires certified emergency
medical services (EMS) personnel to successfully complete a course of
education and training on autism.

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