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The Law of the Land
Fort Wayne Reader
Every year, florists look forward to February 14, accountants have April 15 circled on their calendars, and many in the legal profession make note of July 1. That’s the day when many new laws go into effect. This year, the Indiana General Assembly approved 115 new laws, and here are just a few that kick in on July 1.
Alcohol sales: Even if you’re walking with a cane and were first eligible to vote when Eisenhower ran for president, sales clerks at liquor stores are still required to ask you to pony up your I.D. That’s according to SEA 75, which also allows Indiana’s microbreweries to sell their product for carryout on Sundays similar to the state’s wineries. Two other provisions of the law went into effect in March, including a change to allow alcohol sales on primary and general election days and extended hours for bars and restaurants to serve alcohol on Sundays.
Property tax provisional billings: For counties that anticipate delivering delayed property tax bills, HEA 1059 now requires that a provisional spring tax bill be issued to taxpayers. According to the new law, 50% of the previous year’s total tax liability would be due in the spring installment under a provisional tax bill. Fall tax bills would collect the remaining 50% of the previous year’s liability if the final amount is still not determined, or the remaining balance of the new tax bill.
Targeting meth producers: HEA 1320 requires pharmacies and other retailers selling drugs containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine — commonly found in cold medications and used in the production of methamphetamine — to post a sign warning customers of that the purchase of more than 3.6 grams of the substance within one day is a criminal offense in Indiana.
Firearms at work: The controversial HEA 1065 prohibits employers from adopting or enforcing a policy that bans an employee from having a firearm at work if the weapon is kept in a locked vehicle and out of sight. Exceptions include school property, child care facilities, domestic violence shelters, a person’s residence and public utilities. The law also prohibits the confiscation of lawfully held firearms during declared disaster emergencies.
Property Rights: SEA 64 prohibits homeowners associations from adopting rules that prohibit the display of political signs 30 days before an election, but associations may still adopt and enforce rules restricting the size, number and location of signs.
“Sexting”: The issue of teenagers sending suggestive text messages or e-mails got some attention from the state legislature, and the result is SEA 224, which allows schools to offer instruction on the risks of doing that kind of thing. The Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee will look at potential penalties for teen sexting offenders and make recommendations to the next General Assembly.
Those are just a few. You can find more details and a complete list at in.gov/legislative.