Indiana General Assembly

IN laws, legislation affecting higher education

Apr 4, 2012

Purdue’s vice president for public affairs thinks the university fared well during this year’s session of the General Assembly.

Julie Griffith says her office tracked a lot of legislation that affected the university. Those range from a public access bill dealing with open meetings and inspection of public records to the so-called “credit creep” measure capping most bachelor’s degrees at 120 credit hours.

Griffith says Purdue and other universities will continue to work on those bills signed into law and those likely to come back next year.

The public will get to weigh in whether to restore Indiana high school basketball to a single-class system.

The Indiana High School Athletics Association (IHSAA) announced a series of town meetings Thursday.

IN state senator becomes new secretary of state

Mar 16, 2012

Indiana’s new secretary of state is Connie Lawson. The Republican will leave her position as state senator to take on the new role.

Lawson has served as chair of the senate Local Government and Elections Committee, and as a majority floor leader. Prior to her election to the senate in 1996, Lawson served as Hendricks County Clerk.

She takes over for Charlie White, who was removed from office after being convicted of six felonies related to a fraudulent voter registration.

The following information about Connie Lawson comes from her state senate webpage:


It will be more difficult to trigger an automatic taxpayer refund under a bill passed by the General Assembly on its final day of session. 

With a strong fiscal year to date and revenue forecasts predicting a steady finish, Indiana appears likely headed for a taxpayer refund this year.  As a result, lawmakers made few changes affecting this year’s refund.


Hoosiers can once again forcibly resist illegal police entry into their homes under a bill lawmakers approved Friday.  Legislators say police are better protected as well.

Last year, the Indiana Supreme Court issued a ruling - Barnes versus the state - interpreted by many to bar citizens from using force to resist police entry into their homes, even if that entry was illegal. State Senator Randy Head (R-Logansport) says the legislature was forced into acting on the issue this session because the court decision went too far.


Indiana’s inheritance tax will be phased out over ten years under a bill heading to Governor Mitch Daniels. 

With the exception of charitable organizations and spouses, the inheritance tax is levied on people who inherit money or property.  The legislature approved a measure Friday that will phase the tax out over the next ten years.

In the end, Indiana is estimated to lose about $165 million a year in revenue.  Despite the revenue loss, bill author Eric Turner (R-Cicero) says eliminating the inheritance tax is simply good for Hoosiers.

A statewide smoking ban is headed to the governor’s desk for his approval. This, after weeks of debate and compromise have left many legislators aren’t satisfied with the results.

The final version of the ban exempts bars and taverns, gaming facilities, tobacco shops and private clubs.  And it does not prevent local governments from passing stricter bans.

Lawmakers are working on a final draft of a statewide smoking ban,  but there are still significant issues to overcome and only a few days of session left.  Let's made some legislators admit it’s possible the ban won’t get passed this year.

Legislators began work Wednesday on the final details of a bill allowing people to resist illegal police entry into their homes.  Some lawmakers want to assure law enforcement officials the legislation doesn’t put them in danger. 

The bill was introduced after concerns that a recent Supreme Court decision barred people from defending their homes even from illegal police entry.  After significant changes in the House, the legislation emphasizes that the state’s self-defense statutes – passed in 1976 and 2006 – also apply to unlawful police entry. 

Indiana House and Senate lawmakers will meet Monday to hammer out the details of a final version of statewide smoking ban legislation.  For his part, Governor Mitch Daniels says he’s willing to help the cause.

The House passed a bill with exemptions for gaming facilities, cigar and hookah bars, tobacco shops and fraternal order clubs.  Bars and taverns were only exempted for the first 18 months.  The Senate added more, including a full exemption for bars, taverns and mental health and senior living facilities.