STATEHOUSE (July 14, 2022) –Local lawmakers said Hoosiers in Hendricks County should be aware of several new and notable state laws, which are now in effect.
“This legislative session, we managed to get a lot done on behalf of hardworking Hoosiers and our communities,” said State Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton). “From election security to ensuring parents are heard when it comes to their child’s education, these policies build on our efforts to further support families and meet the needs of those we represent.”
Hoosiers should be aware of several new laws, which were passed during the 2022 legislative session and took effect on July 1:
Empowering Hoosier Parents
When it comes to education, input and ideas from parents, students, teachers and community members are important. Now, school boards will have to allow time for public comments at all open meetings, ensuring parents’ voices are heard.
“This new law comes as some parents felt silenced as important discussions were had and decisions were being made impacting their children,” said State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis). “While not an issue in all communities, we certainly needed to act to make sure all families continue to be heard by those elected to serve on school boards.”
Supporting Free Speech
Indiana public college and university students are able to express themselves across campuses by eliminating free speech zones. These zones are typically regulated and sectioned areas in remote locations, and infringe on the First Amendment right protecting speech in public areas.
Increasing Election Security
Indiana will double its number of election audits after each general election. All Indiana electronic voting machines will be required to be equipped with a voter-verifiable paper audit trail by the 2024 election. Every voter will be able to verify their ballot on a printout before casting their vote. This step will offer assurances that electronically recorded votes are accurate.
Boosting Public Safety
Judges will receive additional flexibility to send all felony offenders to Indiana state prisons, which could help alleviate jail overcrowding and allow locals to direct resources to where they matter most. Indiana’s Department of Correction offers more mental health and addiction treatment options while many jails do not.
“In Indiana, we support those who put their lives on the line to protect us,” said State Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon). “This new law is a win-win as we work to boost local public safety efforts while connecting lower level offenders with state resources. If we can get help to them sooner, they’ll have a better chance at breaking the cycle of criminal behavior often tied to drug use and mental illness.”
Visit iga.in.gov for more information on these and other new laws.