Hundreds of new Indiana laws take effect Saturday
Indiana lawmakers passed more than 250 pieces of legislation in 2023. And the vast majority take effect Saturday.
Here are some of the major bills going into effect:
Starting July 1, legislation bans new non-compete agreements for primary care physicians in Indiana. The bill, SB 7, leaves out specialists, such as neurologists, gynecologists and podiatrists. Supporters said non-competes stifled competition and drove up health care costs. But critics argued the measure will lead to greater costs, particularly in rural areas.
Throwing stars had been illegal in Indiana since the mid-1980s. Under SB 77, throwing stars are classified as knife weapons, meaning that while they're mostly legal, they're still banned from schools and school buses.
People who track others electronically without their consent would commit a misdemeanor, starting July 1. It can be a felony if, for example, the person has an unrelated conviction for domestic violence, stalking or invasion of privacy. Family members are still allowed to electronically track each other under SB 161, unless there’s a restraining order in place.
Looking for a specific bill? Search for them on our 2023 bill tracker, which now highlights when new laws are taking effect. Find it at ipbs.org/projects/2023billtracker/
The state's new, two-year, $44.5 billion spending plan includes $1.5 billion in new money for K-12 education – including a dramatic expansion of the state's school voucher program. HB 1001 also devotes $225 million in new funding for the state's public health system and $100 million for expanded mental health access.
July 1 marks the beginning of a loan fund that local governments can access to pay for infrastructure for new housing – things like roads and sidewalks and water, sewer, gas and electric lines. Some builders say those infrastructure costs add as much as $57,000 to every new home. The state budget includes $75 million for the fund over two years. Housing advocates worry, though, that HB 1005 does not require the money to be targeted towards affordable housing.
The state pension system can no longer have ties with financial investment managers with ESG policies, which consider the environmental or social impacts of their investments. There are exceptions – HB 1008 said the state can keep doing business with them if there isn’t a comparable provider or if ending the contract wouldn’t provide financial benefits for pensioners.
Indiana joins the majority of states in exempting active-duty military pay from the state's income tax. HB 1034 is estimated to cost the state $20 million in 2024, with growing losses after that. Supporters said many military members change their residency to other states to avoid income tax and argue the measure will help attract and keep veterans in Indiana.
On-duty police officers will now have a 25-foot bubble around them that the public can’t cross. If someone does cross that invisible barrier after being told to stop, they could get up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Supporters said HB 1186 is about protecting police and the public. Opponents said police could use it to make it harder for the public to record them.
The list of people who can be charged with child seduction expands July 1. Long-standing law has made it illegal for certain people in positions of power to engage in sexual contact with a 16- or 17-year-old. That list now includes workplace supervisors. HB 1228 also closes a loophole that mistakenly left out coaches who were unaffiliated with a school.
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People sending in mail-in applications for absentee ballots face new voter identification requirements under HB 1334. The application must include either a photocopy of the voter's driver's license or state ID card, or one of four numbers – a driver’s license number, a non-driver state ID card number, a voter registration record number (which most people don’t know) or the last four digits of a person’s Social Security number.
Indiana's 21st Century Scholars Program provides free tuition to in-state public colleges and universities and pays for some of the cost to private higher education institutions. But nearly half of eligible students don't enroll, largely because you must do so before the student reaches high school. HB 1449automatically enrolls all eligible students.
Indiana jurors have been among the worst paid in the country, earning the equivalent of less than minimum wage. HB 1466 doubles that compensation, making them some of the highest paid in the country at $80 per day, increasing to $90 after the sixth day of a trial. The state will pay jurors $30 for each day they are impaneled, but not actively in court.