Ind. Gov. Pence Signs Many Bills Into New Laws
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s pen has been getting a workout lately.
Pence has been busy signing into law a number of bills that passed the Indiana General Assembly this year.
On Monday, the governor signed a law co-sponsored by State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg). Last year, lawmakers approved a law creating the Secured School Safety Board to approve schools’ applications for grants to hire school resource officers. Frye’s follow-up legislation will allow the board to provide a matching grant to increase training opportunities for SROs. The new law also requires SROs to be employed by a law enforcement agency, appointed as a police officer or special deputy, or employed as a school corporation police officer.
“By allowing schools greater flexibility to adequately train their school resource officers, we are ensuring that these men and women are as prepared as they can be in the case of an emergency,” said Rep. Frye. “As a parent and grandparent, I hope and pray that that never happens here in Indiana, but it is still imperative that we be prepared.”
On Tuesday, Pence signed Senate Enrolled Act 1 into law, giving counties an option to phase out the personal property tax on business equipment. You can read more about that here.
Pence also signed House Enrolled Act 1222, which creates a nonrefundable $1,000 tax credit per adopted child beginning in 2015. It also requires a legislative study committee with examining effective adoption programs in other states and providing recommendations on how those practices can be used to make adoption in Indiana easier and more affordable.
The adoption credit and study are part of Pence’s legislative agenda to make Indiana the most adoption-friendly state in the nation.
“As we envision the future for Indiana, ensuring the well-being of our Hoosier families is of the utmost importance,” said Pence. “From the creation of Indiana’s first adoption tax credit to acting as responsible stewards of our natural resources, the bills I sign today will enhance the quality of life for Hoosier families today and tomorrow.”
Pence continued signing his name to legislation Tuesday with SEA 354 establishing a Hoosier Women Veterans Program. The program will provide services and information to the state’s female military veterans.
“The men and women of our armed forces stepped forward for us, and now it’s our turn,” said the governor. “The State of Indiana fully supports those who have answered the call of duty, and the legislation I sign today places a high priority on ensuring their well-being upon returning home. We owe our heroes nothing less.”
Other newly-signed laws benefiting veterans include SEA 331 creating the Second Service for Veterans Program to encourage veterans to become teachers. Also, HEA 1241 makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against a potential employee who is either a veteran or a member of the Indiana National Guard or Reserve. SEA 180 establishes the Veterans Disability Clinic Fund to provide grants for law schools that run a veterans disability clinic.
Pence signed bills supporting government reductions and transparency. HEA 1005 – authored by State Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville) eliminates a number of outdated, unnecessary, and overly burdensome programs and regulations.
HEA 106 creates an online transparency portal for taxpayers to access information regarding local governments’ financial health and performance.
“Hoosiers hold their state and local governments to high standards, and Indiana is committed to exceeding their expectations,” said Governor Pence.