INDIANAPOLIS — Though the 2022 legislative session finished in March, many of the laws voted on, approved and signed by Governor Eric Holcomb will go into effect on Friday, July 1.
Among the laws going into effect include gun rights, abortion rights, tax rate changes, changes to bail, rape definitions and the transgender sports bill.
Starting July 1, Hoosiers will no longer need to have a permit to carry a handgun.
The new law carried over the rules about who cannot carry handguns, including people with felonies on their record.
Many have spoken out against the law, including Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears and IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey.
Bailey said to WRTV in March, "I think that's the biggest thing we are going to miss out on is being able to have some possession of guns and test them to see if they are linked to other crimes," said Bailey. "It's going to make solving cases more difficult."
Permits will still be available to Hoosiers who want one.
Because not all states have a ‘Constitutional Carry’ law, if you plan to travel with your handgun, you will need to provide a permit if cited by law enforcement.
Abortion is a hot topic following the overturn of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court on June 24. Abortion legislation will be a focal point when lawmakers join for a special session beginning on July 6.
The future of abortions in Indiana is uncertain at the time, but starting July 1 doctors must ask the woman if they are being coerced into the abortion. This law may change following the special session.
Definition of Rape
Legislators reworked the definition of rape within the law and it will go into effect on July 1.
Moving forward, engaging in sexual activity with any person who has verbally refused to participate will be considered rape.
The bill expands the definition of rape to include continuing sexual activity after disregarding the other person’s attempt to refuse. This includes refusal either physically, verbally or by other visible conduct.
Rep. Sharon Negele, R-Attica, filed House Bill 1079 to show that someone can deny consent through their words or actions.
“For example, if a woman is pulling her clothes back on and trying to avoid this physical confrontation,” Negele said. “Typically, it is a woman who is raped ... I need to stand up for all women in this scenario."
Indiana lawmakers approved a bill in March that sets new limits on The Bail Project and other charities that pay bail for poor people who face criminal charges.
The Bail Project bill was among the last pieces of legislation to win approval before the 2022 Legislative Session.
Among the changes under the bill, charitable bail organizations will have to register with the Indiana Department of Insurance and can only assist people charged with misdemeanors and non-violent felonies as long as the accused has never been previously convicted of a violent felony.
On Wednesday, June 29, a federal judge cleared the way for the new law following a lawsuit from The Bail Project and the ACLU.
"The Bail Project has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits to justify a preliminary injunction," U.S. District Court Judge James Patrick Hanlon wrote in his 20-page order.
Transgender Girls Playing Girls Sports
State lawmakers voted to override a veto from Governor Eric Holcomb on a bill that stopped transgender girls from participating in girls' sports in the state.
Holcomb stated at the time:
"The wide-open nature of the grievance provisions in HEA 1041 that apply to all K-12 schools in Indiana makes it unclear about how consistency and fairness will be maintained for parents and students across different counties and school districts. The presumption of the policy laid out in HEA 1041 is that there is an existing problem in K-12 sports in Indiana that requires further state government intervention. It implies that the goals of consistency and fairness in competitive female sports are not currently being met. After a thorough review, I find no evidence to support either claim even if I support the overall goal."
Lawmakers voted to override the veto in May.
A lawsuit in federal court filed by the ACLU is challenging the law.
A new vape tax will go into effect on Friday as well.
Pre-filled e-cigarette cartridges will be taxed at 15% of the wholesale price.
Other vaping products are also subject to a 15% retail tax.
Health Care Licenses
House Bill 1003 allows retired or inactive health care professionals, trained out-of-state professionals or recently graduated students who have applied for licenses to return to work inside local hospitals.
The Indiana Hospital Association says before the law, the process to receive licenses was extensive, which isn't helping the current health care worker shortage.
"Bringing back recently retired professionals into the workforce today is helping us fill some of those gaps," Brian Tabor, Indiana Hospital Association President, said. "House Bill 1003 is going to help us meet that both the short term needs that we have for staffing but also the longer term demand for nurses."
IHA says all employees are highly trained and the bill does not pose a safety risk to the public.
Home vendors, those who make food from their residences that is not potentially hazardous, now have to take a class and get a food handler certification. The law particularly affects vendors at farmers markets and roadside stands.
The certification then needs to be submitted to the local health department. The menu that home based vendors are allowed to sell from has not changed.
"They really just need to be aware of what you're allowed to do as a home based vendor ... it's making sure that they have some type of food education, some type of food knowledge," Kelli Whiting with the Marion County Public Health Department said. "It's a pretty inexpensive and simple test. Our regular restaurants are required to have a food manager certification, which is more in depth than that food handler certification."
House Bill 1149 also allows vendors to have their products delivered by mail or through a third party vendor anywhere in the state.
Additional information about accredited food safety certifications is available on the Indiana Department of Health's website.
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