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What new laws will be in effect on July 1?

Posted at 1:48 PM, Jun 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-29 00:47:03-04

The start of a new month on July 1 will also usher in many new laws for Indiana.

While there are more than 50 new laws, here are six of the more impactful ones coming into effect.

For the full text of each law, click the title.

1. HB 1201: Spaying and neutering pets before adoption

Bob Barker may be finally getting his wish. Before you adopt a “companion animal,” as dogs and cats are called by Indiana law, the pet will have to be spayed or neutered beforehand. A veterinarian can override this in certain situations. The vet has to determine that the animal has a health condition, or is too young to be safely spayed or neutered. In the latter instance, a $75 deposit would have to be paid to the animal facility, which would be returned if the animal’s owner could prove the animal has been spayed or neutered.

While this law comes into effect July 1, the spaying and neutering mandate won’t actually take effect until July 1, 2021.

2. SB 141: Changing language about gangs

This law doesn’t have as large of an impact on everyday life as some others, but it’s certainly a head-scratcher. In every instance in Indiana law, the phrase “criminal gang” has been replaced with “criminal organization.” From discussing safety at schools regarding gangs organizations to the potential penalties for being in a gang organization, the language has been changed throughout.

This law will also tweak the penalties for being involved in one while being charged with the unlawful use of a firearm.

3. HB 1337: Preventing abortions based on race, sex or a potential disability

Probably the most famous new law for Indiana, this one got many women to call to Gov. Mike Pence’s office to discuss the details of their period in the “Periods for Pence” movement. Once news spread about the bill, it was met with backlash – and not just locally. Websites like Slate.com, ThinkProgress.com and MTV.com.

Still, Pence staunchly defended it when he signed it, saying “Throughout my public career, I have stood for the sanctity of life. HEA 1337 is a comprehensive pro-life measure that affirms the value of all human life, which is why I signed it into law today.”

BONUS BILLS: New laws dealing with booze

SB 177: Farm wineries may now refill growlers

The bill deals with several alcohol-related matters, but if you're a farm winery – like, say, New Day Meadery in Fountain Square – the thing you care about is the ability to refill growlers. Holders of retail permits issued to a restaurant may also now sell or dispense alcoholic beverages from a service window that opens to an outside patio or terrace.

HB 1386 – Sunday alcohol sales for artisan distillers & alcohol permits at state parks

Artisan distillers like Hotel Tango Whiskey will join wineries and microbreweries in being able to sell carry-out alcohol on Sundays. In addition to that, HB 1386 does a number of things – including allowing hotels for the purpose of alcohol and tobacco laws to have at least 25 separate sleeping rooms under separate roofs, instead of one continuous roof – but the most interesting one is that the Department of Natural Resources may now apply for alcohol permits at state parks, even if the county they’re in objects.

SB 142 – Enhanced penalty for repeat DUI offenders

Starting July 1, if you're caught driving with a BAC of .08 or higher, and you've already got a previous drunken driving conviction within the past 10 years, you could face a Level 4 felony instead of a Level 5 felony. If you're caught operating a motorboat while intoxicated, you'll also now receive an enhanced penalty if you have a previous motorboat OWI conviction.

4. SB 154: More money for fallen Indiana National Guard members

As it currently stands, the families of members of the Indiana National Guard who die while in service receive up to $4,000 from the state for the funeral expenses. Senate Bill 154 will increase that number to $8,800. This will give the families an easier time getting through a very difficult time – the death of a loved one.

5. HB 1019: How police body cams are released

Some of the more complicated additions to the Indiana code are rules regarding how “law enforcement recordings” are released by police. A law enforcement recording is defined as audio, visual or audiovisual recording of police captured by something that’s either used by police, or worn by police – aka a body camera.

The law requires public agencies to allow everybody to watch or copy a recording, unless the agency can show the recording would do one of the following things:

  • Pose significant risk of harm to a person or the public
  • Interfere with somebody’s right to a fair trial
  • Affect an ongoing investigation
  • Not serve the public interest

The agency is also allowed to obscure certain parts of a recording, such as nudity, severe violence, death, somebody who is a minor or an undercover police officer.

6. SB 14: Potential penalties for child crimes

This law introduces many changes to the Indiana code, many of which relate to the penalties for people convicted of child crimes. The law will give harsher penalties for child crimes if it involves bestiality, a mentally disabled or deficient child or a child under the age of 12, among other qualifications.

Below are the descriptions of all the new Indiana laws coming into effect on July 1.