A statewide smoking ban covering most public places is one of several laws set to take effect Sunday.
Statewide smoking ban: House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1149, the statewide smoking ban, covers most public places, including restaurants. In addition, the new law permits cities, towns and counties to pass stricter standards and maintain ordinances already in place. The final version of Indiana's first statewide smoking ban exempts bars and taverns, private and fraternal clubs, established cigar and hookah bars and gaming facilities.
Inheritance tax phase-out: Senate Enrolled Act 293 provides for a 10 year phase-out of the state inheritance tax beginning in 2013. It would also reclassify a number of beneficiaries and increase the inheritance tax exemption amounts.
Nepotism and government transparency: Nepotism and conflict of interest positions in local government: House Enrolled Act 1005 aims to deter nepotism and conflicts of interest in local government. The new law prohibits public workers from hiring family members. In addition, the legislation prevents firefighters, police officers, park officials and other municipal employees from serving in an elected position on a county council or board of commissioners that sets agency budgets and salaries. The new law also stipulates that upon election, public officers must resign their employed position to serve in the elected office. Some language from this new law will not become effective until January 1, 2013.
Indiana Lifeline Bill: Senate Enrolled Act 274 addresses serious issues related to alcohol consumption on college campuses across the country. In an effort to protect young lives, the new law provides immunity from certain alcohol-related charges to callers seeking emergency assistance for another person needing medical help. The legislation specifies that immunity will be provided to callers in instances of public intoxication or underage possession, consumption or transportation of an alcoholic beverage. People that drive under the influence of alcohol, are in possession of drugs or who act disorderly with emergency personnel will not be immune from penalties.
Outdoor stage safety and regulation: Senate Enrolled Act 273 authorizes the state Fire Protection and Building Safety Commission to institute emergency rules for the inspection of outdoor stages. The new law establishes minimum state standards for the construction and inspection of temporary stage structures. While providing immediate action, the measure also establishes a temporary committee to review upcoming reports on the State Fair stage collapse. Based on the committee's finding and recommendations, a proposal for a permanent safety regulation law for outdoor stage structures will be considered next session.