INDIANA (www.incnow.tv) -- Congress in Washington may be unable to get much done but the Statehouse in Indianapolis has been very busy this year. 230 new laws take effect July 1st. Most are minor adjustments to existing laws but others you might notice right away.
For instance, you may want to think twice before parking in a handicapped parking space without proper authorization. As of Monday, doing the wrong thing will mean a minimum fine of $100 statewide. That's up from the current $50 fine. In Florida, parking in the wrong spot will cost you $250.
Also to take effect July 1, daycare operations across the Hoosier state are preparing for a whole host of new rules. One of which includes doing more extensive background checks on workers, as well as increasing training for staff. The rules apply to home-based day cares, licensed centers, and ministry based child cares that are a part of the voucher program.
As of July 1st you face a $500 fine if you're caught texting or emailing while driving on the highway. Police say the law could be hard to enforce since it's difficult to tell if someone in a moving vehicle is texting on a handheld device but if you're caught, it will cost you.
Gun rights advocates will be happy. As of the first of the month, all local ordinances prohibiting guns in public places, like parks or stores or movie theaters, will be invalid. Cities and towns have been stripped of the right to regulate where weapons can be carried. Weapons will be allowed in most public places except courtrooms, schools and hospitals.
If you have grey hair and are amused every time you're carded at the liquor store, that too will come to an end July 1st. The old law requiring everyone buying alcohol to show proof of legal age will be amended and only people age forty and under will have to show a valid id.
For those with a taste for the sleazy, a new public voyeurism law takes effect, making it a misdemeanor to take explicit pictures of video of someone without their permission. And if you post those pictures on line, it becomes a felony. The law came about after a Fort Wayne man, David Delagrange, was convicted of child exploitation charges when he used a camera in his shoe to take upskirt videos of teenage girls at Castleton Square Mall three years ago.
And on a subject touching student athletes and their parents, any student athlete who suffers a concussion or other head injury must be checked by a healthcare professional before being allowed to return to play. Numerous instances of head injuries to young Hoosier athletes prompted the movement to do something about it, and the state legislature did.
A new law aimed at stopping schools from cherry picking students based on their academic or athletic ability take effect. The law requires school corporations to establish capacity for transfers and then the school district can't deny a transfer for any other reason other than they're over capacity. Exceptions that do apply are if a student has been found violating drug or alcohol policies or has injured a school employee or student.
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