2011: New laws become effective July 1

The Indiana General Assembly approved 229 new laws this year, many of which will become effective July 1. The changes in state law taking place this summer impact a variety of issues, from alcohol sales to texting while driving. Read on for a brief summary of new laws taking effect July 1, 2011.

To see a complete list of new laws enacted and signed by the governor in 2011, visit www.in.gov/gov/billwatch.htm. The Senate Democrats’ Acts of Interest 2011, a summary of new laws approved in 2011, is also available for download (4.59 MB PDF).

Carding for alcohol purchases
The 2011 legislature amended a 2010 law that required retail clerks to verify the age of any customer purchasing alcohol for carry-out. State law requires that a photo ID with date of birth be presented by the customer for age verification. Senate Enrolled Act 78 changed the ID requirement to only require clerks to request an ID from customers who reasonably appear to be younger than 40 years old. The ID law, including the new changes, only applies to carry-out purchases. Restaurants and stores may have stricter policies for serving or selling alcohol.
Texting while driving prohibited
House Enrolled Act 1129 stipulates a Class C infraction, which carries a $500 fine, for drivers who are found to be using a cell phone or other device to type, transmit or read a text message or email message while driving. Use of hands-free devices, however, is permitted. The measure would not infringe upon a driver’s ability to talk on the phone while driving.

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Audio: Tallian amendment would give preference to Indiana steel

This evening in the Senate, State Senator Karen Tallian introduced an amendment that would require preference be given to Indiana produced steel for the construction of the proposed Illiana Expressway.  The amendment was defeated by a partisan vote of 32 to 17. Tallian said she offered the amendment in support of Indiana’s steelworkers and steel industry.

Senator Tallian introduced her plan as an amendment to Senate Bill 382, a measure that would allow the Illiana Expressway to be built as a toll road. The proposed highway would connect I-65 in Indiana to I-57 in Illinois, providing an alternative east-west route in Northwestern Indiana and reducing traffic congestion on the I-80/I-94 Borman Expressway.

Listen to Senator Tallian’s comments from the Senate floor: