July means new laws

July 1, 2008
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Today the majority of bills signed into law by Gov. Mitch Daniels in February and March go into effect. There are a lot of new laws that are of interest to the legal community – judges’ pensions, public records and criminal offenders, juvenile offenders, and inmate credit time, just to name a few.

In combing through list of the new laws, a few jumped out at me. One that many businesses might not realize takes affect today is the requirement of lactation support in the workplace. This means employers who have at least 25 workers have to provide as reasonably possible a private location for an employee to pump breast milk and a refrigerator to store the breast milk. This is great news for the working mothers who have to go a bathroom stall to pump or give up on breastfeeding because of potentially cumbersome logistics when they are at work.

Did you know that we are now able to get an Abraham Lincoln license plate from the BMV celebrating the bicentennial of his birth? The plates are just one more way for Indiana to remind everyone that Indiana was Lincoln’s boyhood home, and it gives Hoosiers yet another option for making a statement with our license plates. So far, I’m not aware of any lawsuits filed as a result of the issuance of these new Abe plates.

Another law passed this session – thought it doesn’t take effect until 2010 – is detergents used in household dishwashers are now going to be subject to prohibition under Indiana Code Section 13-18-9.

Taking effect today, however, is the law that allows a vehicle to be equipped on a year-round basis with tires that have retractable tire studs as long as those studs remain retracted from May 2 to Sept. 30. Although the topic of the law is kind of odd, it does aim to continue to protect Indiana’s roads during the summer from unnecessary damage from those studs.

I must admit I am a bit saddened my favorite introduced bill from this past session didn’t become a law – SB 191. This bill required retail establishments, except for some gas stations, to make employee toilet facilities available to the public if no other facilities were readily available. Did that really need to be a law?

Are there any bills that you are surprised didn’t make it into law or any that surprise you made it all the way to the governor’s office? What was your favorite off-the-wall bill introduced last session?

UPDATE: The Indiana Supreme Court handed down four opinions yesterday afternoon, bringing the total in June to 25. That's the fewest opinions released by the high court in June in the last three years.
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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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