Republican mass protest bill softened in committee

A bill calling for Indiana authorities to use "any means necessary" to keep roadways clear during a protest was softened in a Senate committee.

The bill by state Sen. Jim Tomes now states police have a duty to protect the public and keep roads clear. But instead of instructing police to use "any means necessary," the measure would now allow police to issue a ticket to those obstructing traffic.

The overhauled bill was approved Wednesday by the Senate Local Government committee on a 5-1 vote.

A spokeswoman for the Wadesville Republican says it will likely undergo further changes if it is brought to the Senate floor.

The final product will likely call for a summer study committee to examine how the authorities should handle mass protests.

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