INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has one week to make a decision on over 70 proposed statehouse bills that were sent to his desk Tuesday.
Topics covered by the 2023 Regular Session Bills that were sent to the governor by the House and Senate include the legality of throwing stars, the definition of machine guns, parole, 911 operator residency and criminal domestic violence protocol.
The governor now has until next Tuesday, April 25, to take action on the 79 bills sent to him. A breakdown of some of the most important bills headed to Gov. Holcomb can be found below.
SB 77 – Throwing stars
Senate Bill 77, which was passed by the Indiana Senate in early February, would make it legal to own throwing stars statewide except for when they are brought on school property.
The bill does include some restrictions. Star-throwing would only be permitted at certain businesses, and children ages 12 to 17 could only throw stars with a parent’s written permission.
For more information on the bill and how it came to be, click here.
HB 1365 – Machine guns
Lawmakers say that House Bill 1365 revises the legal definition of what a machine gun is and makes a conforming amendment to criminal charges involving machine gun use.
The bill comes amid a rise in crimes involving devices that turn firearms into machine guns. Referred to by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department as machine gun conversion devices, the small items make guns fully automatic when attached.
The devices are already illegal under federal law, but state law doesn’t criminalize possession of them unless they’ve already been attached to a gun. HB 1365 would expand the state ban to include devices that have not been attached to guns.
The House passed HB 1365 with a 68-24 vote in late February. For more information on the bill and a similar Senate bill not currently headed to the governor’s desk, click here.
SB 43 – 911 operator residency
Senate Bill 43, which would block local residency requirements for dispatchers, passed in the Senate with almost unanimous support in late March and was approved by a House committee later in the week. For more information on the bill, click here.
SB 71 – Parole
Senate Bill 71 aims to specify and amend parole rules and requirements for criminal offenders in the Hoosier state.
If signed by the governor, SB 71 would specify that a person released from prison and placed on parole for a violent crime may not “be released on parole for more than 24 months”.
Additionally, the bill would require that time served in prison or jail does not count toward time served on parole.
SB 158 – Domestic violence holding times
Currently, people arrested for domestic violence in Indiana are often allowed to post bail after spending eight hours in jail. Senate Bill 158 would triple that mandatory holding period to 24 hours.
The bill passed in the Senate in mid-March with almost unanimous support on a 47-2 vote.
Advocates say the proposal would benefit law enforcement officers and domestic violence survivors. You can read more about the bill and what experts say here.
HB 1286 – Overdose death autopsies
House Bill 1286 would require Indiana coroners to test for xylazine in all suspected overdose deaths.
Xylazine, sometimes called “tranq,” is a sedative used in animals like horses. However, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, people are now mixing it into illegal drugs like fentanyl, cocaine and heroin.
Right now, the state of Indiana doesn’t collect any data on overdose deaths linked to xylazine. But lawmakers say that needs to change. For more information on HB 1286, click here.
Other bills heading to Holcomb
In addition to the above bills, over 70 more are now headed to the governor’s desk. Holcomb is required to take action on all of the bills, which cover energy utility costs, air pollution strategies and more. For a full list of bills being passed along, click here.