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Birth control, speeding tickets among new laws to take effect July 1

Photo Supplied / Indiana Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS (Indiana Capital Chronicle) – The bulk of this year’s new legislation will take effect July 1, with changes ranging from increased access to contraceptives to greater restrictions for public school educators.

Among the major changes passed by the legislature is a ban on gender affirming care for minors, which has passed in 19 other state legislatures and been struck down in one.

However, Indiana’s Senate Enrolled Act 480 will not take full effect July 1 due to a partial injunction ordered June 16 by a Trump-appointed judge. While gender affirming surgical procedures will be banned for minors, transgender minors will still have tentative access to puberty blockers and hormonal therapies.

Easier access to contraceptives beginning July 1

House Enrolled Act 1568 will allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control pills, patches or rings to adults for up to one year — though anything longer will require a referral to a provider.

Pharmacists who want to prescribe birth control will have to complete additional training. They are also required to provide patients with a self-screening risk assessment and refer them for a follow-up with their primary care providers.

However, pharmacists can refuse to prescribe hormonal contraceptives on the basis of ethical or religious objections.

Law enforcement “buffer zone” takes effect

At the urging of law enforcement officers, legislators passed HEA 1186, a bill that creates a 25-foot “buffer zone” around officers conducting official duties. Crossing within that barrier is a Class C misdemeanor.

Proponents of the legislation say that yelling and touching from bystanders can make an officer’s job more difficult and even dangerous while opponents say it will erode accountability for law enforcement officers.

The bill has no exceptions for people who want to record police interaction, including the media.

Annual gas tax increase extended to 2027

Legislators added an amendment to HEA 1050 to extend the state’s annual gas tax increase, which was set to expire in 2024.

In 2017, legislators raised the tax 10 cents as a way to fund road projects. They also set the tax to increase one cent per year to keep pace with inflation.

That means the tax, currently at 34 cents, will increase to 35 cents per gallon on July 1. The extension goes until 2027 and will cost drivers about $90 million.

The tax is on top of a regular 7% sales tax on gasoline and 18.4 cents per gallon in federal taxes.

Pilot program will use cameras to catch speeding 

HEA 1015, which authorizes the Indiana Department of Transportation to use cameras to ticket people speeding in a construction zone, will also take effect beginning next month. The cameras are part of a pilot program aimed at reducing construction worker injuries and deaths as a result of speeding.

The technology will ticket people driving 11 mph over the speed limit in an active work zone, although only four cameras can be used across the state.

The law only applies if construction workers are present. The first violation would only result in a warning, with subsequent violations accruing progressively greater fines, beginning at $75.

Previously, drivers caught speeding by just one mile in an active work zone by police would result in a $300 ticket with no warning.

During the legislative session, the bill split Republican lawmakers, with some calling the program an example of government overreach.

The Indiana Capital Chronicle is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that covers state government, policy and elections.

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2 comments

Slacker06 June 27, 2023 at 9:56 am

Gender affirming care is a euphemism for child abuse. You should thank God that when you were a child pretending to be a horse or a dog your mom didn’t decide you were coming out as such and have you changed into one or the other. The vast majority of kids grow up to become adults. Sadly some parents today never grow up and think its their job to change the gender of their kids. The key is the Chromosomes. XX or XY are the only choices and those determine male and female. No surgeon no matter how skilled can change the DNA of any individual. Anyone thinking differently on this subject is delusional.

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Bob Jones June 30, 2023 at 10:53 pm

1. XX and XY are NOT the only combinations we see in humans.
2. Many people confuse sex and gender. These are two separate constructs. (One major problem humans have is we tend to assign the sex based on anatomy seen at birth rather than gametes available at the reproductive age. Regardless, that still concerns the sex and not the gender.)
3. A child thinking they are a superhero, cartoon character, or animal is vastly different from them believing they are the wrong gender and/or have the wrong sexual parts. You are comparing apples to oranges.
4. There are actual studies that affirm that major surgery does in fact change DNA. As does food, pollutants, etc. DNA is not immutable. I know it’s pedantic, but it needed pointed out to show how little actual science was in the initial response.

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