Niki Kelly, writing for the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette writing for the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette provides a legislative update.
SB 88 requires every occupant of a motor vehicle to wear a safety belt, with certain exceptions. This bill closes the illogical distinction between cars and pickup trucks being used as passenger vehicles. As I’ve said before, say what you will about the merits of seat belt laws generally (I’m a proponent), but to require them in cars but not pickup trucks or SUVs plated as trucks makes absolutely no sense.
SB 88 passed out of committee 6-1 and moves on to the full Senate. In the past, such a provision has had trouble getting through the House and may well face similar problems this year. If it passes, Indiana would be eligible for a one-time federal grant of $15.7 million. (We were willing to pass a cheater’s rights tax bill in expectation of $65 million; so why not this law, which is good public policy, in exchange for about 25% of that?)
The Senate also considered a bill that would
The state would broaden its definition of sexually violent predators and bar them from residing within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and youth centers . . . [the bill]
would place convicted child molesters under electronic monitoring and parole for the rest of their lives, and would tighten requirements for those prison parolees who must register their addresses for the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry.
The sexually violent predator bill would broaden the stateâ€™s definition to include those who commit repeat offenses of 13 crimes â€“ including rape, child molesting, incest and the kidnapping or criminal confinement of someone under 18 â€“ or who use deadly force or cause serious injury during the commission of those crimes.
Prison parolees under the new definition would be prohibited from residing within 1,000 feet of a school, park or youth center or within a mile of their victimsâ€™ residences. The legislation also would bar them from working or volunteering at schools, parks and youth centers.
I imagine it’s very hard to vote against any bill that makes life tougher for sex offenders.
Finally, Ms. Kelly provides an update on Senator Jackman who was rushed out on a gurney yesterday. Physicians suspect that he had a reaction to a medication he was taking. He was released from the hospital at about 4:30 yesterday afternoon.