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Southeast Indiana lawmakers highlight new laws – WRBI Radio

Southeast Indiana lawmakers highlight new laws – WRBI Radio

Southeast Indiana lawmakers highlight new laws – WRBI Radio

State Rep. Alex Zimmerman (R-North Vernon)

(Statehouse) – Local lawmakers want you to be aware of a wide range of new state laws now in effect.

State Rep. Alex Zimmerman (R-North Vernon) said most of the laws passed during the 2024 legislative session took effect July 1, including the expansion of work-based learning. More Indiana high school students can apply for a Career Scholarship Account to pursue internships, apprenticeships and other work-based learning opportunities. The $5,000 scholarship covers certain expenses such as training, career counseling, driver’s education, certification and credentialing exams. Visit in.gov/tos/csa or call (317) 232-0723 for more information.

“With Career Scholarship Accounts, our students will have more options to find an early, practical learning experience before they leave high school,” said Zimmerman, co-author of the new law. “This means more of our students will be able to hit the ground running no matter what path they choose upon graduation.”

State Representative Jennifer Meltzer (R-Shelbyville)

State Rep. Jennifer Meltzer (R-Shelbyville) said lawmakers took action on a wide range of hot-button issues this year, including aid for public retirees. Indiana’s nearly 90,000 retired public officials, such as law enforcement officers and teachers, will receive a 13th check to help cover cost-of-living expenses. Existing, dedicated funds will be used to make a one-time post-retirement payment, which will average about $360 per recipient.

“Indiana relies on teachers, police officers and other public servants to provide essential services to all Hoosiers,” said Meltzer, co-author of the new law. “This 13th check is one way to help our public retirees fill some of the gaps in cost-of-living expenses, especially during a time of record inflation.”

State Representative Lindsay Patterson (R-Brookville)

Local lawmakers also highlighted the following new laws:

Protecting Indiana’s Farmlands

To help protect Indiana’s farmland and food supply chain, individuals or entities associated with foreign adversaries such as Russia and China will be prohibited from purchasing or leasing agricultural land and mineral, water or riparian rights. China, Russia, North Korea and Iran will also be prohibited from purchasing or leasing land within a 10-mile radius of military installations.

Support for Veterans and Military Members

A new public notification similar to Indiana’s Amber Alert and Silver Alert will soon help emergency responders locate missing or at-risk veterans and military members. Indiana State Police could issue a Green Alert for veterans, service members, Indiana National Guard members and reservists within 48 hours of the person being reported missing.

“These new laws are the result of listening to Hoosiers about what matters most to them and our local communities,” said State Rep. Lindsay Patterson (R-Brookville). “In our district, protecting prime farmland and standing up for generations of farming families is a top priority. That’s why I supported legislation to ensure we prevent foreign adversaries from buying up land — a growing problem across the country — and disrupting our critical food supply chain.”

“Agriculture is one of Indiana’s top industries and we must ensure our farmland does not fall into the hands of our adversaries,” said State Rep. Randy Lyness (R-West Harrison). “This common-sense law will prevent bad actors from obtaining farmland and other vital assets, which means fewer security risks.”

Visit iga.in.gov for more information about these and other new state laws.