New laws go into effect July 1

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – The beginning of July means new laws will be going into effect in Indiana.

State Sen. Ron Alting said one law he worked on this legislative session will help local veterans.

“Many times they come back from overseas and they face tough times,” Alting said. “They can get up to $5,000, and it can be used for a variety things. It might be utility bills, a down payment on a car or an automobile.”

One of the biggest changes in the state starting July 1 is the new criminal code. As News 18 previously reported, the changes impact criminal sentencing and could increase county jail populations. Alting said after some tweaks have been made it still needs some work.

“Something I think will take another 12 months to see what’s working and what doesn’t work,” Alting said. “I suspect we’ll be coming back and making quite a few changes in that.”

The LifeLine law is also changing to allow minors who are under the influence to report criminal acts and sexual abuse.

“With some of the new changes that are in the law we have other things such as changes for people who witness crimes or believe crimes that occurred and are reporting them in good faith, specifically victims of sex offenses and things like that,” Purdue Police Chief John Cox said.

It’s a change Cox said is necessary to protect students.

“I think that this is just another right step in that direction in adding that language into the state law. It just kind of helps support that notion that we want people to report,” Cox said.

Alting said even though the session is over, he will spend the summer crafting new legislation. He said he’s already researching a new form of alcohol to have a bill ready come next legislative session.

“There’s a powdered alcohol that is on the market now. Literally a powder that you put in a cup of water, stir it up and get intoxicated on. So my staff is doing research on that, and I will be writing a bill on powdered alcohol banning it in the state of Indiana,” Alting said.

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