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The Indiana Statehouse, Indianpolis (Photo supplied)
Elkhart Co. senators' proposals cover everything from hemp to school taxes
Posted on Jan. 28, 2014 at 3:53 p.m.

Tuesday Jan. 28, 2014

The state senators serving Elkhart County have a slew of proposals in the pipeline in Indianapolis. As a companion to my look at local House members' proposals (here), here's a peek at some of the proposals from those in the upper chamber:

Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, District 12

Microbreweries: Senate Bill 16 would create new rules related to microbreweries.

Child seduction: Senate Bill 43 would create new penalties specific to sexual contact by a law enforcement official with a minor.

Poultry farms: Senate Bill 179 sets out guidelines related to poultry producers.

Agriculture policy: Senate Bill 186 aims to "conserve, protect and encourage" the agricultural sector and ag businesses. The Indiana Farm Bureau backs the measure while the Hoosier Environmental Council is closely tracking the measure, worried about overly enhancing the power of factory farming interests.

Public documents: Senate Bill 191 would require city offices to provide public records, unredacted, to city council members, when requested. Recipients couldn't disclose the information they receive. The Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce reports that the Hoosier State Press Association has responded, with apparent concern. The issue brings to mind spats between the city of Elkhart and Elkhart City Council Member Brian Dickerson over Dickerson's requests for public documents.

Music instruction: Senate Bill 276 would require public schools to offer music classes.

Hemp production: Senate Bill 357 would allow cultivation and production of industrial hemp.

Hunting preserves: Senate Bill 404 would create regulations governing operation of enclosed hunting preserves. The Indiana Law Blog said the legislation "would provide a regulatory framework for an industry that has been working without one for the better part of a decade."

Go to Yoder's legislative website here for more information, including details of other bill proposals.

Sen. Joe Zakas, R-Granger, District 11

Pension plans: Senate Bill 54 calls for a study into local government pension plans, with a focus on the financial impacts to such plans of limiting participation in them.

DNA: Varied proposals, Senate Bill 69, Senate Bill 152, Senate Bill 241 and Senate Bill 386, would bear on use and collection of DNA evidence by law enforcement officials. Senate Bill 152 would require those arrested after June 30 for "burglary, residential entry, a crime of violence or a sex offense" to submit a DNA sample.

Adult protective services: Senate Bill 137 calls for a study of adult protective service laws.

Property taxes: Senate Bill 163 sets limits on local governmental units' debt service funds and rules related to school districts' transportation funds.

Juvenile justice: Senate Bill 320 calls for formation of a study committee to look into the juvenile justice system.

Consumer protection: Senate Bill 394 changes consumer protection provisions enforced by the Indiana Attorney General's Office.

Go to Zakas' legislative website here for more information, including details of other proposed bills.

Sen. Ryan Mishler, R-Bremen, District 9

State department of health: Senate Bill 419 would transfer certain duties to the Indiana Department of Health and change certain reporting rules.

Go to Mishler's legislative website here for more information, including details of other proposed bills.

Tim Vandenack is a reporter at the Elkhart Truth newspaper. Reach him at or 574-296-5884. Visit him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack.