Photo: Arvind Grover (Flickr)
Legislation expanding the state’s Lifeline law and creating a comprehensive study of Indiana’s sexual assault problem is headed to the governor.
The Senate approved the bill today.
The Lifeline bill provided immunity to drunk minors from underage drinking charges if they sought medical attention for another drunk minor.
The expansion provides the same immunity if underage drinkers seek medical or police help for any reason.
The House added to the bill a comprehensive sexual assault study. But after the House sent the bill back to the Senate, lawmakers raised concerns about the cost of that study.
Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, says that’s now been dealt with.
“The Pence administration has promised and we will find the 60 thousand dollars for that study, be it at Criminal Justice Institute or possibly domestic violence monies or somewhere in the private sector,” he says.
Rep. Christina Hale, D-Indianapolis, who wrote the language creating the study, says the state can’t wait any longer before addressing the problem.
“One in six Indiana girls are raped or sexually assaulted by the time they’re in high school,” she says. “I can only imagine what we would do if one in six Indiana girls disappeared or contracted some mysterious disease.”
Hale says the study will hopefully give Indiana the information it needs to begin solving its sexual assault crisis.