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Statehouse Update: Adoption Records, Hunting, Road Funding

[photo 1]

The first two bills signed this session are education measures, and two bills that have failed in past years made it through the Senate.

[photo 2]

Governor Mike Pence signed two bills that shield teachers and schools from the drastic drop in 2015 ISTEP+ scores.  Lawmakers suspended typical rules to speed the bills through both houses, and they are the first signed into law this session.  At the bill signing, Pence credited State Superintendent Glenda Ritz with anticipating the drop and proposing the idea to protect teachers and schools from the low scores.

[photo 3]

The Senate approved a bill opening up records from Indiana’s closed adoption era, 1941 to 1993.  Objections from the Pence administration derailed the measure last year, but this year’s version – which provides birth mothers with more options for restricting contact – is expected to succeed.

[photo 4]

The Senate also passed legislation regulating the state’s high-fenced hunting facilities.  It’s the first time that body has ever approved a high-fenced hunting regulation, but the climate is different this year after a court ruling left the industry entirely unregulated.

[photo 5]

And the House Republican road funding plan, which raises both gas and cigarette taxes, cleared its first hurdle, advancing out of the House Roads and Transportation Committee.  Four Democrats and one Republican voted against it.

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