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[multiple] [s31] Sen. Merritt: Two Key Public Safety Bills Near Governor’s Desk
Start Date: 3/26/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 3/26/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

STATEHOUSE (March 26, 2013) — Two key public safety initiatives carried by State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) this legislative session are closer to becoming law with approvals from both the House of Representatives and the Senate today.


The House voted 94-0 in favor of Senate Bill 536, authored by Merritt, to tighten Indiana’s ban on dangerous synthetic drugs by making it illegal to possess or deal “look-alikes.” Current state law only prohibits substances identified as synthetic drugs based on their chemical makeup.


SB 536 would also strengthen Indiana’s definition of “intoxication,” to allow law enforcement officers to arrest and prosecute individuals driving under the influence of synthetic drugs.


“After three years of working with community leaders on this issue, this legislation will serve as a model for the rest of the country,” Merritt said. “Rather than chasing after the changing synthetic drug compounds, we want to identify and provide the tools law enforcement needs to stop the manufacturing and selling of these dangerous substances themselves.”


House Bill 1069 is part of a continued effort to increase safety at outdoor venues where temporary staging equipment is used, following the Indiana State Fair tragedy of 2011. Merritt said HB 1069 would permanently allow Indiana’s Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission (FPBSC) to adopt rules regulating outdoor event equipment. It would also extend the expiration date for the temporary rule already put in place by FPBSC to Jan. 1, 2016, rather than 2014. The Senate approved the bill 40-7.


“Public safety at outdoor events is still a top priority,” Merritt said. “Since 2011, we’ve been strengthening these procedures. This is an important step toward making them long-term rules we can rely on.”


Before moving to the governor’s desk, both SB 536 and HB 1069 must return to their original chambers for final legislative consideration.



Contact Information:
Name: Whitney Moorman
Phone: 317-232-7184
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Agency Name
    Senate Republican Caucus

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