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Rogers’ legislation to become law
Start Date: 5/1/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 5/1/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
INDIANAPOLIS—This legislative session, the General Assembly approved several initiatives proposed by State Senator Earline Rogers (D-Gary). These bills are expected to be signed into law by the governor. Most new laws become effective July 1, 2013.

Resident tuition rate
Sen. Rogers authored
Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 207 to amend a 2011 law that interrupted the schooling of about 200 Indiana college students. The law required students to show proof of citizenship in order to receive resident tuition rates. As a result, students who came to Indiana as children, but lacked documentation, saw their tuition rates more than triple from the time they enrolled and many were forced to withdraw. SEA 207 will restore resident tuition status to those students so they may resume their education.

Lake County municipal matters
Co-authored by Sen. Rogers,
SEA 585 aims to maintain local control on fiscal issues in Lake County and jumpstart a number of economic development projects. Under the act, study committees will examine the impact and feasibility of adding a second port to serve Lake Michigan and continue to pursue the construction of a trauma center in Northwest Indiana. The legislation modifies qualification requirements for members of the Airport Authority Board, requiring at least five years of experience in executive management of aviation, regional economic development, business or finance. The act also bars members from having significant contractual interest or a business relationship with the airport authority. A major effort on Rogers’ part, language to regulate how to administer funds collected from a new Lake County local option income tax was removed in the final days of the legislative session.

School bus safety
Safety protocol on Indiana public school buses will be strengthened under
SEA 421, authored by Sen. Rogers. The act will require school bus drivers to instruct passengers once a semester on proper seatbelt fastening on buses already equipped with seatbelts. Additionally, all drivers will be required to conduct evacuation drills at least once a semester. Prior to purchasing a school bus equipped with safety belts, a school corporation must hold a public hearing to explain the benefits of school bus safety belts over other child safety investments.

Family friendly school designation
Sen. Rogers establishes the Family Friendly School Designation program under
SEA 422 to help schools develop family engagement and student involvement opportunities. The program is voluntary and may be awarded to schools based on pre-established practices that encourage parent involvement in school activities and student achievement. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) will develop the program in partnership with statewide organizations that link family involvement with student success.

Anti-bullying
House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1423
, sponsored by Sen. Rogers, will require the Indiana Department of Education, school safety specialists and councilors to develop guidelines helping school corporations establish anti-bullying programs. The guidelines will include investigation and reporting procedures, and rules for discipline. The proposal also mandates that a school document in its annual performance report the number and type of bullying incidents that occur, as well as training for employees and volunteers regarding a bullying prevention program. Within the program, schools will develop specific procedures for disciplinary actions concerning bullying and using support services for victims. HEA 1423 also adjusts the definition of “bullying” to include unwanted acts through digital or electronic images used to target a student and create a hostile school environment.

Criminal Record Expungement
Sen. Rogers sponsored
House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1482 this session to expunge the record of an individual’s arrest that was not prosecuted or whose conviction was overturned on appeal. In addition, HB 1482 provides that a court shall expunge misdemeanor convictions and minor Class D felony convictions under certain circumstances, and that a court may expunge records concerning certain more serious felony convictions. Among other provisions of the bill, a court may order that a Class D felony be converted to a Class A misdemeanor if the defendant fulfills certain conditions. HEA 1482 is meant to ensure that individual criminal and arrest records accurately reflect judicial court findings.

Sen. Rogers represents Indiana Senate District 3 which encompasses portions of Lake County. District 3 communities include Gary, Lake Station, New Chicago, Hobart, Ainsworth, Merrillville and Crown Point.

For more information on Sen. Rogers, her legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/s3.

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NOTE: A photo of Sen. Earline Rogers can be downloaded at http://www.in.gov/legislative/senate_democrats/images/headshots/Rogers.jpg

Contact Information:
Name: Elise Shrock-Mannies
Phone: 317-232-9496
Email: emannies@iga.in.gov
Sen. Rogers
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Education & Training
  • Law & Justice
  • Taxes & Finance
  • Agency Name
    Senate Democratic Caucus

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