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CBD oil, sex ed and DACA: Here’s what you missed this week in the Indiana legislature

Indiana lawmakers have a little more than a week left before the legislative session ends. Next week will mark the last day bills can pass out of the Indiana Senate or House of Representatives before being sent to conference committee. Here’s what happened this week:

Licenses for DACA recipients

A House committee amended a bill Tuesday which would allow recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to receive professional and occupational licenses.

Senate Bill 419, a bill focused on professional and occupational licenses, was amended to protect immigrants known as "Dreamers," who were brought to the United States as children by their parents. If passed as amended, Dreamers could continue to pursue and receive professional licenses in Indiana.

The amendment comes days after the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency decided to begin screening DACA recipients, according to an Indianapolis Star article. The decision follows a 2011 Indiana immigration law that requires state agencies to verify a person’s citizenship before they can receive state benefits. 

The amended bill now heads to the full House, which is scheduled to vote sometime next week.

Alcohol sales

Hoosiers can officially purchase carryout alcohol on Sundays. 

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Senate Bill 1 into law Wednesday, signaling an end to the years-old law prohibiting Indiana residents from purchasing alcohol for carryout on Sundays.

The law allows liquor, grocery, convenience and drug stores to sell carryout alcohol from noon to 8 p.m. on Sundays. The law goes into effect immediately, meaning Hoosiers can officially purchase alcohol this Sunday.

CBD oil

CBD oil is on its way to officially becoming legalized.

The House unanimously passed Senate Bill 52 on Tuesday. The bill would legalize CBD oil with low levels of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

A similar bill, House Bill 1214, is also making its way through the legislature. It passed Tuesday through the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law. The bill would legalize CBD oil with no more than 0.3 percent of THC. 

The passage comes four years after the issue was first brought up in the state legislature.

"I think we’re going to get this done this year," said Rep. Bill Friend, R-Macy, Senate Bill 52’s author.

If the House bill passes through the Senate, both bills will be consolidated into one to be sent to Holcomb for his signature. 

Abortion clinics

A bill that would change regulations for abortion clinics passed through the House on Wednesday.

The bill would require abortion clinics to report any complication arising from an abortion to the Indiana State Department of Health. 

The bill would also require women to look at the drug manufacturer’s instruction sheets and sign the manufacturer’s patient agreement form.

Before passage, the bill was amended to insert the entirety of Senate Bill 123 into the bill. Senate Bill 123, which was not getting a hearing in committee, provides baby boxes —devices where newborns can be left in — at fire departments. 

Patti Stauffer, vice president of policy at Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, called the bill’s new requirements "unnecessary over-regulations.” 

“It’s just another attempt at trying to reduce access to abortion,” Stauffer said.  

IU junior Jenna Fisher, president of Students for Life at IU, said in an interview with the Indiana Daily Student that although her ultimate goal is banning abortions completely, this bill is a step in the right direction.

“There is a lot of work yet to be done,” Fisher said.

Sex ed

A bill that would require school corporations to get parental consent before teaching students sex education passed through the House. The bill passed 69-27 in the House on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 65 requires school corporations to send a consent form that accurately summarizes the instruction of human sexuality home with students. If the parents do not consent, the student will not receive the instruction.

Originally, the bill said students would not receive the instruction unless the school received full consent from the parents. The bill was amended in the House, however, to include that if the school does not receive a parental response after two forms, the student will be taught the content anyway. 

The Senate must also approve the amended bill before it can be sent to Holcomb for final signature.

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