Indiana lawmakers failed to meet their midnight deadline March 14 to follow through on some potential legislation. Even after Gov. Eric Holcomb allowed a one-hour extension of the session until 1 a.m. the next day, legislators still could not reach a consensus on a few key bills.
Here’s what passed and what didn’t in the last week of the session:
A bill that would legalize the possession and sale of CBD oil is headed to the governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 52 passed through the House unanimously and through the Senate 36-11. However, some worry about the special labeling requirements for CBD bottles and how it could affect manufacturers.
The final bill requires products to have a QR code that would show where the product was made and its contents. The bill requires CBD products to have no more than 0.3 percent THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. With so little THC, the product would not produce a high.
In a Feb. 27 committee hearing, manufacturers expressed concerns for the marketing and labeling requirements. Josh Hendrix, director of business development at CV Sciences, Inc., spoke in favor of the bill. He said his company makes a number of different batches of CBD products. Having to create a QR code for each one could be difficult.
"That really isn’t feasible for companies our size," Hendrix said.
The bill is supposed to clear up confusion from a bill passed last session, which legalized the use of CBD oil for treating seizure disorders, such as epilepsy. However, in November, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill Jr. said it was illegal to purchase the product in stores.
Senate Bill 52 now awaits Gov. Holcomb’s signature.
No handgun-related legislation made it out of the 2018 legislative session alive.
Despite attempts Wednesday to revive bills that had already died, lawmakers could not come to an agreement by the end of the session early Thursday morning.
One bill would have extended the four-year handgun license to a five-year one and would have removed the lifetime permit fee. In a committee hearing for the bill, Democratic lawmakers worried that the bill would loosen gun restrictions.
Just a week after a school shooter in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 people, some worried about the implications of loosening restrictions in Indiana.
“I don’t want to do anything at this point in time, given the state of our nation, to make our laws any easier to get a gun,” Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said in the hearing. The bill died in the appropriations committee.
Another bill would have allowed guns to be carried on church properties, even if there was a school on the property. The bill was never heard in the House.
DACA licensing recipients
An amended House bill that passed Wednesday would allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, young people who were brought to the United States as children by their parents, to pursue and receive professional licenses in Indiana.
The amendment came after the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency started screening applicants who are not U.S. citizens or qualified immigrants who receive state benefits — including DACA recipients. The decision comes after a 2011 immigration law that requires agencies to verify a person’s citizenship before they can receive state benefits.
The bill passed 85-7 in the House and 39-8 in the Senate and now heads to Gov. Holcomb’s desk for his signature.
Parents now have two opportunities to opt their children out of sex education.
If signed by Gov. Holcomb, Senate Bill 65 would require school corporations to send home a summary of materials related to the instruction of human sexuality. Parents could then choose whether or not to allow their children to receive the education.
If the school does not receive a response the first time, it is required to send home the materials a second time. If the parents do not respond the second time, the material will be taught anyway.
The bill originally read that parents must opt in for their children to receive instruction but was amended to include that if the parent did not respond, the student would be taught anyway.
The bill now awaits Gov. Holcomb’s signature.