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A look at issues in Indiana Legislature

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 3, 2013 at 8:31 am •  Published: March 3, 2013

— INDIANAPOLIS SPEEDWAY: A bill providing up to $100 million in state funding toward improvements at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway cleared the Senate. The proposal would have up to $5 million a year in existing state sales and income taxes generated from the track go toward a 20-year financing plan.

— FARM TAXES: The first bill Pence has signed into law extends for a year delays in new calculations for property taxes on Indiana farmland. It stops officials from using updated soil quality figures that were projected to lead to an average 25 percent increase on farm tax bills.


— SENTENCING OVERHAUL: The House backed a plan to overhaul the state's criminal sentencing laws. Provisions require those convicted of the most serious crimes to spend more time in prison and send more low-level felony offenders to work release and other local programs.

— TORT REFORM: A Republican senator withdrew a bill sought by Pence that would have required the loser in a lawsuit to pay all legal fees after concluding the proposal would likely be defeated.


— ABORTION REGULATIONS: The Senate approved a bill requiring abortion clinics to perform ultrasounds on women seeking the abortion pill and imposing tougher requirements on clinics that offer abortion drugs but not surgical abortions. Doctors' offices would be exempt from the provisions.

— GAY MARRIAGE: House and Senate leaders delayed until next year votes on a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, saying they wanted to wait until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on similar bans in other states.

— WELFARE DRUG TESTING: A House-approved bill would have welfare recipients face drug testing in order to keep receiving benefits if they're identified by a written screening test for possible drug abuse problems.


— SUNDAY ALCOHOL SALES: A bill that would have lifted Indiana's ban on Sunday retail alcohol sales died when a House committee chairman didn't hold a vote on it. Bills seeking to end the ban have been filed the past several years, but it received a committee hearing for the first time this session.

— RIGHT TO HUNT: The Senate backed adding the right to hunt, fish and farm to the state constitution. If approved by the House, the proposed constitutional amendment would go before voters in the 2014 general election.

— SPECIALTY LICENSE PLATES: The House approved overhauling the state's specialty auto license plate system by requiring all groups with plates to sell 500 a year and undergo a financial review once a decade. The bill sets a limit of 150 specialty plates. The state now has about 100 specialty plates.