New Indiana Laws

On July 1, the fiscal year of Indiana began and several new state laws were enacted that may be of interest to you:

Seatbelt Law: The new seat belt law requires all motor vehicle passengers in all seating positions to be restrained (this includes pickup trucks (no more riding in the bed!) and SUVs).

Cigarette Tax Increase: Forty-four cents will be taxed for every pack bought.

Mobile Home Requirement: If you own a mobile home in a mobile home park, you are now required to have a working weather radio on the property. The measure requires installers to equip mobile homes made for mobile home parks with an emergency weather radio. The new law is a response to the deadly Evansville tornado that took the lives of 25 Hoosiers in November 2005.

Local Option Income Tax: Local county councils have until August 1, to decide if they would like to implement a local income tax in an effort to shift the burden of property tax away from homeowners.

Minimum Wage Increase: A law that will lead to an increase in Indiana’s minimum wage and give approximately 37,000 Hoosiers a raise goes into effect on July 24. Congress passed the law, which was signed by President Bush, to increase the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour in a three step process. Each step will increase the rate by 70 cents with the first increase, to $5.85 an hour, becoming effective July 24. The next increase, on July 24, 2008, will raise the rate to $6.55 and the last increase in July of 2009 will bring it to $7.25 per hour. The Indiana General Assembly also passed a new state law that requires the state minimum wage not to be less than the federal minimum wage. Although the new state law has an effective date of July 1, 2007, the state minimum wage will increase on the same dates that the federal minimum wage increases.

Coroner ID Requirements: Indiana coroners now have to use one of four methods to identify a body: fingerprints, DNA, dental records or positive identification by a family member. The change came after an infamous case involving two female car accident victims, one dead and one alive, whose identities were switched.

Funeral Arrangements: In Indiana, widows and widowers suspected of causing a spouse’s death can no longer be in charge of the funeral arrangements. This law came after Zachariah Melcher confessed to strangling his wife, Christian, and their 11-month-old son. Melcher, who is serving two life sentences, refused to allow Christian’s mother to bury the victims until he was able to confide the details of the crime to a family friend.

Thanks to MIBOR for this information!


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