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Weekly Statehouse Update: Mandates and restrictions in active shooter drills, local dog sale bans

The exterior of the Indiana Statehouse dome.
FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks
IPB News
Indiana's 2024 legislative session runs through no later than March 14, 2024.

Republicans advance a bill eliminating local bans on selling dogs at pet stores. A Senate committee approves legislation requiring schools to develop armed intruder drills. And grassroots substance use recovery groups would get more funding opportunities under a bill heading to the Senate floor.

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

HB 1412: Canine standards of care

The retail dog sales bill requires pet stores to register with the state and only sell dogs from breeders and brokers who meet a canine care certification program developed by Purdue University, with some exceptions for smaller operations. Supporters said HB 1412 ensures high standards. Opponents argued those standards are vague and the bill undercuts local decisions.

HB 1104: School safety

Legislation advancing in the Senate sets guidelines for armed intruder drills in schools that include accommodating students who have mobility restrictions or other types of limitations.

HB 1104 also restricts drills that include sensory components — like fake gunshots or a prop firearm — from taking place during regular school hours when a majority of students are present.

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 765-275-1120. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues, including our project Civically, Indiana and our 2024 legislative bill tracker.

HB 1205: Mental health standards and reporting

Recovery community organizations, or RCOs, often provide peer-based recovery support services, and community outreach and education programs. They could be certified by the state under HB 1205, which cleared a Senate committee. That certification, based on national standards, would allow those organizations to have more access to sustainable funding.

HB 1383: Wetlands

The first bill signed into law this session is HB 1383. Gov. Eric Holcomb affixed his signature to the measure this week, lowering the number of wetlands that could fall into Class 3 — Indiana’s most protected group of wetlands, and the only class that didn’t lose significant protections when the state changed its wetlands law in 2021. As a result, few wetlands in Indiana are protected today.

Find all the bills our statewide team is covering in our bill tracker at ipbs.org/2024billtracker/.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.