NEWS-SENTINEL EDITORIAL: Stay abreast on new laws, passed recently

Many new laws took effect in Indiana on Sunday. Here’s a summary of a select few to help readers stay abreast of what was approved by the Indiana General Assembly earlier this year. A full list of all bills signed into law this year can be found at Some new laws, such as Sunday carryout sales of alcohol, had already taken effect earlier.

• Killing a fetus at any stage of development may result in prosecution on charges of murder, manslaughter or feticide, although the new law does not apply to the mother of the fetus and does not include legal abortion.

• Schools must seek written consent from a student’s parent or guardian before providing lessons on human sexuality by sending forms home with students or directly to parents through email, allowing them to opt their children out of such classes.

• Before prescribing more opiates to a patient asking for a refill, doctors must now check a database to see how many times that person has already been prescribed the highly addictive drug.

• While adoptees previously would not be able to see their birth records unless the birth parent had given consent, now children born in Indiana and placed for adoption before Jan. 1, 1994 may ask for access to those records by contacting the Indiana State Department of Health.

• School and intramural coaches must complete a certified education class teaching the prevention of and response to heat-related medical issues that might affect their athletes.

• Public vehicle headlights must be either white or amber. No other colors are allowed. Stop lights and taillights must all be red, and license plate lights can only be white.

• Hoosiers may prohibit trespassing on their property by marking vertical purple paint lines on trees and posts instead of having to put up “no trespassing” signs. There are specific instructions as to the position and length of the lines.

• Students will now be allowed to bring sunscreen lotion to school without a doctor’s note and without it having be locked up in a secure location.

• Indiana now has an official state insect. The Say’s Firefly (Pyractomena angulata), was supported by students at Cumberland Elementary School in West Lafayette and backed by Gov. Eric Holcomb. Thomas Say, the father of American entomology, discovered the insect.