More than 200 new state laws went into effect today. Unless you like to throw caution to the wind – which is not known as a wise tactic in the face of law enforcement – it’s a good idea to take note of what’s now on your to-do and to-don’t lists. Below are a few examples.
Verifying immigration status of new hire
Virtually all employers will need to confirm through the federal E-Verify database that a new employee is here legally. The penalty for employers failing to comply is loss of tax benefits. The E-verify system itself is free, but in reality employers will have internal administrative costs for running each employee check.
Machinery and equipment deductions
Businesses can now seek greater personal property deduction (abatement) from their local governments. On the table are significant tax deductions on new machinery and equipment purchases.
Union secret ballot election
Aimed at eliminating possible coercion tactics, this law requires all elections regarding employee/union representation to be conducted via a secret ballot.
Don’t text while driving
This seems like a no-brainer, but apparently nothing really is. Only those using a hands-free, voice-operated smartphone can continue “texting” while actually on the road.
Drug testing before state workforce training
Unemployed Hoosiers who want to take advantage of various training programs offered by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development must be prepared to take a drug test. If you pass, you can sign up for the WorkOne training.
School choice scholarships
Low- and middle-income families unhappy with their child’s education can now apply for scholarships to help pay the cost at a public or private school of their choice. Only students who have spent at least one year in a public elementary or high school are eligible, and the program is first come, first serve (with a limited number of scholarships available).
Common sense liquor store ID requirements
No longer should stores ask to see ID before selling liquor to people who clearly were around before advent of the television. Only those who appear to be under the age of 40 will be required to produce their identification. For me, that means I will now consider it a compliment if I’m carded.
Child support before gambling
If an individual strikes it big at a casino but is also ignoring court-ordered child support obligations, those casino winnings will be withheld and applied to the outstanding support payments. It’s called prioritization.
Looking for something else? All 2011 laws and their summaries can be found in a report prepared by the Indiana Senate Majority.