On Friday, three of Marshall County’s four legislators attended the Chamber of Commerce’s Third House Meeting at The REES sponsored by the Plymouth Foundry.  Attending was Senator Mike Bohacek, and Representatives Jack Jordan and Jake Teshka. 

Legislators gave a review of the recent session that just ended and some of the bills presented that made it through the short session.  They estimated that 170 bills made it through the session.  Bohacek said the low count was because it was a short session. 

Senator Bohacek highlighted his Senate Enrolled Act 17 protects children from pornography by requiring websites that publish pornographic content to use reasonable age verification methods to help prevent children from viewing the harmful material.  Senate Enrolled Act 16, also authored by Bohacek establishes a guardian ad litem pilot program in LaPorte County, Marshall County, and Starke County.  It requires a court to appoint guardian ad litem in an adoption proceeding if the parent of the child has an intellectual disability and is subject to a guardianship.

Representative Jack Jordan (R-Bremen) commented on house Enrolled Act 1003 which protects taxpayers.  He said 1003 will better support taxpayers and business owners who interact with state agencies.  They created a more efficient and balanced appeals process that is presided over by administrative law judges. 

Representative Jake Teshka (R-North Liberty) authored the Happy Hour bill that was signed by Governor Holcomb. Indiana banned happy hours since 1985, in a bid to help reduce drunk driving.   Holcomb said the measure “empowers” businesses to serve responsibly.  The bill does maintain some restrictions. Beginning July 1, bars and restaurants can offer reduced prices for drinks for no more than four hours a day and 15 hours in a week. And those happy hours can’t be between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Jack Jordan also discussed House Enrolled Act 1001 which will help boost student proficiency in reading.  He said currently 1 in 5 Hoosier third graders struggle to read.  That’s why he supported efforts to make Indiana the number one state in the nation for third grade reading proficiency by 2027.  The bill wasn’t created to retain third grade students who can’t read at their level, but instead makes sure there is help for the kids that are struggling with additional support and chances to pass the IREAD test.