Hoosiers need to be aware that there are some important new laws that are in effect as of July 1 that will impact schools, restaurants, and safety.

Photo: canva indiana laws
Photo: canva indiana laws

Why July and Not January?

The law-making process is generally a lengthy one, and a lot of bills don't make it through that process. The fiscal year begins in July, so that is why the new laws go into effect so far into the year. Recently, Indiana's Governor Eric Holcomb put his signature on 100 new bills that are official laws beginning July 1, 2024.

Read More: Indiana Gov. Holcomb Signs Law for Bobcat Hunting Season

Third Grade Retention and Early Literacy

  • Third graders who don't pass the IREAD-3 reading assessment may be held back starting in the 2024-25 school year. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Additional testing and summer school programs will be available for younger students who are identified as falling behind in reading skills.
photo: canva phone ban
photo: canva phone ban

Cell Phone Use in Schools

  • Indiana K-12 schools are now required to implement a ban on cell phones, tablets, and other personal devices during class time. Exceptions are allowed for educational purposes or emergencies.

As a parent of a high school student, I feel like it is important for him to have his cell phone at school. He doesn't use it during class, but it is a distraction when other students have their phones out. The EVSC is working on further details for parents about these requirements.

Religious Instruction during School Day

  • Schools must now allow students to attend religious instruction off-campus if parents submit a formal request to the principal. Specific times and logistics will be determined by the school in collaboration with the religious organization.

These new laws aim to improve reading proficiency, manage classroom distractions, and accommodate students' religious practices.

Read More: New Green Alert System In Indiana: Protecting At-Risk Veterans

The Return of Happy Hour

As with all of the bills that turn into laws, there is a lot of legal terminology that sounds quite confusing to the average American. Basically, for the first time in 30 years, bars and restaurants can host 'Happy Hour'. Carry-out alcoholic beverages will also be available in qualified containers.

Toasting Margaritas at Happy Hour at Outdoor Cafe

House Bill 1086

Selling or serving an unlimited or indefinite amount of alcoholic beverages for a fixed price. Allows a retailer or craft manufacturer to reduce or increase the price of alcoholic beverages during a part of the day. Specifies that the alcohol and tobacco commission may revoke the privilege of selling alcoholic beverages: (1) in qualified containers for carry-out.

Source: IN.GOV Bills 2024

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