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More Than 200 New State Laws Now Have Taken effect

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Government, Law, Statewide News
(Photo: Lauren Chapman / IPB News)

Indiana legislators created more than 200 new laws this year. And most of them have taken effect as of Thursday, July 1. That includes controversial measures governing environmental regulations, heavy trucks and driving under the influence laws.

More than 80 percent of Indiana’s wetlands no longer have state protections as of July 1. That’s after Republicans eliminated regulations on two categories of wetlands, arguing the rules were overly strict. Dozens of environmental groups and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce strongly opposed the bill.

Indiana will allow many more so-called “overweight” trucks on the roadways, beginning July 1. Previous law set the weight limit for most trucks at 80 thousand pounds. A new law will allow trucks to carry up to 120 thousand pounds – despite concerns from law enforcement about increased safety risks.

And starting July 1, drivers whose blood tests positive for marijuana – but who weren’t intoxicated or caused an accident – will no longer be committing a crime. The measure is meant to prevent people who legally have access to marijuana – like those in neighboring states – to be charged with a misdemeanor in Indiana.