You could be forgiven for thinking that the Indiana General Assembly dwells entirely on the grand arguments about whether to cut taxes and how much to spend on schools and transportation. The big issues draw the most coverage and the most advertising during campaigns.
But in the shadow of the big issues, plenty of other legislation sprouts. Here's a sample of some of the lesser-known bills introduced this session.
It's my body, and I'll have it dissolved in lye if I want to
House Bill 1285 would require state regulators to write rules for the use of “alkaline hydrolysis” as a means of disposing of human remains. This process is promoted by some as a more ecologically sensitive alternative to cremation. Sponsors: Vanessa Summers, D-Indianapolis, and Jeff Thompson, R-Lizton. To view this bill, click here.
James Bond, outdoorsman
Senate Bill 199 would repeal a prohibition on the use of silencers while hunting. However, using a silencer to kill deer or wild turkey would become a Class C misdemeanor under certain circumstances. It also makes using a silencer while hunting on private land without the owner's permission a Class B misdemeanor. Sponsor: Travis Holdman, R-Markle. To view this bill, click here.
House Bill 1075 would void a “provision in the administrative code that defines a 'wild hog' as having skeletal characteristics indicative of a hog of wild or Eurasian origin.” Sponsor: David Ober, R-Albion. To view this bill, click here.
Got milk, if you dare
Senate Bill 610 would allow people to get unpasteurized milk from animals they own or which they own a share of. It also would allow them to serve or distribute that milk to members of their family or nonpaying guests. Sponsors: Jim Banks, R-Columbia City, and John Waterman, R-Shelburn. To view this bill, click here.
A deer's right of way extends only so far
Senate Bill 104 would allow managers of public-use airports to chase or kill at any time, without a hunting license, a wild animal that is on an airport property containing a runway or apron. Sponsor: Brent Steele, R-Bedford. To view this bill, click here.
In pursuit of more authentic 'West Side Story' performances
Senate Bill 181 would remove a provision in state law that makes it a Class B misdemeanor to make, possess or sell switchblades. Sponsors: Jim Tomes, R-Wadesville, and Johnny Nugent, R-Lawrenceburg. To view this bill, click here.
Let's play cowboys and Indians
Senate Bill 462 would make the fourth Saturday of July “National Day of the Cowboy and Cowgirl” in Indiana. Striking a cultural balance, it would make the third weekend of May “the First People's Celebration Weekend in Indiana in observance of the Corn Planting Moon Ceremony.” Sponsor: John Waterman, R-Shelburn. To view this bill, click here.
What about well-regulated bait shops?
Senate Joint Resolution 7 would amend the Indiana Constitution to include a constitutional right to hunt and fish. Sponsor: Brent Steele, R-Bedford. To view this bill, click here.
Unfurl the flags – after you fund them generously.
Senate Bill 50 would appropriate $500,000 from the state's general fund to the Civil War flags fund to be used by the Indiana war memorials commission to restore and preserve Civil War flags. Sponsor: Allen Paul, R-Richmond. To view this bill, click here.
Write this way
Senate Bill 120 would require elementary schools to teach cursive writing. Sponsors: Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, Mike Delph, R-Carmel, and Vaneta Becker, R-Evansville. To view this bill, click here.
House Bill 1122 would require coffin distributors to mark each coffin with its country of origin. Sponsor: Dick Hamm, R-Richmond. To view this bill, click here.