updated: 7/1/2013 8:57:20 AM

New Laws to Take Effect

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

The state's fiscal year begins Monday and several new laws will go into effect. They concern enhanced investment and hiring protections, Indiana Economic Development Corp. transparency, school vouchers and logistics industry tax credits.

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You can view a summary of all new laws by clicking here.

June 27, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced today that her office is prepared to implement stronger safeguards for Hoosier investors and new requirements for uniform commercial code (UCC) filings that go into effect on July 1. The new laws protect Hoosiers from Durham-like fraud through greater audit transparency and bring UCC filings in Indiana in line with national standards.

Hoosier investors will now receive additional protections from future schemes similar to those convicted felon Tim Durham used to swindle Ohio investors. The securities offered and sold by Tim Durham and Fair Finance were securities that could be offered with no requirement that Durham submit independently audited financial statements. This loophole helped facilitate Durham's multi-year scheme.

To enhance the office's ongoing effort to protect Hoosier investors, intrastate offerings to be registered by qualification will now require audited financials performed by an independent CPA at the time of registration. This will provide investors with a more complete picture of the offerings so they can make better informed investment decisions.

"Over the past two years, Hoosiers have watched the Tim Durham case unfold involving over 4,000 Ohio investors and wondered if it could happen here," said Secretary Lawson. "Now, this new law creates an added safeguard to protect Hoosiers from thieves like Durham."

"I want to thank author Representative Bob Heaton, co-authors Representatives Christina Hale, Dale Devon and Justin Moed, sponsor Senator Jim Smith, and cosponsors Senators Mark Stoops and Doug Eckarty," said Secretary Lawson.

Another change for financial professionals will be new UCC filing forms. The new UCC filing forms follow international naming conventions and will go into effect on July 1. Changes to the form are minimal. Previously, the form asked for last name and first name. Last name is now listed as surname and first name is now listed as first personal name.

The eFiling system has been updated to reflect the amendments, and online service will not be interrupted. The office will begin accepting the new forms on July 1, 2013 and will allow for a transition period until July 31, 2013. The old UCC form will be rejected starting August 1, 2013.

News Release

Originally Posted June 21, 2013


Among New July 1 Laws: Cause for Employers to Review Hiring Process

A change in employment applications is the likely outcome for many Hoosier employers as a result of a bill passed by the 2013 Indiana General Assembly. Further, financial institutions need to review a conflict that has emerged out of the same legislation.

People are often unable to gain employment even though a criminal record has been expunged, an arrest has concluded without prosecution or a conviction was later overturned. In response, provisions in Indiana's recently passed HEA 1482 provide processes to allow for expungement of such records. It allows for court sealing of arrests not prosecuted or overturned on appeal. Employers who are complying with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Title VII of the Civil Rights Act guidelines, as they already should be, will generally be complying with HEA 1482, except for two important aspects.

First, HEA 1482 requires employers to modify criminal history interview questions to specifically exclude inquiries regarding records expunged by the courts; that INCLUDES employment application questions. The legislation suggests the following application language: "Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime that has not been expunged by a court?" In light of HEA 1482, employers will need to examine their employment applications and hiring practices to assure that they are in compliance with the new state law.

Second, financial institutions should also consult counsel in regards to potential conflict between HEA 1482 and Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act. The FDIC does not consider a record to be completely expunged if anyone, including law enforcement, can access the expunged record by court order. That conflicts with HEA 1482, which restricts consideration of all court-expunged records for employment decisions.

Meanwhile, the new worker's compensation law (HEA 1320) has a few provisions that take effect July 1. They are:

-reimbursement rates for repackaged legend drugs at average wholesale;
-payment for an implant to an employee under worker's comp may not exceed the invoice plus 25 percent; and
-an annual filing fee of $2 from an employer to be deposited into the Worker’s Compensation Supplemental Administrative Fund.

It should be noted that hospitals have expressed some concern about the timeframe on the implant reimbursement rate. The bill's author, Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne), had not intended for this section to be effective so soon. It appears that the Worker's Compensation Board will be addressing that concern on its web site in the near future. While everyone is attempting to adhere to what was intended by "going easy" on those reimbursements, in the event of a dispute the Worker's Comp Board will have no other choice but to rule according to the statute.

Other notable new July 1 laws:

-Infrastructure Investment Tax Credit - A firm that makes an investment in fixed capital assets in the logistics and supply chain industries may qualify for up to a 25 percent tax credit on a portion of that investment. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation will administer the credit, which is capped in the aggregate at $10 million annually.
-Expansion of the sales tax exemption available for research and development activities.
-Incentive agreements with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation open to inspection by the public.
-A sales tax exclusion for postage that is separately stated on an invoice.

June 28, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Hoosier families will enjoy more educational options than ever before when the Indiana School Voucher Improvement Bill (HEA 1003) takes full effect on July 1. Signed into law by Gov. Pence on May 9, HEA 1003 broadens eligibility for the popular school voucher program, expands Indiana’s tax credit scholarship program and continues a tax deduction for families with children homeschooled or already enrolled in private school.

"We applaud Gov. Pence and the Indiana General Assembly for giving more parents across the state the tools they need to make the best educational choices for their children," said School Choice Indiana President Betsy Wiley. "While most students are well served by their public school, we can't deny that some families require a different option in order to best meet the educational needs of their child. HEA 1003 is a step in the right direction and we hope more families will take advantage of new opportunities that are available to them."

One key element of the School Voucher Improvement Bill extends eligibility to the siblings of students who are already benefiting from vouchers. Another provision allows students residing in an "F" rated school zone (as determined by the State) to benefit from the voucher program. For more specific eligibility requirements or to find out if your family qualifies, visit School Choice Indiana's website.

This summer, School Choice Indiana is hosting information sessions across the state where parents can learn more about voucher eligibility requirements, the application process and which schools are participating in the program. The sessions also cover other topics such as the scholarship tax credit program, charter schools and other forms of school choice. School Choice Indiana representatives will host sessions in the following cities throughout July:

-July 9 – Avon
-July 10 – Bedford and Muncie
-July 11– Indianapolis
-July 15 – Decatur and Salem
-July 16 –Anderson and Fort Wayne
-July 17 – Clarksville
-July 18 – Evansville and South Bend
-July 22 – Winona Lake
-July 23 – Brownsburg
-July 24 – Michigan City and New Albany
-July 25 – Tipton

More information on these parent information sessions – and on expanded school choice options overall – can be found at the School Choice Indiana website or Facebook page.

"We are asking educators, civic leaders, community groups and others to join us in our effort to make more Hoosiers aware of the school options that are available to them," said Wiley.
"Indiana is the national leader in education reform and improvement, and if we work together with the tools that we have, we can ensure that more students across our great state receive a high-quality education that meets their particular learning needs."

More than 9,000 students took part in the voucher program across Indiana during the 2012-13 school year, with 289 schools participating. For the 2013-14 school year, more than 456 schools have committed to participating in the voucher program.

When parents receive a voucher, the state helps pay for an eligible student to attend a private school. Students qualifying for the federal free-and-reduced lunch program ($43,568 for a family of four) are eligible for a voucher worth up to 90 percent of the state tuition amount (capped at $4,700 for grades K-8) for the school district of residence. Children from families who earn up to 150 percent of the free-and-reduced lunch eligibility (around $65,352 for a family of four) can receive a scholarship for up to 50 percent of the state tuition amount.

About School Choice Indiana: School Choice Indiana, Inc. is a non-partisan, statewide organization dedicated to the principle that providing parents with real choices in the education of their children will improve educational outcomes and improve the quality of education, both in private and public schools. More information is available at www.schoolchoiceindiana.com.

Sources: The Office of Secretary of State Connie Lawson, The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, School Choice Indiana

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