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Pence signs sentencing, IEDC-transparency bills

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence plans to sign at least three bills into law Tuesday, one involving government transparency in economic development deals, one related to school safety and another overhauling criminal sentencing.

The governor's office said Pence will sign the economic development transparency bill, SEA 162, prior to the start of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. board meeting Tuesday afternoon.

The new law will require the IEDC to make public information on a number of things related to incentives granted to companies for job creation, including performance reviews, recaptured incentives, total number of recipients and tax credits claimed for the incentive period, and the actual number of jobs created compared to the number of new jobs anticipated.

Pence also plans to sign a bill backing plans for a state grant program to help school districts hire police officers and buy safety equipment.

The governor has scheduled a Tuesday ceremony at his Statehouse office to sign the bill approved by legislators last month. The state budget plan includes $10 million a year toward the grant program.

The bill advanced after the Republican-controlled House pulled earlier provisions that would've required all public schools to have gun-carrying employees during school hours. It also establishes a special committee to study school security issues and make recommendations by year's end.

The governor's office also says Pence on Monday signed a bill overhauling Indiana's criminal sentencing laws with the aim of sending fewer nonviolent offenders to prison.

Provisions of the bill would require most felons to serve at least 75 percent of their sentences. Current law allows most inmates with good behavior in prison to be released after serving half their sentence time.

The overhaul includes many penalty changes for many property and drug offenses, directing many convicted of those crimes to work release and other local programs. The changes won't take effect until July 2014 and supporters say they expect the Legislature will make adjustments next year.
 

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