State to see several new laws starting July 1

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Indiana's Republican-dominated Legislature approved dozens of new laws during the latest General Assembly and many will take effect July 1.

They include measures governing the use of police body cameras and regulating the burgeoning vaping industry.

Another law that would ban abortions sought for fetal genetic defects might not even go into effect, pending an anticipated ruling this week by a federal judge.

Here is a look at a handful of laws that go into effect Friday:


A new measure signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence that would ban abortions sought because of a fetal genetic defect is in legal limbo pending a ruling that's expected soon from U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.

Indiana and North Dakota are the only states to approve laws banning abortions sought due to a fetal genetic abnormality, such as Down syndrome, or because of the race, gender or ancestry of a fetus.

In Indiana, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood sued the state over the constitutionality of the law and are seeking an injunction before July 1 that would suspend the law until the court case is decided. The judge has said she will make a decision "soon."

Meth laws

Legislators made Indiana's meth abuse problem a major focus during the session. Under the new law, pharmacists can limit how much cold medicine customers buy. Lawmakers hope the move will curb the ability of methamphetamine cooks to obtain pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient that's found in some cold medicines.

The measure lets pharmacy regulars buy medication containing pseudoephedrine while allowing pharmacists to limit quantities of cold medicine sold to unfamiliar customers without a prescription.

Vaping regulations

The rise of vaping as a smoking alternative led lawmakers to approve regulations for the emerging industry that produces the liquid that is vaporized in electronic cigarettes. Legislators have said they wanted to make sure that so-called "e-liquid" is safe.

But, in doing so, they imposed regulations that effectively make the Lafayette-based security company Mulhaupt's Inc. the only firm qualified to conduct a mandatory security certification, IBJ first reported in June. Mulhaupt's has certified only six producers and has refused to take on additional clients. That's likely to put many e-liquid makers out of the business when the new regulations go into effect.

Critics have filed two lawsuits challenging the law. They claim the rules are intended to stifle competition.

Police body cameras

Police will be allowed to withhold video footage in some circumstances, under a new law that seeks to address the growing use of police body cameras.

The law was hailed as a first step toward greater police accountability. Under the law, people depicted in video — or the family of a depicted person who was killed — will be allowed to view a recording at least twice but would not receive a copy.

Yet, despite support from law enforcement groups, at least one southern Indiana police department plans to stop using body cameras because of the new law. Clarksville police Chief Mark Palmer said a provision requiring the department to store footage for at least 180 days will be too costly.

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