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Other bills
Gov. Mike Pence signed 40 bills into law Tuesday, including the following:
House Bill 1357 – allows schools to hire superintendents who do not have educators’ licenses.
Senate Bill 207 – allows a small number of undocumented Indiana college students enrolled before July 1, 2011, to receive the in-state tuition rate.
Senate Bill 246 – further regulates pain doctors or clinics, including requiring the Indiana Medical Licensing Board to craft rules and giving the state attorney general more powers to prosecute.
Senate Bill 496 – tightens restrictions on buying cold medicine containing a key ingredient used to make methamphetamine by establishing an annual limit on purchases.
Senate Bills 224 and 225 – sets up duties and selection process for any delegates to a U.S. constitutional convention, if one is ever called.

Law provides funding for officers in schools

– Gov. Mike Pence on Tuesday signed into law a bill providing state dollars to public schools that want to hire school resource officers.

“In combination with our administration’s school safety working group, the legislation I sign today will provide new resources to make our schools safer so our teachers can focus on education and our kids can simply be kids,” he said.

Senate Bill 1 sets up matching grants for schools interested in hiring school resource officers, who are generally law enforcement workers assigned to districts or schools.

The budget has $20 million in funds for the grants.

Pence also said separately that he has identified a few bills he will veto in the next few days, though he wouldn’t identify them. All of the remaining bills must be acted on by Saturday.

Pence was surrounded in his office Tuesday by children from a private school that isn’t eligible for the grants, as well as a few students from a local public charter school that is eligible. Private schools are not eligible for the grants.

The legislation also now allows people to possess a firearm on property that is being used by a school for a school function.

Previously, possessing a firearm at a school function was a felony.

This provision likely would affect such functions as off-campus sporting events and proms.

Sen. Pete Miller, R-Avon – author of the bill – was not aware of the change in law and said it might be something for a study group on school safety to consider this summer.

“That might, in terms of the spectrum, move it too far the other way,” he said.

The bill took a curious route through the legislative process – at one time requiring schools to arm personnel in every school building.

That provision was removed for further study.

“It was a winding road,” Miller said. “I think the law we ended up with is a good thing – a positive step forward.”

nkelly@jg.net

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