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Indiana Legislature busy on final day of 2018 session

A bill that would allow for the sale and use of cannabis-derived CBD oil across the state is on its way to Gov. Eric Holcomb's desk.

Posted: Mar 14, 2018 10:25 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A bill that would allow for the sale and use of cannabis-derived CBD oil across the state is on its way to Gov. Eric Holcomb's desk.

The measure was overwhelmingly approved Wednesday by both the House and Senate in the closing hours of this year's legislative session.

Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD oil, can be derived from marijuana and hemp, but lacks the stuff that gets people high.

A law passed last year allowed those with a severe form of epilepsy to use the substance.

Now lawmakers are going further, following an unexpected crackdown on CBD sales and widespread confusion over whether the product was actually legal.

Anyone could use the product if the bill is signed into law by Holcomb.

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The Indiana Legislature has given final passage to a proposal that would lift a prohibition on young immigrants referred to as "Dreamers" from obtaining state professional licenses.

The House and Senate both voted overwhelmingly in favor of the measure on Wednesday. Gov. Eric Holcomb has said he supports the measure.

Republican Rep. Ed Clere of New Albany championed the effort after he was contacted by a young woman in his district.

"Dreamers," who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, are allowed to work and study under former President Barack Obama's program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

But recent changes adopted by Indiana's Professional Licensing Agency bars DACA recipients from obtaining licenses for dozens of occupations ranging from cosmetology to nursing.

The agency said it's following a 2011 state law.

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A bill that would allow parents to review sex education curriculum and "opt out" their children from such classes has been approved by the Indiana Legislature.

The Senate on Wednesday approved the measure on a 41-8 vote. The bill already passed the House.

It would require public schools to make two attempts to notify parents in advance of planned sex education classes.

Lafayette Republican Sen. Ron Alting praised the bill's sponsor Sen. Dennis Kruse agreeing to changes that were made to the bill in the House. Initially the Auburn Republican wanted to make it mandatory for parents across the state to "opt in" their children for sex education.

Indianapolis Democratic Sen. Greg Taylor opposed the bill, saying it's important for students to learn more about sex education, including sexual identity.

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A stopgap bill that will cover an unexpected shortage in public school funding is on its way to Gov. Eric Holcomb's desk.

The measure was given final passage Wednesday when the Senate voted 47-0 in favor of the measure, which the House has already approved.

The measure was a top priority this year for Republicans who dominate the Legislature. It will provide up to $25 million this year and $75 million next year to cover the funding shortfall.

The money would be transferred from reserve funds to the state general fund and then distributed to districts.

Republican leaders say the shortage in school funding is the result of an unexpected surge in public school enrollment.

That's because school funding follows the student in Indiana and lawmakers hadn't anticipated the enrollment jump when they crafted a two-year budget last year.

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