Senate Bill 380: Banning identifying as a cat in Indiana

02/28.2023 Update: This bill was heavily amended in the Senate to define graduation measures. The addition of Democratic co-sponsors in the House will like mean the dress code portion of the bill won’t receive much attention.

Analysis: A bill working through the Indiana Senate would reiterate that schools are allowed to enforce dress codes and curb disruptive behavior to address concerns about students identifying as furries. It follows a nationwide wave of claims – none proven – that students are dressing and acting like animals in classrooms.

When introducing the bill in the Senate’s education committee, which Raatz chairs, he said it was to address concerns about students who “may be imitating or were behaving like a furry.”

Senate Bill 380
Introduced Senate Bill (S)
Authored by Sen. Jeff Raatz.

Various education matters. Amends the definition of “graduation” for purposes of the high school graduation rate determination. Allows a school corporation to adopt a policy concerning dress code or disruptive behavior.

Synopsis: Various education matters. Requires each school corporation to publish on the school corporation’s website the graduation rate for each high school in the school corporation. Amends the definition of “graduation” for purposes of the high school graduation rate determination. Amends the graduation rate calculation. Removes a provision that provides that not more than 1% of students of a cohort may receive the alterative diploma established by the state board of education. Allows a school corporation to adopt a policy concerning dress code or distractive behavior.

Actions for Senate Bill 380
H 02/28/2023 First reading: referred to Committee on Education
S 02/09/2023 Referred to the House
S 02/07/2023 Senator Breaux added as coauthor
S 02/07/2023 House sponsor: Representative Behning
S 02/07/2023 Third reading: passed; Roll Call 85: yeas 39, nays 10
S 02/06/2023 Senator Donato added as second author
S 02/06/2023 Second reading: ordered engrossed
S 02/02/2023 Committee report: amend do pass, adopted
S 01/19/2023 First reading: referred to Committee on Education and Career Development
S01/19/2023 Authored by Senator Raatz

Link to PDF file of Introduced Bill: SB0380.01.INTR
Link to PDF file of Amended Bill:

References and News articles about this bill:

Indianapolis Star: Indiana lawmaker targets furries in schools. Schools say there’s no problem, Arika Herron

Related Stories: Cat litter boxes in schools? Tony Dungy apologizes for tweet that sparked outrage and backlash

Continue ReadingSenate Bill 380: Banning identifying as a cat in Indiana

House Bill 1118 – Criminalizing Gender Affirming Care

Authored by Rep. Lorissa Sweet, HB-1118 Defines gender affirming care as a form of conversion therapy and defines criminal penalties for parents and medical providers who affirm the self-identify of their transgender children.

Related House bills: House Bill 1220, House Bill 1231, House Bill 1589.
Related Senate bill: Senate Bill 480, which is moving in the Senate.

Introduced House Bill (H)
Authored by Rep. Lorissa Sweet.
Co-Authored by Rep. Zach Payne.

Prohibited services relating to care of minors. Prohibits specified health care professionals from: (1) performing, or causing to be performed, certain medical procedures on a minor; or (2) subjecting a minor to certain activities that purposely attempt to change, reinforce, or affirm a minor’s perception of the minor’s own sexual attraction or sexual behavior, or attempt to change, reinforce, or affirm a minor’s gender identity when the identity is inconsistent with the minor’s biological sex.

H 01/12/2023 Representative Payne Z added as coauthor
H 01/10/2023 First reading: referred to Committee on Public Health
H 01/10/2023 Authored by Representative Sweet

Explanation of State Expenditures:

The bill would result in an increase in workload for the Department of Child Services (DCS) to investigate reports of health care professionals providing prohibited services under the bill to minors and refer cases to law enforcement. The Professional Licensing Agency (PLA) and applicable licensing boards may also experience additional workload to take disciplinary action against practitioners who are alleged to have violated the requirements of the bill. If health care professionals are convicted on felony charges under the bill, the Department of Correction (DOC) would incur additional costs for incarceration. Ultimately, total additional expenditures resulting from the bill will depend on legislative, administrative, and judicial decisions.

Additional Information:
A health care professional who violates provisions of the bill that prohibit certain medical procedures would commit a Level 5 felony. A Level 5 felony is punishable by a prison term ranging from 1 to 6 years, with an advisory sentence of 3 years. The sentence depends on mitigating and aggravating circumstances. The average expenditure to house an adult offender was $27,185 annually, or $74.43 daily, in FY 2022. (This does not include the cost of new construction.) If offenders can be housed in existing facilities with no additional staff, the marginal cost for medical care, food, and clothing is approximately $4,456 annually, or $12.21 daily, per prisoner. These marginal cost estimates are based on contractual agreements with food and medical vendors and projections based on prior years for clothing and hygiene. The estimated average cost of housing a juvenile in a state juvenile facility was $130,547, or $357.42 daily, in FY 2022. The marginal cost for juvenile facilities was $5,125 annually or $14.04 daily

The entire Level 5 sentence may be suspended and the person placed on either probation or community corrections. If no time is suspended, the offender can receive good time credit of 25% and educational credit time. After adjusting for credit time, the offender can be released from prison and placed on parole.

Explanation of State Revenues:
If civil actions are brought against health care professionals, the state General Fund and Common School Fund could collect additional revenue from court fees and criminal fines. Additionally, the PLA and applicable licensing boards could impose fines against violating practitioners, which would be deposited in the state General Fund. However, Licensing boards could also take action against a practitioner’s license, resulting in reduced state General Fund revenue from license fees. The bill’s overall impact on revenue will ultimately depend on administrative and judicial decisions.

Additional Information:

Penalty Provision:
If additional court cases occur and fines are collected, revenue to both the Common School Fund and the state General Fund would increase. The maximum fine for a Level 5 felony is $10,000. Criminal fines are deposited in the Common School Fund. The maximum fine for a Class A misdemeanor is $5,000.

If the case is filed in a circuit or superior court, 70% of the $120 criminal costs fee that is assessed and collected when a guilty verdict is entered would be deposited in the state General Fund. In addition, some or all of the following revenue is deposited into the state General Fund: automated record keeping fee ($20), judicial salaries fee ($20), public defense administration fee ($5), court administration fee ($5), judicial insurance adjustment fee ($1), and the DNA sample processing fee ($3).

Disciplinary Action:
The PLA may impose fines of up to $1,000 against practitioners who violate laws governing their profession. Revenue from fines is deposited in the state General Fund. Biennial license fees for the practitioners named in the bill range from $50 to $200 and are deposited in the state General Fund.

Explanation of Local Expenditures:
If more defendants are detained in county jails prior to their court hearings or receive jail sentences, local expenditures for jail operations may increase. However, any additional expenditures would likely be minimal. [A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail.] County-owned hospitals could experience additional legal costs if they become involved in litigation against health care professionals practicing at their facilities.

The average cost per day is approximately $64.53 based on the per diem payments reported by U.S. Marshals to house federal prisoners in 11 county jails across Indiana during CY 2021.

Explanation of Local Revenues:
If additional court actions occur and a guilty verdict is entered, local governments would receive revenue from the following sources. The county general fund would receive 27% of the $120 criminal costs fee that is assessed in a court of record. Cities and towns maintaining a law enforcement agency that prosecutes at least 50% of its ordinance violations in a court of record may receive 3% of the criminal costs fee. Persons found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor are also required to pay the document storage fee ($5), which is deposited into the clerk record perpetuation fund, and the jury fee ($2) and the law enforcement continuing education fee ($4), which are both deposited in the county user fee fund.

State Agencies Affected:
Department of Child Services; Professional Licensing Agency; Department of Correction.

Local Agencies Affected:
Trial courts; local law enforcement agencies.

Information Sources:
Margaux Auxier, Department of Correction; IC 35-50-2-7; IC 35-50-3-2; Legislative Services Agency, Indiana Handbook of Taxes, Revenues, and Appropriations, FY 2022; U.S. Department of Justice Marshals Service.

Fiscal Analyst:
Jasmine Noel, 317-234-1360.

Link to introduced version of the bill: HB1118.01.INTR

Continue ReadingHouse Bill 1118 – Criminalizing Gender Affirming Care