Wayne County’s lawmakers helped write or champion several new state laws during the 2024 legislative session that took effect July 1. 

State Rep. Brad Barrett (R-Richmond) notes the law he wrote that curbs surprise ambulance bills. 

The retired surgeon said more Hoosiers will soon be protected from surprise bills from out-of-network ambulance providers. Health insurance companies will be required to reimburse ambulance providers regardless of whether the provider was in- or out-of-network. Copays and deductible payments for out-of-network services will also be capped at in-network rates.

Rep. Brad Barrett

“I’m incredibly proud of the collaborative effort that went into this legislation to protect Hoosiers from surprise ambulance bills, which can really put a financial strain on families and seniors,” Barrett said in a news release. “Lowering health care costs for individuals and businesses is a priority for me, and I’ll continue looking for ways to help on the state level.”

Barrett also highlighted the following new laws:

Stricter voter registration

Election officials will have additional tools and requirements for verifying voter registration lists. Also, proof of citizenship will be required for individuals registering with temporary IDs and first-time voters will be required to provide proof of residency.

Protecting Hoosier farmland

To help protect Indiana’s farmland and food supply chain, individuals or entities associated with designated countries like Russia and China will be banned from purchasing or leasing agricultural land, and mineral, water or riparian rights. China, Russia, North Korea and Iran will also be prevented from purchasing or leasing land within a 10-mile radius of military installations.

Supporting veterans, military members

A new public notification like Indiana’s Amber Alert and Silver Alert will soon help first responders locate missing and at-risk veterans and military members. A Green Alert could be issued by the Indiana State Police for veterans, service members, Indiana National Guard members and reservists within 48 hours of the individual being reported missing.

Sen. Jeff Raatz

In news releases, State Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond) also notes a few bills he supported. They include: 

Explicit content

Raatz co-authored Senate Enrolled Act 17, which requires websites where a majority of the content is sexually explicit to verify the age of its users.

The law, set to go in to effect Monday, was blocked by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young on Friday through a preliminary injunction, as reported by Indiana Capital Chronicle. Young said the requirements are “likely unconstitutional” and do not actually protect minors from obscene material, while creating an unreasonable burden on adults accessing protected free speech.


Raatz co-authored Senate Enrolled Act 181, which gives the attorney general the power to sue local governments and college campuses that refuse to comply with federal immigration law. The bill revisits a 2011 law that banned sanctuary cities, which became unenforceable after an Indiana Supreme Court decision in 2022. 


Raatz sponsored House Enrolled Act 1084, which prevents financial institutions from discriminating against individuals who purchase a firearm.

In 2022 as a part of efforts to reduce gun violence in the U.S., Visa, Mastercard and Discover began taking steps to designate purchases made at gun retailers with a specific tracking code but backed off the following year after public backlash. Several community members, however, told legislators that payment processors and banks either refused to do business with them outright, or that their firearm-related purchases had been denied. 

HEA 1084 banned payment processors and financial institutions from labeling gun sales with a specific code, refusing to process or voluntarily disclosing transactions because they occur at a gun dealership.   

HEA 1084 also prevents the creation of a registry of firearm purchasers in Indiana or privately owned firearms. 

Visit iga.in.gov to learn more about these and other new state laws. 

Constituents can contact State Rep. Brad Barrett about legislation or to request help navigating state government at in.gov/h56 or 317-232-9600 or 800-382-9841.

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A version of this article appeared in the July 3 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.