http://www.nwitimes.com/articles/2007/0 ... 05c321.txt
Seat belts close to becoming required attire for all
Friday, March 23, 2007 1:16 AM CDT
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BY PATRICK GUINANE
INDIANAPOLIS | The state Senate voted 28-17 on Thursday to close a pair of loopholes in state seat belt law.
Currently, children and adults riding in the front seat of a car must buckle up or face a $25 ticket. But drivers and passengers 16 and over don't have to wear seat belts if they're riding in a pickup truck, SUV, or a car's back seat.
Federal safety officials say closing the loopholes could save 23 lives a year and land Indiana a one-time grant of $15.7 million.
The House approved the measure, House Bill 1237, earlier this year, but senators made some minor changes.
If the House signs off on the new version, the legislation would go to Gov. Mitch Daniels, who has expressed support. If the House cannot agree, HB 1237 would go to a conference committee to work out the differences.
The House Local Government Committee voted 9-3 on Thursday to give local governments greater power to regulate the use of fireworks.
Sponsored by state Sen. Vic Heinold, R-Kouts, Senate Bill 9 started out as a blank check for cities and towns, or counties in the case of unincorporated areas, to completely ban fireworks or set time and day restrictions. Before it passed the Senate, lawmakers decided to set aside a dozen days a year when fireworks couldn't be banned.
On Thursday, lawmakers whittled that down to eight days -- six days around July 4, Dec. 31 and Jan.1.
SB 9 faces an uncertain fate in the full House, where some legislators may be unwilling to revisit last year's decision to legalize fireworks use and add a 5 percent sales tax to fund public safety programs. The concern is that allowing stricter local rules could reduce fireworks sales and, by extension, state revenue.
House leaders might decide to send SB 9 to the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee for further review.