By Taylor Brown
INDIANAPOLIS – The Senate’s vaping bill that will overhaul the state’s e-liquid rules passed out of the House Thursday with modifications.
“This session I’m glad we’ve been able to work through the concerns raised by businesses, health care advocates and individual Hoosiers,” author of the original bill the General Assembly is currently overhauling, Rep. Kevin Mahan, R-Hartford City, said.
The initial vaping law essentially created a monopoly, spurred an FBI investigation and led to a court striking down part of the law as unconstitutional.
The new proposal removes the provisions that only one security firm, Lafayette-based Mulhaupt’s, could meet. Senate Bill 1 also removes the provision that barred new manufacturers from entering the industry after July 2016.
After the original law went into effect, only seven businesses could manufacture e-liquids in the state.
Rep. Ryan Hatfield, D-Evansville, saw the negative impact firsthand. A manufacturing business in his district moved to Kentucky after failing to receive a permit from the security firm.
“Without the anticipation that we were going to fix our wrongs, they would’ve moved more operations and employees to the state of Kentucky,” Hatfield said.
Under the changes, Indiana would follow the federal regulations regarding e-liquid manufacturing, which were not in place when the current law was written.
The House took the Senate’s bill one step further, creating rules were the federal law doesn’t cover.
Some of these rules include limiting e-liquids to no more than 75 milligrams of nicotine, and requiring manufacturers to have background checks when they apply and renew a permit. The bill will also require manufacturers to change the label to say, “Warning contains nicotine and nicotine is an addictive substance,” once that federal rule goes into place.
The bill passed out of the House 91-4. Three Republicans, Reps. Ron Bacon, Curt Nisly and Thomas Washburne, and with Democrat Rep. Clyde Kersey voted against the bill.
Bacon said while the bill is better, he still cannot support it. Bacon argued the liquids in vaping devices haven’t been around long enough to know how it will affect the human body.
The bill now returns to the Senate. The bill’s author, Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, has not decided if he will accept the House’s changes or work with them to compromise.
Taylor Brown is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.