State House Report 1 - 2016

2016 Legislative Session

Indiana University Office of State Relations

 State House Report 1


Welcome to the first of many weekly reports produced by Indiana University’s Office of State Relations to provide updates on the 2016 legislative session of the Indiana General Assembly.  Through these reports, we attempt to provide concise information on the major events that occurred during the past week and key information about the progress of legislation monitored by the State Relations Team. 

The second session of the 119th Indiana General Assembly began on Tuesday, January 5.  The 2016 legislative session is the “short” session during which a wide array of topics, other than the biennial budget, may be considered by the legislature. By statute the session must be completed by March 14 compared to April 29 for the “long” session.

Based on announcements by the Governor and General Assembly leadership, we expect that road funding and K-12 issues, especially ISTEP testing, to be dominant issues.  Potential revisions to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act may also take center stage.  There could be 1,000 bills filed and there will be certainly dozens that IU’s Government Relations Team will be following throughout the session and reporting on to our readers.

While there were a few bill readings this past week, most activity involved the introduction of over 500 bills.

Introduced Bills

The IU State Relations team reviews every bill that is introduced and makes a determination as to whether the bill could impact the university.  The team also uses nearly 100 IU expert bill reviewers covering 26 bill topics to assist in reviewing bills.

Here’s a summary of some of the bills that were introduced during the first week of the legislative session that IU will be tracking:

House Bills

HB 1032 PERF PMOC Update Bill: Among other matters, the bill eliminates the guaranteed fund investment option after December 31, 2016, for members of the public employees' retirement fund (PERF) and the teachers' retirement fund (TRF) and replaces the guaranteed fund with an unguaranteed stable value fund investment option.

HB 1034 ICHE SFA Update: Makes a number of revisions to the Minority Teacher Scholarship Program.

HB 1055 Possession of Firearms: Prohibits a state agency, including a state supported college or university, from regulating the possession or transportation of firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories: (1) on land that is; or (2) in buildings and other structures that are; owned or leased by the state.

HB 1067 College Savings Plan 529 Income Tax Credit: Increases the Indiana income tax credit to up to $1,500 for contributions to a college choice 529 education savings plan.

HB 1079 Single Sex Facility Trespass: Makes it a Class B misdemeanor if: a male knowingly or intentionally enters a single sex facility that is designated to be used only by females or a female knowingly or intentionally enters a single sex facility that is designated to be used only by males.

HB 1095 Public Benefit Corporation Merger: Allows a public benefit corporation to merge with a state educational institution. This is legislation being sought by IU.

HB 1108 Carroll Stadium: This bill provides financing for $20 million in improvements for Carroll Stadium on the IUPUI campus

HB 1194 Prepaid College Tuition: Establishes a new Indiana prepaid college program. Provides for the advance payment of tuition (including registration fees) at a community college or state university. Provides that the tax credit for 529 education savings plans includes money contributed to the prepaid college program.

Senate Bills

SB 35 Single Sex Facilities: Provides that student facilities in school buildings must be designated for use by female students or male students, and may be used only by the students of the biological gender for which the facility is designated. Makes it a Class A misdemeanor if a male knowingly or intentionally enters a single sex public facility that is designed to be used by females or a female knowingly or intentionally enters a single sex public facility that is designed to be used by males.

SB 89 Lifeline Law: Specifies that a law enforcement officer may not arrest a person less than 21 years of age for an offense involving possession of paraphernalia or a controlled substance if the officer's contact with the person was due to the reporting of a medical emergency and certain other conditions are met. Specifies that the arrest and criminal immunity provisions of the lifeline law apply to: (1) a person requiring medical attention; and (2) a person who owns the property where the medical emergency occurs. (Under current law, the arrest and immunity provisions apply only to persons who report the medical emergency or assist in reporting the emergency.) Adds: (1) unlawfully furnishing alcohol to a minor; (2) unlawfully providing a location for a minor to consume alcohol; and (3) for a person less than 21 years of age, unlawful possession of paraphernalia or a controlled substance; to the offenses for which a person to whom the lifeline law applies cannot be prosecuted.

SB 134 Hoosier Youth Corps Program: Establishes the Hoosier youth corps program to provide college students summer internships with state and local governments and nonprofit organizations to help meet critical community needs.

SB 167  University Ownership of Certain Entities: To assist in expanding international engagements, this bill authorizes a state educational institution to acquire and retain shares or other ownership interests in a privately held entity. Permits a public benefit corporation to merge with a state educational institution, without court approval, if the public benefit corporation is controlled by the state educational institution. This legislation is being sought by IU.

SB 201 Resident Tuition for Undocumented Students: Provides that an individual, except for certain nonimmigrants, who: (1) attends a high school in Indiana for at least three years; (2) registers as an entering student at or enrolls in a state educational institution not earlier than the fall semester (or its equivalent, as determined by the state educational institution) of the 2015-2016 academic year; and (3) graduates from a high school located in Indiana or receives the equivalent of a high school diploma in Indiana; is eligible for the resident tuition rate beginning in the fall semester of the 2016-2017 academic year.

SB 222 University Use of Eminent Domain: Establishes new restrictions in the use of eminent domain by universities.

SB 301 Workforce Development and Ivy Tech State College: This bill includes many provisions to assess and address Indiana workforce development needs and prescribes Ivy Tech’s role in workforce development.

SB 309 State and Local Taxation: Among numerous provisions, the bill would repeal the Indiana college donation income tax deduction.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

A signature event next week will be the Governor’s annual State of the State Address Tuesday evening.  In his address, the Governor is likely to report on the progress he feels the state is making as well as discuss his legislative priorities. 

The deadline for filing introduced bills also occurs next week and we expect many more bills to be introduced. We also expect that there will be many committee hearings on bills.