2019 Legislative Session
Indiana University Office of Government Relations
Statehouse Report 1
Welcome to the first weekly Statehouse Report of the 2019 session of the Indiana General Assembly. These reports will provide information on key events that occurred during the week and updates on legislation monitored by the Indiana University Office of Government Relations.
The 121st session of the Indiana General Assembly began on Thursday, January 3rd, and by statute the session must be completed by Monday, April 29th. While the General Assembly has only been in session for one day, the House and Senate have already introduced over 300 bills. There could be upwards of 1,000 bills filed this session, but the legislature will consider one key bill in particular – the state’s biennial budget.
The Budget Process
The state biennial budget process for universities is well underway. In September, President McRobbie presented IU’s budget request to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. Two budget related events occurred in November. First, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved its university operating and capital funding recommendations. Second, IU and all other public universities presented funding requests to the State Budget Committee.
Then, in December, the state’s revenue forecast for fiscal years 2020-2021 was released. Overall, FY 2020 state revenue growth is estimated at $443M and FY 2021 at $386M. State funding needs continue to build, including forecasted Medicaid obligations at about $280M in those years and child services needs requested at around an additional $286M per year over the FY 2019 appropriation.
Next week, the Governor will present his budget recommendation to the legislature on January 10th. The House Ways & Means committee will then hold hearings to hear from state agencies and other state-funded entities with budget requests, including IU. President McRobbie will present IU’s formal budget request to the committee on January 16th.
The House will pass its version of a budget in late February, and then the budget development process will continue in the Senate. The Senate will pass its version of a budget in mid-April. The state revenue forecast will be updated in mid-April, and then conference committee negotiations among legislative and executive branch leadership will take place to resolve differences between their respective versions of the budget bill. Typically the budget bill is the last bill to pass, and the final version is typically not released until the last day of session.
The IU Government Relations team reviews every bill that is introduced and determines whether the bill could impact the University. Here’s a summary of some of the bills that were introduced during the first week of the legislative session that IU will track:
HB 1030 – Resident Tuition for Eligible Individuals: This bill provides that an individual is eligible to pay the resident tuition rate if the individual (1) attended an Indiana high school for at least three years, (2) registers as an entering student at a state educational institution not earlier than the fall semester of the 2019-2020 academic year, (3) graduated or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in Indiana, and (4) in the case of an individual without lawful immigration status, files an affidavit stating the individual has filed or will file an application to legalize the individual’s immigration status.
HB 1097 – Advanced Practice Registered Nurses: This bill provides that an advanced practice registered nurse may operate without a practice agreement if the nurse has prescriptive authority and has operated under a practice agreement with a practitioner for at least one year. The bill also amends the hospital governing board requirements for the manner in which an advanced practice registered nurse who operates in the hospital will interact with other practitioners.
SB 93 – Let Indiana Work for You Program: This bill requires the Commission for Higher Education to establish a Let Indiana Work for You program to provide college and university students information concerning workforce opportunities in Indiana and other benefits of residing and working in Indiana after graduation. The program would be implemented at all state educational institutions by the 2020-2021 academic year.
SB 138 – Eligibility for Resident Tuition Rate: Similar to HB 1030, this bill provides that an individual is eligible to pay the resident tuition rate if the individual (1) attended an Indiana high school for at least twelve months, (2) graduated or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in Indiana, and (3) in the case of an individual without lawful immigration status, files an affidavit stating the individual has filed or will file an application to legalize the individual’s immigration status.
SB 158 – Indiana Youth Service Program: This bill establishes the Indiana youth service program to provide high school graduates with the opportunity to learn various skills and participate in nine months of service at host sites throughout Indiana. Individuals selected for the program would receive a stipend during their time of service.
SB 188 – Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Program: This bill establishes the nursing faculty loan repayment grant program with the intent of increasing the number of nursing faculty in Indiana.
SB 216 – Educational Cost Exemptions: This bill amends the eligibility requirements for educational costs exemptions for children of and certain individuals related to certain veterans. It also provides that a spouse or dependent of a qualified veteran is eligible to pay the resident tuition rate of a state educational institution if certain requirements are met.
SB 234 - Tuition of Children of Public Safety Officers: This bill defines "child" for purposes of exemption from tuition and fees for four undergraduate academic years at a state educational institution or state supported technical school for the child of a public safety officer who was killed in the line of duty. Under this bill, child means any biological, adopted, or dependent stepchild of a public safety officer.
SB 249 – Psychiatrist Student Loan Forgiveness Program: This bill establishes a psychiatrist student loan forgiveness program with the intent of encouraging and promoting qualified psychiatrists to practice psychiatric medicine in rural areas in Indiana.
SB 252 – State University and Foundation Information: This bill requires each state educational institution to submit an annual report to the Commission for Higher Education that includes certain graduation, student debt information, and audited financial statements of each foundation related to the state educational institution. The reports and audited financial statements would be published on a website established by the Indiana Higher Commission for Education.
Next week, committees will meet to begin discussing and moving introduced legislation. Bills will continue to be introduced and filed up until the bill filing deadline on January 10th.
We look forward to a great legislative session in 2019 and hope that you find our Statehouse Reports informative and enjoyable.