2015 Legislative Session
Indiana University Office of State Relations
State House Report 11
The legislation is moving ahead at a moderate pace, although the number of bills being heard are fewer than the first half of the legislative session. The State House was filled with large numbers of supporter and opponents to SB 101, the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” on Monday when it was heard in committee. It was one of the few times this year that legislation has drawn large public engagement.
Bills that Moved Last Week
HB 1042 Education Loan Information: Similar to an initiative at IU, the bill requires colleges and universities that enroll students who receive state financial aid to annually provide each student with certain information concerning the student’s educational loans. The bill passed the Senate without amendment and will be eligible for consideration by the Governor.
HB 1108 Dyslexia: The bill requires an individual seeking an initial elementary school teacher practitioner’s license to demonstrate proficiency in recognizing a student that is not progressing in reading at a normal rate may need to be referred to the school’s multidisciplinary team to determine the student’s special learning needs, including learning related to dyslexia. The bill was amended in the Senate Education Committee to include provisions sought by the universities and is eligible for 2nd and 3rd reading.
HB 1188 Student Teaching: The bill requires a student teaching agreement to include a provision requiring a student who is required to complete a student teaching requirement to be supervised by a certificated employee that has been rated as either highly effective or effective on their latest annual performance evaluation. The bill passed out of the Senate Education Committee and is now eligible for a 2nd and 3rd reading on the Senate floor.
HB 1231 Accelerated Degree Award: The bill would establish a new program to provide awards to college programs that, along with specified requirements, permits a student to graduate at least 1 year ahead of schedule. The bill was amended in committee and is now eligible for 2nd and 3rd reading on the floor of the Senate.
HB 1637 Various Education Issues: The bill makes changes to provisions related to guidelines established by the State Board of Education to identify students who are likely to require remedial work at a postsecondary educational institution or workforce training program. The bill also removes the requirement that PSAT assessment scores are to be included in a student’s transcript. The bill was heard in the Senate Education Committee.
SB 123 Centers for Medical Education: The bill, sought by IU, as passed by the Senate would update statute for references to the locations of the Centers and correct current statute. The bill was heard in committee this week and IU testified in favor of the legislation. The bill is being held until a future committee hearing for final action.
SB 434 National Guard and Veterans Tuition: The bill would require higher education institutions to charge resident tuition for both undergraduate and graduate coursework to non-resident students serving in the Indiana National Guard. The bill would also extend resident tuition for graduate studies to certain veterans and persons serving on active duty (statute currently requires resident tuition on undergraduate coursework). The bill passed the House and is now pending action by the Governor.
SB 509 Adult Grant: The bill, sought by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, would replace the state’s current part-time student grant program with a new adult learner grant program. It would also establish a new “economic priority sector” one-time grant for graduates of programs preparing students for employment in certain employment sectors. The bill was heard in committee and is being held until a future committee hearing.
Looking Ahead to Next Week
Next week the IU State Relations team will commence a series of luncheons with our Regional Campus Chancellors and their area legislators to provide campus updates and advocate for higher education in each region. The meetings will begin with IU Southeast Chancellor Ray Wallace and IU Northwest Chancellor Bill Lowe coming to Indianapolis next week to meet with their area legislators. The following week meetings will be with Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giescke and the IU Kokomo legislative delegation as well as Chancellor Kathy Cruz-Uribe and legislators serving in districts in the IU East service area. The week of April 6, we will look forward to our final Regional Campus legislative luncheon with Chancellor Terry Allison and members of General Assembly serving the region surrounding IU South Bend.