2019 Legislative Session
Indiana University Office of Government Relations
Statehouse Report 16
While the 2019 session of the Indiana General Assembly will soon come to a close, the statehouse was full of activity this week as the legislature was faced with second and third reading deadlines. Legislators were also busy holding conference committee meetings to reconcile differences between House and Senate versions of some bills.
On Wednesday, the State Budget Committee met for the updated April state revenue forecast. This is the second of three total forecasts for the FY 2019-21 biennium. The April forecast projects state general fund revenues at a slightly lower level than December’s forecast, but the overall state revenue growth over FY 2019 for FY 2020 and FY 2021 is estimated at $413M or 2.6% and $416M or 2.5% respectively. An updated Medicaid forecast also estimated an additional need for just over $100M for the next biennium. This forecast will be used to inform final funding decisions for HB 1001, the state’s biennial budget. The conference committee for HB 1001 met on Thursday, and the final version of the budget bill will be released next week.
Bills that Moved
HB 1002 – Career & Technical Education: This bill would, among other provisions, allow workforce ready grants to be used for programs approved by the Commission for Higher Education, including programs offered by IU. The bill was amended in the Senate committee to require the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet to conduct a systematic and comprehensive review, analysis, and evaluation of whether Indiana's primary, secondary, and postsecondary education systems are aligned with employer needs and whether Indiana's students and workforce are prepared for success in the twenty-first century economy. The bill also now requires the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet to create a comprehensive strategic plan to ensure alignment between Indiana's primary, secondary, and postsecondary education systems with Indiana's workforce training programs and employer needs. The bill was amended on second reading in the Senate to include the Let Indiana Work for You Program, which was originally in SB 93. The conference committee for HB 1002 met on Thursday this week. The House and Senate will likely take action on the final conference committee report next week.
SB 216 – Educational Costs 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. On Wednesday, the Senate concurred with the House amendments to the bill. The bill now heads to the Governor for his final consideration.
The legislature plans to adjourn sine die next week, although the statutory deadline is not until April 29th. Until then, the General Assembly will continue to finish its work on conference committee reports and concurrences.
In addition to monitoring legislative activity as session wraps up, next Tuesday evening, the government relations teams from IU and Ball State will host an event for legislators and staff at the IU vs. Ball State baseball game at Victory Field.
Next week should be the last Statehouse Report of 2019, and we look forward to sharing our final thoughts on this session.