2019 Legislative Session
Indiana University Office of Government Relations
Statehouse Report 2
The second week of the 2019 legislative session has concluded, and the legislative process is now in full swing with committee hearings and an introduced budget. The House and Senate introduced more than 400 bills this week, bringing the current total for this session to just over 700 bills.
On Thursday, the State Budget Committee heard a presentation on the Governor’s recommended budget for the next biennium. Key features of the Governor’s proposal include maintaining a balanced budget, a $286M per year increase over the 2019 appropriation to the general fund for the Department of Child Services, and fully funding the Medicaid forecast at an additional $280M for the biennium over the 2019 appropriation. This introductory version of the budget also includes operating and other costs for state educational institutions, including IU. The budget bill has been introduced as HB 1001, and the House will begin its formal process of hearing testimony and developing its version of the budget next week. President McRobbie is scheduled to present IU’s budget request to House Ways & Means on the morning of January 16th.
This week, the Government Relations team also jointly hosted lunches with the IUE and IUSB Chancellors for legislators representing districts near the two campuses. These lunches were an opportunity to highlight IU’s involvement in local communities and discuss potential new opportunities for IU to further its work with businesses, government, and community institutions in the IUE and IUSB service areas. Over the next few weeks, we will have similar lunches with the other three regional campuses.
HB 1002 – Career & Technical Education Matters: This bill includes a number of proposals related to career and technical education (CTE), including: a new career coaching grant program; changes to how various CTE-related funds are administered and how the CTE funding formula is calculated; a requirement that students must enroll in a college or career preparation or introductory CTE course in 9th or 10th grade; a new Next Level Jobs employer training grant program; and allowing workforce ready grants to be used by state educational institutions.
HB 1009 – Teacher Residency Grant Pilot Program: This bill establishes a teacher residency grant pilot program and fund. Under the program, the Commission for Higher Education may award grants to school corporations and charter schools to partner with postsecondary education institutions to establish a teacher residency program that provides stipends to program participants and teachers who serve as mentors. The grant award may also be used to pay the approved postsecondary educational institution the school corporation or charter school has partnered with for administrative costs incurred in developing and implementing the program. This bill also already passed through the House Education Committee, and it was then recommitted to the House Ways and Means Committee for further deliberations on the bill’s fiscal impact.
HB 1152 – Student Hunger & Homelessness: This bill establishes the student hunger and homelessness study committee to (1) study the prevalence of homelessness, housing insecurity, and food insecurity among students at Indiana colleges and universities during the 2019 academic year and (2) provide suggestions for eliminating those issues.
HB 1213 – Student Journalism: This bill provides freedom of speech and freedom of press protections for student journalists in grades 7 through 12 and at state educational institutions. Among other things, it provides that public schools, school corporations, and state educational institutions are immune from civil liability for any injury resulting from school sponsored media produced by a student journalist, except for acts or omissions that constitute gross negligence or willful, wanton, or intentional misconduct.
HB 1218 – Health workforce student loan repayment program: This bill establishes a health workforce student loan repayment program, commission, and fund to repay outstanding student loans of certain health providers. Under this bill, the commission would annually make student loan repayment awards to eligible applicants meeting program requirements.
HB 1229 – Medical Residency Programs: This bill requires the medical education board and the graduate medical education board to study the medical residency programs in northwest Indiana and prepare a report that provides recommendations to increase the number of medical residents in those residency programs.
HB 1245 – Various Higher Education Matters: This bill contains a number of provisions related to higher education. It requires the Commission for Higher Education to provide each high school in Indiana with names of students who have filed for financial aid, and it also requires high schools to enter into an agreement with the Commission to allow for this information to be shared.
SB 339 – Eligibility for Higher Education Awards: This bill repeals a provision that provides that the Commission for Higher Education may not provide assistance to a higher education award applicant or recipient who is: (1) convicted of a felony; (2) sentenced to a term of imprisonment for that felony; and (3) confined for that felony at a penal facility.
SB 343 – 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 374 – Veterans Education Benefits: This bill would: (a) provide that a student who is eligible to receive a tuition and fee exemption because the student is a child of a veteran must maintain at least a cumulative grade point average that the eligible institution determines is satisfactory academic progress, which may not be less than a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 grading scale or its equivalent as established by the eligible institution; (b) provide that if the Indiana department of veterans' affairs approves a request for a determination of eligibility for a person after the person initially enrolls in a state educational institution (institution) and while the person is attending the institution, the determination of eligibility shall be made retroactive to the date of submission to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs of the application to recognize the person's mother's or father's service related death or disability, and provides that the applicant may receive a refund equal to the amount of the tuition and fees paid to the institution by the applicant; and (c) repeal a provision that limits the tuition exemption amount for a child of a veteran who served in the armed forces after June 30, 2011, based on the percentage of the parent's disability rating.
The pace will continue to pick up next week as the remaining filed bills will be introduced, more committees will meet, and bills will start moving to the full House and Senate for consideration.
On Tuesday evening, Governor Holcomb will give his annual State of the State address, reviewing the events of the past year and outlining his priorities for the state in the year to come. The following afternoon, Chief Justice Loretta Rush will give the annual State of the Judiciary address to the Governor and the Indiana General Assembly, providing an update on the judicial branch’s work and areas for emphasis in the next year.