State House Report 3 - 2015

2015 Legislative Session

Indiana University Office of State Relations

State House Report 3


With most bills introduced as last week began, committee hearing activity accelerated and many bills that IU is tracking were scheduled for a hearing.  Wednesday, which is dedicated to committee hearings only during most weeks of the legislative session, was particularly busy and the IU Government Relations Team split up duty in order to attend various hearings, some of which occurred simultaneously.

Introduced Bills

The final group of House bills were released this week.  A total of 659 bills have been introduced in the House and 567 in the Senate, about typical for a long legislative session.  Of the grand total of 1,226 bills, IU is tracking 294.  Here’s a summary of some of the latest House bills that were introduced this week that IU will be tracking:

HB 1627 IPFW Designation as Metropolitan University:  The bill would designate Indiana Purdue University Fort Wayne as a “metropolitan university” and with such designation authorize the campus to offer doctoral degrees and be eligible for “high impact degree” funding under the state’s performance funding formula, similar to the research intensive campuses.

HB 1637 Electronic Transcripts:  The bill would require educational institutions, in collaboration with the Commission for Higher Education to develop and prepare procedures for implementation for a common electronic transcript, as well as recommendations for development and implementation of an alternative common electronic competency-based transcript.

Bills that Moved Last Week

SB 123 Centers for Medical Education:  The bill, sought by IU, would update statute for references to the locations of the Centers and correct current statute.  The bill was amended in committee and is now eligible for 2nd reading on the floor of the Senate.

HB 1054 Higher Education Co-Op and Internship Programs: The bill establishes the Indiana Cooperative Education Pilot Program and made an appropriation.  The bill was amended in the House Education Committee and was recommitted to the House Ways and Means Committee for consideration.

HB 1108 Dyslexia: The bill, which would require an individual who seeks to receive an initial practitioner elementary school teacher’s license to demonstrate proficiency in the recognition of specific learning disabilities related to reading, including dyslexia. The bill was amended in committee and is now eligible for 2nd reading on the floor of the House.

HB 1466 PERF Unfunded Liability:  The bill applies to entities, including IU, which established a new pension plan for new hires of certain employees while freezing participation in the state’s Public Employee Retirement System (PERF).  The bill would require IU to make additional payments to the state to cover any increases in unfunded liability that results from freezing enrollment in PERF. The bill was amended in committee and is now eligible for 2nd reading on the floor of the House.

SB 277 School Counselors: The bill would require a school corporation to employ at least one school counselor at each elementary school, not including private or charter schools, maintained by the school corporation.  The bill was heard in the Senate Education Committee.

SB 259 Dual Credit Stem Education: The bill establishes the Dual Credit STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Associate Degree Pilot Program, which would lead to secondary school students receiving an associate degree in a STEM related field from a state educational institution before the student graduates from high school.  The bill was heard in the Senate Education Committee.

SB 293 Medical Peer Review:  The bill would provide for use of a peer review committee by the IU School of Medicine and would permit sharing of peer review information between a medical school peer review committee and another peer review committee.  The bill was heard in committee and IU testified in support.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Next week marks the fourth week of the legislative session.  We expect that numerous bills will be heard in committee as the legislative session hits full stride.  As more bills are heard in committee and passed, the number of bills on the House and Senate calendars for 2nd and 3rd readings will increase substantially.