2016 Legislative Session
Indiana University Office of State Relations
Statehouse Report 4
The deadline for hearing introduced bills in committee was Thursday morning. As a result, there was a very large volume of bills that were heard as authors and committee chairs sought to beat the deadline. Consistent with the large volume of bills being voted out of committees, the number of bills considered on the floors of each chamber of the General Assembly grew as well.
IU continued its luncheons with legislators representing the areas surrounding our regional campuses. The South Bend and East campuses hosted the luncheons this week.
Bills That Moved
HB 1002 Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship: This bill would create a new scholarship fund for future teachers that, with the approval of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, could award up to $7,500 per academic year to a student. This bill was amended on 2nd reading to expand the program to currently enrolled college students and to give priority to recent high school graduates. Afterwards it passed 3rd reading on the House floor. It will now move to the Senate for further consideration.
HB 1034 Teacher Scholarships and Stipends: This bill, which makes revisions to the Minority Teacher Scholarship Program, was unanimously passed by the House Ways and Means committee and moved through 2nd reading without amendment. It is now eligible for 3rd reading on the House floor.
HB 1248 Higher Education Matters: This bill, sought by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, would make changes to various state financial aid programs for higher education. It passed 3rd reading in the House and will now move to the Senate.
HB 1370 Dual Credit Teachers: The introduced bill would have required state educational institutions to waive a tuition for dual credit teachers who enroll in a state educational institution to obtain 18 graduate credit hours. Indiana University provided testimony on the bill, which was heard and amended in the House Education Committee to remove the requirement to waive tuition and require each state educational institution to develop a plan to ensure teachers who currently teach high school dual credit courses on behalf of or under an agreement with the state educational institution meet accreditation requirements. As part of this plan, state educational institutions may provide a tuition waiver. The bill was amended on 2nd reading to require the plans to be submitted to the Commission for Higher Education, rather than the Dual Credit Advisory Board. The bill is now eligible for a 3rd reading on the House floor.
SB 10 Teacher Salary Supplemental Payments: This bill would create a set of factors under which teachers could receive supplemental payments. One such factor would be for additional degrees beyond the requirements for employment, with at least 18 graduate credit hours in the content area currently taught by the teacher or a content area the teacher plans to teach upon receiving the degree. The bill moved past 2nd reading and is now eligible for 3rd reading.
SB 93 Various Education Matters: This bill contains numerous provisions related to K-12 education and was amended in the Senate Education Committee to include a provision that would request the Legislative Council to assign an interim study of the methods to ensure opportunities for secondary school students to earn college credits while enrolled in high school and to provide incentives for a teacher to obtain a master’s degree or at least 18 hours of graduate coursework in the subject matter the teacher is teacher or wishes to teach as part of a dual credit course. The bill was voted out of committee and is now eligible for 2nd reading on the Senate floor.
SB 128 Monroe County Public Transit Funding: This bill, which allows the fiscal body of Monroe County to adopt an ordinance to impose an additional income tax rate to fund country transit projects, moved passed 2nd reading and is now eligible for 3rd reading in the Senate.
SB 167 University Ownership of Certain Entities: This bill, which is being sought by IU, would authorize state educational institutions to acquire and retain ownership shares in privately held entities. This provision would assist IU in expanding its international engagements through its Gateway Centers. The bill also would simplify the process of streamlining university centers. The bill has now moved past 2nd reading and is eligible for 3rd reading in the Senate.
SB 328 Teacher Assistance: This bill would provide grants to individuals in speech-language programs. This bill was voted unanimously out of the Senate Education committee and is now eligible for 2nd reading.
SB 301 Workforce Education: This bill, which addresses workforce development needs and prescribes Ivy Tech’s role in that development, passed 3rd reading in the Senate and will now move to the House.
SB 309 State and Local Taxation: Among other provisions, this bill would repeal the College Donation Tax Credit in Indiana. Last week, IU testified in favor of continuing the tax credit, providing evidence that it incents long-term giving that can grow over time as donor income increases. The bill passed committee and, with the college donation tax credit repeal still intact, is now eligible for 2nd reading. IU will be working to remove the provision that terminates the College Donation Tax Credit from this bill.
SB 344 Civil Rights: This bill would add sexual orientation and military status to Indiana’s non-discrimination laws and provide an exemption from these provisions related to sexual orientation for some religious entities and businesses with fewer than 5 employees when providing marriage-related services. Additionally, it prohibits new local ordinances, post-December 31, 2015, that differ from these provisions. Finally, the bill would also set limits in relation to government sanctions against religious organizations. The bill passed the Senate Rules & Legislative Procedure committee this week and is now eligible for 2nd reading in the Senate.
Looking Ahead to Next Week
With committee hearings completed, the General Assembly will spend all of its time on the floors of the House and Senate with 2nd and 3rd readings on what will be a large volume of bills. The deadline for 2nd reading is Tuesday with the deadline for 3rd reading falling on Wednesday. The General Assembly will then take a short break before beginning the second half of the short legislative session the following week.