State House Report 7 - 2015

2015 Legislative Session

Indiana University Office of State Relations

State House Report 7



This week marked the deadline for committee hearings on introduced bills.  It may have been cold outside, but there was much energy being expended in the State House as committees held long hearings to get through as many bills as possible.  The most important bill of the session, the biennial budget bill (HB 1001) was amended in committee. 

Bills that Moved Last Week

HB 1001 Biennial Budget: The biennial budget bill was amended in committee and is now eligible for 2nd and 3rd reading on the House floor.  Of course, this bill is the most important bill to Indiana University during the legislative session.  IU’s system-wide state operating appropriations would increase by 3.1% in FY 2016 and another 2.4% in FY 2017.  Two capital projects were authorized - $48.5 million for the Bloomington campus Old Crescent Phase II project and $36.0 million for the Evansville Academic Heath Science Project.

HB 1102 Patent Protection: The bill prohibits a person from asserting a claim of patent infringement in bad faith.  Originally the bill exempted universities and their affiliated technology transfer organizations, but was amended at IU’s request to also extend the exemption to licensees that claim patent infringement on a patent licensed by a university or university affiliated technology transfer organization. The bill passed the House and awaits consideration in the Senate, beginning in March.

HB 1231 Accelerated Degree Program: The bill would provide a new financial assistance award for students who participate in an accelerated degree program and graduate within 36 months.    The bill is now eligible for a 3rd reading vote on the House floor.

HB 1323 Graduate Medical Education:  The bill, supported by IU, would establishes the medical residency education fund for the purpose of expanding the number of funded residencies slots in Indiana.  $3 million in annual funding for increasing residencies slots was included in the biennial budget bill.  The bill was called for a 2nd reading on the House floor and was engrossed without amendments.

HB 1349 Various Tax Matters:  As introduced, the bill included a provision discontinuing the college donation tax credit.  IU testified at an initial hearing in favor of continuing the college donation tax credit providing evidence that it helps promote lifetime giving to Indiana’s colleges and universities.  At a second hearing the bill was amended to remove the termination of the college donation tax credit.  The bill is now eligible for a 3rd reading vote on the House floor.

HB 1637 Various Education Issues:  The bill makes changes to provisions relating 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. Removes the requirement that PSAT assessment scores are to be included in a student's transcript. The bill was heard and amended in the House Education Committee and is now eligible for a 2nd reading.

SB 434 Veterans Tuition and Financial Assistance:  The bill would require institutions to extend resident tuition in their graduate programs to non-resident students who are serving in the Indiana National Guard.  The bill passed the Senate and awaits consideration in the House.

SB 509 Adult and Economic Priority Grant Programs:  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.  The bill was amended and approved by the Senate Finance Committee and is now eligible for 2nd reading.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

With the deadline for hearing bills in committee past, all attention will be on the floors of the Senate and House as a large volume of bills will be eligible for 2nd and 3rd reading.  The biennial budget will be a primary focus.  The deadline for action on all bills introduced in the initial chamber is Wednesday, so we expect some late nights as both the House and Senate attempt to act on all pending bills.