2015 Legislative Session
Indiana University Office of State Relations
State House Report 8
Both chambers spent long hours to meet the 2nd reading deadline that fell on Tuesday and the 3rd reading deadline, which was Wednesday. Each Chamber was in recess on Thursday and Friday, permitting members to enjoy a much earned long weekend break before beginning the second half of the legislative session.
Any introduced bill that did not pass 3rd reading is dead for the session. Of 666 total bills introduced in the House, 176 passed. In the Senate, 221 bills passed compared to 567 bills introduced.
Bills that Moved Last Week
HB 1001 Biennial Budget: The biennial budget bill passed the House after multiple 2nd reading amendments were considered and rejected. The bill now awaits consideration in the Senate. Details on provisions in the bill impacting Indiana University can be found at http://gov.iu.edu/state/special-reports/pages/Special%20State%20Report%20-%202015%20House%20Biennial%20Budget.shtml.
HB 1231 Accelerated Degree Program: The bill, which would provide a new financial assistance award for students who participate in an accelerated degree program and graduate within 36 months, passed the House.
HB 1323 Graduate Medical Education: The bill, supported by IU, would establish 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 residency slots was included in the biennial budget bill. The bill passed the House.
HB 1262 Return and Complete Grant Program: The bill would establish a grant fund to provide awards for Indiana residents who were previously enrolled in an Indiana postsecondary institution and earned some college credit, but had not yet earned an associate or baccalaureate degree. The student would receive the grant upon completion of an associate or baccalaureate degree program. The bill was not heard in the House Ways and Means Committee by the deadline and is no longer eligible for consideration during the 2015 legislative session.
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. The bill also removes the requirement that PSAT assessment scores are to be included in a student's transcript. The bill passed 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 passed the Senate.
SJR 19 Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment: The resolution, an initiative by Governor Pence, would amend the Indiana constitution to require that during a “budget period” expenses for “ordinary operating costs of State government” plus costs necessary to fund state pension plans must not exceed state revenues. The amendment provides for a suspension of the provision if two-thirds of the members of both the Indiana House of Representatives and Indiana Senate vote to do so. The resolution passed the Senate.
Looking Ahead to Next Week
The General Assembly will begin the second half of the legislative session by considering bills passed by their sister chamber – the House considering Senate bills and the Senate considering House bills. The process repeats itself with all eligible bills being heard in Committee first before moving to the floor for 2nd and 3rd readings. The schedule permits seven weeks for this process leading to an April 15 deadline for 3rd reading. At that point, the schedule provides approximately two weeks for conference committee negotiations to resolve differences between versions of bills passed by the House and the Senate before the session ending date of April 29th.