2016 Legislative Session
Indiana University Office of State Relations
Statehouse Report 8
The number of bills heard in committee and debated on the floors of the House and Senate increased dramatically this week. A substantial number of bills were heard in committee, resulting in a growing number of bills on 2nd and 3rd reading in both the House and Senate chambers.
The General Assembly also began consideration of concurrence motions on bills. If a bill is amended in the second chamber (e.g. introduced House bill amended by the Senate), the bill author can decide to concur with the changes made by the bill, in which case he/she files a concurrence motion. This motion is voted on by the full chamber (House, in our example) and if the motion receives a majority vote, it is sent to the Governor for his signature or veto.
If the bill author disagrees with the changes made to the bill, he/she files a dissent motion and the bill will then be subject to the conference committee process in which differences are worked out by members of a conference committee appointed by the House Speaker and Senate President Pro-Tem. A conference committee report is then prepared and voted on by both chambers with an affirmative vote in each chamber sending the bill to the Governor for his consideration.
Bills That Moved
HB 1002 Commission for Higher Education Scholarship Review and Report: As originally drafted, this bill would have created a new scholarship fund for future teachers. However, the bill was amended in the Senate Appropriations committee to instead require the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to prepare a report concerning scholarship programs and other incentives for high achieving students who intend to enter the teaching profession in Indiana. This new version of the bill is now eligible for 2nd reading in the Senate.
1005 Career Pathways Program: This bill would establish a program to provide supplemental pay for K-12 classroom teachers who demonstrate effectiveness in their work and take on additional responsibilities in advanced roles. The bill passed 2nd and 3rd reading in the Senate and will now go back to the House for either a consent or dissent.
HB 1032 Various Pension Matters: This bill, which makes updates to the Public Employees Retirement Fund and the Teacher’s Retirement Fund, including replacing the guaranteed investment option with a stable investment instrument, unanimously passed consent in the House and will now be sent to the Governor.
HB 1034 Teacher Scholarships and Stipends: This bill, which makes revisions to the Minority Teacher Scholarship Program, passed out of the Senate Appropriations committee and is now eligible for 2nd reading in the Senate.
HB 1179 Minority Student Teaching Stipend: This bill, along with other provisions, makes available a stipend for minority students who participate in a school administration internship as part of that student’s graduate degree program. The bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee and is now eligible for 2nd reading in the Senate.
HB 1219 High School Diplomas: This bill would require every Indiana public high school to offer all types of diplomas approved by the state board of education and limits excess local requirements from being placed on students with disabilities seeking a diploma. The bill passed the Senate on 2nd and 3rd reading and, without any amendments in the Senate, will now proceed to the Governor.
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 was amended and passed by the Senate Education Committee and is now eligible for 2nd reading in the Senate.
HB 1370 Dual Credit Teachers: As passed by the House, this bill would have required 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. However, the bill was amended in the Senate Education Committee to now require the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to study methods to ensure opportunities for high school students to earn college credits will still in high school and to provide incentives for teachers to obtain a master’s degree that includes at least 18 hours of graduate work in the dual credit subject a teacher currently teaches or wishes to teach. This new version is now eligible for 2nd reading in the Senate.
HB 1395 ISTEP Matters: This bill would make updates to the state ISTEP test as well as establish the 22 member Committee on Student Success, which is tasked with studying alternatives to the current ISTEP program tests. The bill provides that, along the Commissioner for Higher Education, the Governor and Superintendent for Public Instruction will each appoint a member representing higher education and with expertise in issues related to elementary and secondary education, will be appointed by to serve on the Committee. The bill passed the Senate on 2nd and 3rd reading and will now go back to the House for either concurrence or dissent.
SB 93 Various Education Matters: This bill contains numerous provisions related to K-12 education and 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 teaching or wishes to teach as part of a dual credit course. The bill moved through 2nd reading in the House and is now eligible for 3rd reading next week.
SB 167 University Ownership of Certain Entities: This bill, which is being sought by IU, contains language that would allow IU to simplify the process of consolidating university centers. The bill moved through 2nd reading in the House and is now eligible for 3rd reading next week.
SB 173 Motorsports Racing: This bill addresses various fiscal matters surrounding motorsports racing in Indiana and was amended this week in the House Ways and Means Committee to require the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to award two annual scholarships to minority students in eligible courses of study related to motorsports racing. The bill then moved through 2nd reading in the House and is now eligible for 3rd reading next week.
SB 301 Workforce Education: This bill, which addresses workforce development needs and prescribes Ivy Tech’s role in technical training, passed out of the House Education Committee and is now eligible for 2nd reading on the House floor.
Looking Ahead to Next Week
The Senate deadline for consideration of House bills on 3rd reading is this coming Wednesday while the House deadline for 3rd readings of Senate bills is the coming Thursday. Because of its earlier deadline, the Senate finished committee hearings on bills this week. The House will hold a few committee hearings on Monday, but is mostly finished with the committee hearing process. Thus, we expect that both chambers will spend many hours on their respective floors with final consideration of the remaining bills on 2nd and 3rd reading. They will also file concurrence and dissent motions.
Wednesday will also be the final day that Lieutenant Governor Ellspermann will preside over the Senate. Eric Holcomb, her replacement, is expected to be approved as the new Lieutenant Governor by both chambers.