2019 Legislative Session
Indiana University Office of Government Relations
Statehouse Report 8
The Government Relations team had another busy week of committee hearings and legislative action. The committee report deadline passed in both chambers this week, as did the House second reading deadline.
A significant legislative event this week was the movement of the biennial budget bill. On Tuesday, the House Republicans rolled out their budget proposal and amended the budget bill in the House Ways & Means committee to reflect their priorities. The budget bill is IU’s top legislative priority for the session, so the Government Relations team has been following it closely. The budget provides operating and capital funding for state educational institutions, including IU. For IU, the current version of the budget bill increases operating funds over the FY 2019 appropriation level by 1.7% in FY 2020 and 2.7% in FY 2021. The House budget also funds IU’s first priority capital project for Bicentennial R&R at $62.2M and appropriates to IU $28.7M over the biennium using the state’s long-standing R&R formula. The bill moved through second reading in the House on Thursday and is now up for a third reading vote in the House on Monday.
Bills that Moved
SB 93 – Let Indiana Work for You Program: This bill requires the Commission for Higher Education to establish a program to provide students information concerning workforce opportunities in Indiana and other benefits of residing and working in Indiana after graduation. The bill passed out of the Senate on Thursday and will now move to the House.
SB 158 – Indiana Youth Service Program: This bill was amended to require Ivy Tech to develop a proposal to establish the Indiana Youth Service Program to provide high school graduates with the opportunity to learn various skills and participate in work at various sites throughout Indiana. Ivy Tech may consult with the Department of Workforce Development, the Commission for Higher Education, and the Legislative Services Agency in developing the program, and Ivy Tech shall present the proposal to the State Budget Committee by December 1, 2019. This bill passed out of the Senate on Tuesday and will now move to the House.
HB 1526 – Hazing: Among other provisions, this bill would require postsecondary educational institutions to develop a program to educate students about hazing and to report incidents of hazing on the institutions’ websites. IU Government Relations testified on this bill in committee to highlight IU’s current efforts against hazing and to communicate a willingness to work with the Indiana General Assembly and our higher education colleagues on the issue. The bill passed out of the House on Thursday and will now move to the Senate.
The House and Senate will work hard to meet their respective third reading deadlines on Monday and Tuesday. After the third reading deadlines, bills not passed by either chamber will be defeated, although the Government Relations team will remain vigilant of issues later resurfacing in the surviving bills. Next week will likely be a shorter week, with action mostly concluding after the third reading deadlines. This should allow legislators to enjoy some well deserved extra time in their home districts. While it will be a shorter week, it will still be full of important legislative action.