2016 Legislative Session
Indiana University Office of State Relations
Statehouse Report 9
The last committee hearings on bills took place on Monday in the House. The remainder of the week was dedicated to House and Senate floor action on 2nd and 3rd readings. The Senate completed its work on 3rd readings on Tuesday and the House finished 3rd readings on Thursday. A number of concurrence and dissent motions were also disposed of on the floors. Finally, the conference committee process began, with a few initial committee hearings held.
On Wednesday, the Senate honored seven members who are retiring along with Lieutenant Governor Ellspermann, who resigned her office on Wednesday. Eric Holcomb, nominated by Governor Pence as her replacement, was approved as the new Lieutenant Governor by both chambers on Thursday. In an effort to meet an earlier session end date, as discussed below, both the House and Senate were in session Friday, which is typically a day legislators spend in the home district.
Bills That Moved
HB 1002 Commission for Higher Education Scholarship Review and Report: This bill requires 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. The bill unanimously passed out of the Senate, but the House decided to file a dissent on amendments made while in committee in the Senate. The bill will now go to a conference committee.
1005 Career Pathways Program: This bill would establish a career pathways and mentorship program, which would provide supplemental pay for K-12 classroom teachers who demonstrate effectiveness in their work and take on additional responsibilities in advanced roles. The House dissented on this bill and its conference committee began deliberations on Thursday morning.
HB 1034 Teacher Scholarships and Stipends: This bill, which makes revisions to the Minority Teacher Scholarship Program, passed out of the Senate without amendments. It will now go to the Governor for his consideration.
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 with amendments and the House author filed a motion to concur. The House now awaits an opportunity to vote on this concurrence.
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. The bill passed the Senate and the House voted in favor of the author’s motion to concur. The bill will now go to the Governor for his consideration.
HB 1370 Dual Credit Teachers: This bill requires 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. The bill passed the Senate and the House voted for concurrence. The bill will now go to the Governor for his consideration.
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 will be 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, who has expertise related to elementary and secondary education, to serve on the Committee. The House dissented on amendments made by the Senate. The conference committee began deliberations Thursday evening with the specific makeup of the Committee of Student Success members as one of the points being debated.
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 passed 3rd reading in the House, but the Senate dissented on amendments made by the House. A conference committee began deliberations Friday morning.
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 passed 3rd reading in the House and the Senate voted for concurrence. The bill will now go to the Governor for his consideration.
SB 173 Motorsports Racing: This bill addresses various fiscal matters surrounding motorsports racing in Indiana and requires 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 passed 3rd reading in the House but the Senate dissented to amendments made by the House. The bill is now in conference committee and deliberations began Friday afternoon.
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 on 2nd and 3rd reading. The Senate then dissented to amendments made by the House and sent the bill to conference committee.
SB 334 Various Education Matters: The bill, which contains numerous provisions related to K-12 education, was amended during second reading to create a Dual Credit Teacher Stipend Matching Grant Fund that would, if funded during the next budget year, provide matching grants to school corporation to provide stipends for K-12 teachers who teach a dual credit class. The bill passed out of the House and the returned to the Senate with amendments. The bill’s author has filed a motion to concur.
Bills that Died
SB 10 Teacher Salary Supplemental Payments: This bill would have created factors under which teachers may receive supplemental payments in addition to their salary. However, the bill did not pass the House by the 3rd reading deadline and died.
Looking Ahead to Next Week
Thursday is the target date for the conclusion of the legislative session, which is a few days prior to the March 14 statutorily required end date. With Indianapolis hosting the Big 10 men’s basketball tournament, hotel rooms for out of town legislators are not available, and thus, the session end date was moved up.
The remaining days of the session will be spent monitoring conference committees and watching for additional concurrence votes for remaining bills in each chamber.
As reported above, Indiana University’s only piece of legislation passed an affirmative concurrence vote. We continue to watch a number of bills that we have been tracking throughout the legislative session as they proceed to final enactment. At this point in the session, the highest profile bill is for increased road and highway funding, which is addressed by both HB 1001 and SB 333. It will be interesting to see how the major differences are worked out in a final resolution.