2016 Legislative Session
Indiana University Office of State Relations
Statehouse Report 10
The second regular session of the 119th General Assembly ended this past Thursday night with the Senate adjourning at 8:30 p.m. and the House joining them with adjournment about an hour later. Thus, the General Assembly completed its work a few days in advance of the statutory end date of March 14.
As legislators wrapped up the legislative session, the last week was dominated by final debate along with votes on conference committee reports and concurrences. The final bill handled in the House was perhaps the most significant bill remaining – increased funding for local roads and state highways.
Throughout the week, both the House and Senate honored members who are retiring after years of service in the General Assembly. Each chamber paid special thanks to eight of their departing members.
Key Bills That Were Enacted
At the beginning of the legislative session, IU’s Government Relations team identified 182 introduced bills to track. Of these, 63 were enacted, pending final disposition by the Governor. Of the total 822 bills introduced, 222 were enacted.
What follows is a summary of some of the bills that IU tracked during the legislative session and their disposition.
HB 1001 Road Funding: This bill, along with allocating funding for road repair and other projects, appropriates $10 million for the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship fund, which was established in HB 1002. This bill was passed by the General Assembly and is awaiting action by the Governor.
HB 1002 Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship: 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. It also establishes the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship fund to provide scholarships for students pursuing a teaching career and establishes guidelines for administering the scholarships. The bill was passed by the General Assembly and awaits action by the Governor.
HB 1005 Various K-12 Education Matters: This bill, which contains numerous provisions related to K-12 education, also contains a provision that would establish a career pathways and mentorship program that would provide supplemental pay for K-12 classroom teachers who demonstrate effectiveness in their work and take on additional responsibilities in advanced roles. The bill allows school corporations to provide a supplemental payment to an instructor of Advanced Placement courses. This bill also creates the Dual Credit Teacher Stipend Matching Grant Fund, which allows school corporations to provide stipends for K-12 instructors teaching dual credit courses who either hold, or are pursuing, a master’s degree that includes at least 18 hours in the subject area of the dual credit class being taught. This bill was passed by the General Assembly and is awaiting action by the Governor.
HB 1034 Teacher Scholarships and Stipends: This bill makes revisions to the Minority Teacher Scholarship Program. This bill was previously passed by both the House and the Senate. It is awaiting approval by the Governor.
HB 1105 Prosecutions for Rape and Criminal Deviate Conduct: This bill was amended late in the legislative process to contain a provision that provides student advocate office employees and volunteers at state educational institutions, who provide services to certain victims, testimonial privilege regarding confidential victim information. This bill was passed by the General Assembly and is awaiting action by the Governor.
HB 1179 Minority 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 was passed by the General Assembly and is awaiting action by the Governor.
HB 1219 High School Diplomas: This bill will require every Indiana public high school to offer every type of diploma approved by the state board of education and limits excess local requirements from being placed on students with disabilities seeking a diploma. The bill was passed by the General Assembly and is awaiting action by the Governor.
HB 1248 State Financial Aid: This bill, sought by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, make changes to various state financial aid programs for higher education. It was passed by the General Assembly and is awaiting action by the Governor.
HB 1370 Dual Credit Teachers: The bill requires the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to study methods to ensure opportunities for high school students to earn college credits while 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 the teacher currently teaches or wishes to teach. This bill was passed by the General Assembly and is awaiting action by the Governor.
HB 1395 ISTEP Matters: This bill makes short-term updates to the state ISTEP test, establishes a sunset date of July 1, 2017 for the ISTEP program, and creates a 23-member panel to study alternatives to the current ISTEP program test. The bill provides that, along the Commissioner for Higher Education, the Governor shall appoint another member representing higher education, with expertise related to elementary and secondary education, to serve on the panel. The bill was passed by the General Assembly and is awaiting action by the Governor.
SB 93 Various Education Matters: This bill contains numerous provisions related to K-12 education along with a provision that, similar to HB 1370, requests 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 currently teaching, or wishes to teach, as part of a dual credit course. The bill also removes intramural athletics from the list of athletic activities that would require a school to take precautions necessary for addressing instances of sudden cardiac arrest. This bill was passed by the General Assembly and is awaiting action by the Governor.
SB 167 University Ownership of Certain Entities: This bill, sought by IU, contains language to allow IU to simplify the process of consolidating university centers. It was passed by the General Assembly and is awaiting action by the Governor.
SB 301 Workforce Education: This bill addresses workforce development needs and prescribes Ivy Tech’s role in technical training. It was passed by the General Assembly and is awaiting action by the Governor.
SB 309 Various Tax Provisions: As introduced, among other tax provisions, the bill would have repealed the Indiana college donation tax credit. IU testified against this provision and the bill was later amended to remove it. The bill was ultimately passed without the repeal of the college donation tax credit and is awaiting action by the Governor.
Bills that Died
SB 334 Various Education Matters: The bill, which contained numerous provisions related to K-12 education, would have created the Dual Credit Teacher Stipend Matching Grant Fund to provide matching grants to school corporations to provide stipends for K-12 teachers who teach a dual credit class. While the bill failed to move forward in the legislative process, the Dual Credit Teacher Stipend Matching Grant Fund was added to HB 1005, which passed out of the General Assembly and is awaiting action by the Governor.
During the coming days, the Governor must decide whether to sign, veto, or allow bills to become law without his signature. The General Assembly will also set a date for dealing with any necessary major technical corrections on bills, although it rarely convenes for this purpose. Most legislators will be turning their attention to upcoming primary and general elections with all 100 House members up for re-election along with 25 members of the Senate.
Almost immediately after the legislative session, IU’s Government Relations team will begin work on preparing IU’s operating and capital biennial budget submission/request that will be considered during the 2017 legislative session. Our team collaborates in this process with VPCFO MaryFrances McCourt and her staff; VP Tom Morrison and his staff; and VP John Applegate and his staff, including Todd Schmitz from IU’s Office of Institutional Research. This biennial budgetary request is nearly a year-long process which will eventually end with the enactment of a new state budget no later than April 29, 2017.
All of us with IU’s Government Relations team wish to thank IU’s nearly 100 expert bill reviewers, across 25 technical areas, who assist us with evaluating legislation. A special thanks to Tom Morrison and John Applegate, who serve as “ex officio” members of our team. Finally, thanks to the hundreds of subscribers to our weekly State House Report for your interest in the legislative process. We look forward to providing weekly reports again for the 2017 legislative session beginning next January.