This week at the Statehouse moved quickly as lawmakers rushed to hear as many bills as they could in the penultimate week of committee hearings before the deadline to hear bills in their originating house.
The biggest news of the week centered around HB1001, the budget bill. On Wednesday, House Ways and Means heard testimony on the Governor’s proposed budget. Then on Thursday afternoon the committee released their amendment to the budget which will likely be the version to pass out of the House and be considered by the Senate. Of course, the budget is Indiana University’s top legislative priority this year and our team is dedicating countless hours to the process.
Next week is the last week for legislation to be heard in committee, if a bill has not had a committee hearing it is dead and will not become law this session.
HB 1001: Budget
Passed out of House Ways and Means
The House version of the budget restores the funding in FY 2022 for higher education operating and line item appropriations after the 7% cut made by the state in FY 2021. In FY 2023, the budget includes a total of 7% performance funding with 2% new dollars and 5% reallocated dollars. The House budget, like the Governor’s recommended budget, restores dual credit funding at $50 per credit hour. Additionally, the House budget, again like the Governor’s recommended budget, does not provide any new dollars for higher education capital projects nor for Repair and Rehabilitation (R&R) projects.
HB 1007: State Health Improvement and Grant Program
Passed out of both House Public Health and House Ways and Means
The bill requires the State Department of Health, in consultation with the Office of the Secretary of Family and Social Services, to study and prepare a plan to improve the health and behavioral health of Indiana residents. The bill also establishes a grant program and fund for preventing and addressing health issues and challenges.
HB 1286: Telehealth Matters
Passed out of House Public Health
The bill expands the application of the telehealth statute to additional licensed practitioners instead of applying only to prescribers. It also requires that telehealth medical records be created and maintained under the same standards of appropriate practice for medical records for patients in an in-person setting.
SB 1: Civil Immunity Related to COVID-19
Passed out of the House 72-21
The bill provides civil tort immunity for damages arising from COVID-19 unless certain conditions are met. The final version of this bill only provides the immunity to cases of exposure, meaning that entities (including universities) who implement reasonable health and safety protocols can’t be held liable if an individual is exposed to, or contracts, COVID-19 on their premises.
SB 54: FAFSA Requirement
Passed out of the Senate 27-20
The bill requires all students in their senior year of high school to complete and submit the FAFSA unless certain conditions are met.
SB 101: Education and Higher Education Matters
Passed out of Senate Education and Career Development unanimously
The bill deems a student who is at least 17 years of age to have full legal capacity to enter into a contract for a Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship. The bill also amends requirements regarding the development of a student's graduation plan.