Another busy week at the Statehouse as lawmakers raced to meet the deadline to move bills out of committee and to the floor before the end of the week. By the middle of next week, we will have a good idea of what has passed out of its originating chamber and is still eligible to become law.
Many important bills hit the floor of the House and the Senate for second reading, which is the opportunity for the whole chamber to offer amendments on the bill. Most notably, HB1001, the state budget bill, was on second reading on Wednesday. While there were 43 amendments offered, only six prevailed and did not significantly change the content of the bill.
HB1007 – State Health Improvement and Grant Program
Passed the House 95-2
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.
HB1082 – High Tech Crimes Unit Program
Passed the House 98-0
The bill establishes a fund for the purpose of establishing high tech crimes units that collectively represent the north, south, east, west, and central geographic areas of Indiana to enhance the ability of prosecuting attorneys to investigate, collect evidence, and prosecute high tech crimes.
HB1384 – Civics Education
Passed the House 96-1
The bill requires that the state board of education, in coordination with the department of education, establish standards for civics education and provides that each school corporation, charter school, and state accredited nonpublic school shall require each student to successfully complete in grade 6, 7, or 8 one semester of a civics education course.
SB1 – Civil Immunity Related to COVID-19
Senate Concurred on House amendments. Will go to the Governor
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.
SB101 – Education and Higher Education Matters
Passed the Senate 45-0
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.
SB205 – Teacher Training
Passed out of Senate Education and Career Development 8-5
The bill requires applicants for an initial teacher's license to provide evidence that the applicant has successfully completed education and training in trauma informed instruction and the recognition of signs that a student may be reacting to trauma. The bill also requires that teacher preparation programs include a curriculum that instructs teachers about social emotional learning practices that are helpful in supporting students who have experienced trauma.