This week marked a significant point in session as Thursday was the final day for bills to be heard in committee. Those bills that did not receive a hearing in the opposite chamber are now dead and no longer eligible to become law.
After undergoing a number of changes since its arrival in the House, SB54 has passed out of the chamber and was sent back to the Senate, the Senate filed a motion to dissent meaning that SB54 will go to conference committee where it could continue to face changes. Health care and public health legislation also advanced this week: bills concerning visitation and data reporting (SB202 and SB292, respectively) passed out of House Public Health, while HB1007 had its second reading in the Senate where an amendment was approved that more specifically delineated the uses for the public health grants it allocates. Most significantly, Senate Appropriations heard public testimony as part of the committee’s ongoing consideration of the biennial budget and released their version of the budget on Thursday.
HB 1001 – State Budget
Heard in Senate Appropriations
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
Second reading in the Senate
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 1384 – Civics Education
Signed by the Speaker of the House
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.
SB 54 – FAFSA Completion Incentive Awards
Passed in the House 87-6 and returned to the Senate with amendments
The bill requires the department of education to establish a FAFSA completion incentive pilot program. It also provides requirements for a school corporation to receive a FAFSA completion incentive award and a formula to determine the amount of an award.
SB 202 – Health Facility Visitation
Passed out of House Public Health 11-0
The bill requires health facilities and residential care facilities to allow visitation of a resident in a compassionate care situation. The bill also requires the state department of health to adopt standards and guidelines concerning the essential family caregiver program during a declared emergency, a public health emergency, or similar crisis, and requires facilities to participate in the program.
SB 292 – Publication of Health Facility Reporting
Passed out of House Public Health 10-0
The bill requires the state department of health to compile case and death data related to COVID-19 reported by health facilities and residential care facilities in a specified manner and publish the information on the state department's Internet web site, as well as update the data at least every seven days.