February 18, 2022
The seventh week of session moved quickly as the time for bills from the opposite chambers to be heard in committee remains short. The House has two more business days to hear Senate bills in committee and the Senate has four more business days to hear House bills. In a phenomenon often seen in the second half of the legislative session, some bill language was completely stripped out and replaced by amendments as legislators continue to negotiate which bills will continue through the process.
HB 1003: Nursing programs and licensing matters
Passed Senate 48-0 and returned to House with amendments
The bill provides flexibility for nursing schools in Indiana, in an effort to allow additional students to enter the nursing workforce pipeline.
HB 1134: Education matters
Amended in Senate Education and Career Development but held for other potential amendments
The bill was mostly stripped and replaced by an amendment in the Senate Education and Career Development committee. The amendment removed provisions in the bill requiring classroom materials to be posted online and vetted by parent review committees.
Instead, the amended bill now gives parents access to their school’s learning management system and allows parents to review learning materials used in their child’s classroom upon request. Parents could also request a school board to adopt a parent committee to review curriculum, though it would not be required. Other provisions in the original bill that would have restricted teaching about racism and politics were also substantially modified.
SB 89: Higher education scholarships
Passed House Education 13-0
This is the annual agency bill from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE). The bill removes “expected family contribution” from Indiana Code and replaces it with “federal needs calculation” and changes student teaching stipends for eligible students to traditional scholarships.
SB 91: Accreditation of teacher preparation programs
Passed House Education 13-0
The bill allows a teacher preparation program to report the program's admission practices in accordance with the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) and requires the Indiana Department of Education to approve at least two accreditors to accredit teacher preparation programs in Indiana.
SB 366: Higher education funding
Passed House 92-0 and returned to Senate with amendments
The bill is a product of the recommendations from the 2021 Interim Study Committee on Fiscal Policy’s Higher Educational Operating Funding Working Group. It would codify many of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s existing practices on their strategic plan and outcomes-based funding formula, but importantly would more directly engage the legislature in higher education funding by requiring the State Budget Committee to review the budget request process at various stages of development.
SB 388: Foreign gifts and ownership of agricultural land
Passed Agriculture and Rural Development 12-0 and recommitted to House Education
The bill originally only dealt with prohibiting a foreign business entity from acquiring agricultural land located within Indiana for the purposes of farming. It was amended in the House Agriculture and Rural Development committee to require a postsecondary educational institution to file a disclosure report with the Legislative Council and the Attorney General whenever an institution receives a gift from or enters into a contract with a foreign source when the aggregate value of which is $250,000 or more. This is similar to existing federal reporting requirements. The amendment also provides that whenever it appears that an institution has failed to comply with gift disclosure requirements, a civil action may be brought by the Attorney General to compel compliance with the gift disclosure requirements.