Statehouse Report 10
March 12, 2012
Summary of Last Week
The short legislative session ended on early Saturday morning, a few days earlier than the statutory end date of March 14.
All attention during the week was on final passage of bills as dozens of concurrence motions and conference committee reports were considered and voted on.
Action on Bills
The following bills being tracked by IU moved through the legislative process last week:
HB 1003 Public Meetings and Access: The bill allows a member of the governing body of any public agency of the state, including state universities, to participate in a meeting of the governing body by electronic communication and sets out procedures for doing so. In conference committee, the contents of HB 1093, which did not get a hearing in the Senate, was inserted into the bill. These provisions include a number of revisions to existing public meeting and public records access statute. The conference committee report was passed by both the House and Senate.
HB 1200 Ball State and IU Trustee Provisions: The Senate-passed version of the bill included provisions and updates to Ball State and IU Board of Trustees statute. This version also included the provisions of SB 155, which prohibits the public universities from setting mandatory age limits for continuing employment. In conference committee, these provisions were removed and the bill changed to one that deals with corrections matters. The author revised the bill because SB 56, dealing with the Trustee provisions, had already passed. The conference committee report was passed by both the House and Senate.
HB 1201 State Provision and Use of Communications Services: The bill places limitations on expansion of I-Light high-speed fiber optic network in accordance with an existing memorandum of understanding between the Executive Branch and both Indiana and Purdue University, which memorandum sets out the guidelines for the use of the I-Light network. The House author filed a concurrence which passed 71-22.
HB 1220 Degree Program Review and Degree Credit Hours: The bill empowers ICHE to approve or disapprove existing degree or certificate programs (currently ICHE is empowered to review new programs). The bill also requires each university to review its undergraduate degree programs credit hour requirements and to report the results of the review to the commission, including a justification for any associate degree program of more than 60 hours or baccalaureate degree program of more than 120 hours. The author filed a concurrence motion that passed, 62-21.
1270 SSACI and Commission for Proprietary Education: The bill abolished the State Student Assistance Commission (the state agency that administers state financial assistance programs) and the Commission for Proprietary Education (which regulates proprietary colleges) as independent state agencies and places their responsibilities and staff under the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. The House author filed a concurrence that passed 55-38.
In one final Statehouse Report next week, we will provide a comprehensive report on the legislative session, summarizing all bills that passed in which IU had an interest.
With the completion of the short session, the General Assembly will not be in session again until "Organization Day" next November as the "long session" begins, during which the biennial budget will be considered. In fact, our work in the State Relations Office will begin shortly to prepare for the session by preparing our biennial operating and capital request submissions. We will present our request to the Commission for Higher Education and the State Budget Committee this fall, leading up to the start of the session in January.