Statehouse Report 11

March 15, 2010

LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENTS

General Assembly adjourns sine die

The General Assembly completed its legislative session at approximately 1:00 a.m. on Saturday (March 13) morning. This conclusion was made possible by an agreement on SB 23, which included a delay in an increase in the unemployment insurance tax rate as well as other provisions impacting labor. With agreement on this bill, several other bills that were being held until the waning hours of the session, including an omnibus taxation bill and a bill providing emergency supplemental funding for schools, were also enacted.

Of the nearly 800 bills that were introduced at the beginning of the legislative session, only 115 bills were enacted, as 61 Senate and 54 House bills survived. Many of these bills are awaiting review and final action by the Governor.

The following bills passed that were key issues that we worked on throughout the session:

HB 1001: The bill deals with legislative ethics and lobbying reform and would require state and university employees that spend 10 percent or more of their time performing "legislative liaison" activities to begin reporting certain expenses to the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission.

HB 1065: The bill prohibits an employer from adopting or enforcing a policy or rule that prohibits an employee from legally possessing a firearm or ammunition that is locked in the employee's vehicle while the vehicle is in or on the employer's property. The bill also prohibits restrictions on the lawful possession or use of firearms during a declared emergency event. Legislators did exempt university campuses from the provisions of this bill.

HB 1135: The bill requires public universities to accept credit for AP coursework. If the student scores a 3 on the AP exam, credit must be offered for credit in elective courses. For courses in the student's major, scores of 4 or 5 may still be required by the university in order for the student to receive credit.

HB 1297: The bill makes technical revisions to the university bonding statute.

SB 84: The bill requires state colleges and universities to make certain research resources available to legislators and legislative staff. It also requests that the Legislative Services Agency (LSA) in conjunction with the IU School of Law-Indianapolis study the establishment of a research and policy division with LSA to serve the future research needs of the Indiana General Assembly.

SB 257: The bill incorporates revisions to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education statute. It also includes a provision that permits a state college or university that offers dual credit courses to be accredited by either National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) or approval by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

SB 356: The bill includes a number of professional licensing provisions but also includes a provision that requires the School of Public and Environmental Affairs dean to serve as chair of the regulated occupations evaluation committee established by the bill.

Already, we are looking toward the next legislative session, during which a biennial budget must be enacted. We will soon begin several months of work on our biennial budget request and will begin actively pursuing the request this fall.

All of us on the Government Relations Team wishes to express our sincere thanks to our HHE supporters and advocates, and the dozens of expert bill reviewers who provided invaluable assistance to us in reviewing legislation and assessing its potential impact to Indiana University. We also wish to offer special thanks to Jesse McNaughton from Executive Information Technology Support, who designed and supports our updated web-based bill commenting system.

Media Contacts

Jeff Linder
Associate VP for Public Affairs and Government Relations
jmlinder@indiana.edu
317-681-1776