Statehouse Report 5

February 14, 2011


Hectic Week

Due to the loss of two snow days two weeks ago, last week was a very intense week that included hearings on Friday, usually a day off for the General Assembly. There were also a number of bills, including charter school and other K-12 legislation and legislation dealing with immigration matters that generated considerable public engagement at the State House.

Finally, IU sponsored a special event on Tuesday spotlighting IU's regional campuses. This excellent event included a breakfast buffet and various displays that generated considerable participation by legislators and other public officials.

Bills That We Monitored This Week

The following is a sampling of bills that we are tracking that have progressed this week through the legislative process:

HB 1004: This legislation, intended to provide public access to financial data of state agencies and universities, was heard in committee. We are working with the author and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, who would be responsible for data coordination, to develop an approach that would minimize the cost of compliance while still making available financial information to the public.

HB 1260: The bill would require school corporations whose employer cost of providing employee health insurance exceeds the state's employer costs by more than 10% to transfer coverage to the state health plan. As mentioned in last week's report, the possibility of inserting a similar requirement for the public higher education institutions was discussed. However, after discussions with the author and committee chair, higher education institutions were not included in the final version produced by the committee.

HB 1402: The bill would prohibit public universities from charging illegal aliens in-state tuition rates. The bill passed out of committee as introduced, and was not amended on the floor of the House, and is now eligible for a final vote.

HB 1406: This legislation, which passed out of committee, would permit extension of university police jurisdiction beyond campuses, if authorized by the Trustees of the institution. Similar legislation in the Senate, SB 30, is pending a final vote on third reading.

SB 23: This legislation, authored by Sen. Simpson, would establish the Commission for Communities for a Lifetime. Dr. Phil Stafford, Director, Center on Aging and Community, part of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, testified as an expert during the committee hearing.

SB 431: The bill, which would transfer the State Department of Toxicology, currently administered under statute by the IU School of Medicine, to a state agency, was voted out of committee.

SB 497: The legislation would provide an early graduation college scholarship (up to $3,500) to a student who graduates from high school before grade 12. It was voted out of committee.

SB 577: This bill would make a number of changes to State Student Assistance Commission (SSACI) student financial assistance programs, in particular, the 21st Century Scholars, and Children of Disabled Veterans, and Public Safety Officers programs. The bill passed the Senate and is eligible for consideration by the House.

SB 590: The bill is a comprehensive immigration bill and includes a provision that would prohibit an illegal alien from being eligible for any higher education award or a resident tuition rate. The bill was passed out of the Pension and Labor committee and will receive further consideration in the Senate Appropriations committee next week.

Looking Ahead

As we begin the seventh week of the legislative session, we expect most committees will wrap up hearings on bills that were introduced in the first Chamber. Bills that we are tracking that are already scheduled for a hearing include:

HB 1001: We expect that the biennial budget bill will be amended in the House Ways and Means committee then move to the House floor for consideration.

HB 1328: This bill would make changes to SSACI programs, as does SB 577 discussed above.

SB 364: This legislation would make further revisions to lobbying statue enacted during the 2010 session.

Media Contacts

Jeff Linder
Associate VP for Public Affairs and Government Relations