Update: House Bill 1001 includes a 2.5% restoration for FY 2015-2016 and a 2.5% restoration for FY 2016-2017, restoring the entire 5% reduction by June 30, 2017.
Update: House Bill 1001 includes a full restoration of the remaining 1% cut in group home rates.
Update: INARF Staff and Members are meeting with legislators to explain the need for this restoration, in the amount of $6,000,000 in each year of the biennium. Kim Opsahl testified before the Senate Appropriations committee Thursday.
The second “half” of the Indiana General Assembly started off slowly as leadership continued to assign bills to their committees in the second house. Few of those committees met.
However, work started Thursday on HB 1001 in the Senate Appropriations committee. INARF President/CEO Kim Opsahl told the committee why the industry needs an additional $6-million per year beyond what is currently in the budget bill in order to fully restore Residential Habilitation and Support, Level 2 – bringing nearly all programs to their pre-2010 rate cuts. The House passed budget includes resources to fully restore Residential Habilitation and Support, Level 1, Respite, Facility Habilitation Individual, Community Habilitation Individual, and Supervised Group Living, as well as resources to support the transition to Residential Habilitation Daily Rates. Hearings on HB1001 will continue during the next few weeks as the committee turns to state agency budgets.
Rep. Woody Burton’s dyslexia recognition training bill for elementary teachers, HB 1108, was one of the few bills INARF is tracking to have a hearing this week. As is the process in the Senate Education Committee, the bill is heard one week and voted on at a subsequent meeting. The Committee next meets March 11th where HB 1108 may face a vote.
Two of the tax bills that deal with potential elimination of various tax deductions, credits, and exemptions will be heard in the coming week. HB 1142, authored by Rep. Eric Koch, is set for hearing Wednesday in Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy. Rep. Koch’s bill establishes a process for annual analysis and review of the various tax incentives of which the Neighborhood Assistance Credit Program (NAP) is one. Sen. Brandt Hershman’s SB 441, which also deals with eliminating some income tax deductions/credits (but not the NAP credit), will be heard in House Ways and Means on Tuesday.
HB 1304 deals with multiple criminal law issues, including a provision to allow a person with an intellectual disability or autism to participate in a forensic diversion program. Rep. Jud McMillan’s bill is set for Senate Judiciary on Wednesday.
The nursing home moratorium bill, SB 460, will be heard Monday in the House Public Health Committee. Sen. Miller’s bill would establish the moratorium on new or converted Medicaid beds until June 30, 2018.
The full text of these and other bills that INARF is watching can be found at http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/.