The 2014 Indiana legislative session got off to a delayed start due to the snow, cold, and dangerous driving conditions, but the pace will rapidly accelerate next week. Bills are being publicly released and set for committee hearings almost simultaneously.
Sen. Pat Miller (R-Indianapolis) has introduced SB 142, which designates the Office of the Secretary of the Family & Social Services Administration (FSSA) as the single state agency for the administration of the Medicaid program. This removes the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning from that designation. SB 142 has been assigned to the Health Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Miller. She has not yet posted the agenda for next Wednesday's meeting.
Sen. Ron Grooms (R-Jeffersonville), Chair of the Commission on Developmental Disabilities, has introduced SB 232. This bill directs FSSA to contract for an evaluation of services and supports available in Indiana to individuals who are dually diagnosed. The final results are to be reported back to the DD Commission. This topic was initially discussed in DD Commission meetings in 2013, but not formally supported by the commission because no quorum was present for a vote.
SB 154 would require a diagnosis of autism at any age to be reported to the birth problems registry. As it stands, autism diagnoses are only reported if identified before age five. This bill is being offered by Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport) and is assigned to the Senate Health Committee.
Sen. Mike Crider's (R-Greenfield) SB 248, assigned to the Senate Health Committee, would direct FSSA to study issues concerning psychiatric crisis intervention services.
Mass transit in Central Indiana, a perennial legislative topic, is the subject of two bills introduced thus far-one in the House and one in the Senate. Sen. Miller authored SB 176, assigned to the Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee, while Rep. Jerry Torr's (R-Carmel) HB 1034 is assigned to Roads and Transportation. They differ in the local funding mechanisms they provide for local government units to fund the Metropolitan Transit District.
You may track the above bills and other bills of interest using the General Assembly's website located at http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2014/bills/. Please note that you may need to click on the "legislative" tab and then the "bill" tab for an opportunity to scroll through the list of bills to find the one you want to read. The state has received numerous suggestions to improve the site and will continue to fine-tune it as session progresses.Please contact Kim Opsahl if you have any immediate questions regarding the bills being tracked by INARF.