This week was extremely busy at the State House, as Senators and Representatives rushed bills to third reading in advance of this weekend's predicted heavy snowfall. The deadline for bills to be passed in the non-originating house is either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on whether the Senate Session is cancelled on Monday due to weather conditions. The House is planning to meet Monday, regardless, to finish the Senate bills on the Third Reading Calendar.
HB 1045, Rep. Kirchhofer's Occupational Therapy bill, was amended in the Senate Health Committee in an effort to resolve the standoff between OTs and speech and hearing therapists. A committee amendment required that members of both professions must demonstrate competencies in evaluating and managing related disorders in order to perform swallowing studies. The bill is on the Senate's Second Reading calendar Monday (or Tuesday).
SB 44, Sen. Jean Breaux's bill requiring the Department of Health and FSSA to establish a work group to study provider issues relating to electronic health data, passed the House 92-0.
"Attendant care services" will be expanded to include providing assistance in taking medications (including controlled substances and prescription drugs) in SB 139. Sen. Vaneta Becker's bill passed the House, 94-0.
Sen. Mike Crider's SB 248 requires FSSA to study psychiatric crisis intervention services and report to the Legislative Council by Sept. 2015. SB 248 passed the House 93-0.
SB 80, Sen. David Long's bill streamlining the Interim Study committee structure passed the House 93-0. The bill eliminates roughly 40 special committees, including the Developmental Disabilities and Autism Committees. These groups will be replaced with 17 broader topic committees, which will have the authority to establish subcommittees to review more narrow topics.
Thursday's Second Reading amendments to SB 176, Central Indiana Mass Transit, removed Hendricks County from the list of potential participants as well as the provision that would have prohibited the establishment of light rail. Rep. Jerry Torr's bill is on the House's Third Reading Calendar.
The moratorium on nursing facility comprehensive care beds, Sen. Pat Miller'sSB 173, is on Third Reading in the House. Provisions that lower the asset limitations for participation in the CHOICE program have been amended into this bill. The CHOICE asset limitation language appears in HB 1391, authored by Rep. Ed Clere, which is on the Senate's Second Reading Calendar, and Sen. Ron Grooms' SB 233, which passed the House 93-0. All of these bills are being set up for conference committee action.
In addition to the CHOICE language mentioned above, Sen. Ryan Mishler's SB 406 now contains language previously in Sen. Miller's SB 142, naming FSSA as the single Medicaid agency. SB 406 continues to contain provisions requiring the Department of Health to adopt rules for the regulation of facilities for treatment of traumatic brain injuries by Sept. 1, 2014. The bill is on Monday's Third Reading Calendar.
These bills can be found at iga.in.gov . Select "legislation" then "bills" and scroll down to the appropriate bill number.