With the legislative session at its midpoint, key pieces of legislation are moving forward, while others have ceased moving altogether.
HB 1591, Rep. Ed Clere's (R-New Albany) Medicaid expansion "place-holder" bill, died quietly on the Third Reading calendar Monday night when he failed to call it for a House vote. Governor Pence reportedly urged this action in a conversation with Rep. Clere. House Speaker Brian Bosma agreed with the Governor's suggestion that if HB 1591 were to pass, Indiana would be sending "mixed signals" to Washington about Indiana's intentions regarding Medicaid expansion.
FSSA has requested to block grant Medicaid in order to permit the continued use of the Healthy Indiana Plan in efforts to expand Medicaid. CMS has already denied this request once. Statutory language describing this action is contained in SB 551, Sen. Pat Miller's (R-Indianapolis) Medicaid expansion bill that passed the Senate just before the Tuesday deadline, 44-6.
HB 1591 had also contained a section directing OMPP to develop a plan to require Aged, Blind, and Disabled Medicaid recipients to enroll in risk-based managed care by July 1, 2014. Similar language is also in HB 1001, the biennial budget bill which passed the House Monday, 68-28.
HB 1011, metropolitan Indianapolis mass transit, passed 56-39, a closer margin than proponents had predicted after the bill passed the Transportation Committee, 11-1, and Ways and Means, 20-2. Rep. Jerry Torr's (R-Carmel) bill has been assigned to the Senate Local Government committee. It is expected to face increased skepticism in the Senate.
The Veteran-Owned Small Business bill, SB 564, authored by Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) provides eligibility for the small business set-asides, a 15% price preference, and a 3% state procurement goal. The bill passed the Senate 48-1. Reps. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle), David Niezgodski (D-South Bend), and Woody Burton (R-Greenwood) are House sponsors. It has not yet been assigned to a House committee.
Committee hearings will resume Monday as second house committees begin considering those bills that have passed the first house.