The House version of the biennial budget (HB 1001) will be made public and voted out of committee in the coming week, revealing the differences/similarities between the Governor’s budget priorities and the priorities of the House.
INARF’s Kim Opsahl and Leslie Green from Stone Belt Arc, Inc. testified in House Ways and Means on Wednesday, focusing on what the rate reductions have meant for self-advocates, families, agencies, and their communities and what restoration of those rates will mean. In addition to the funds provided in the Governor’s budget, an additional $7-million would achieve restoration to the 2010 rate levels.
Committee reports on all bills (including HB 1001) must be adopted by the full House by Thursday morning. The Third reading deadline is Feb. 25th.
While the headlines were going to bills on alcohol, gaming, ethics, and Department of Education disputes with the Governor, action was proceeding on other bills.
In Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy, language that would have repealed the Neighborhood Assistance Credit was removed from SB 441. Committee Chair and the bill’s author, Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek), indicated that he intended to continue to review all state income tax exemptions, deductions, and credits on an ongoing basis.
HB 1302, authored by Rep. Jud McMillan (R-Brookville) would establish a “light version” of state certification, allowing a recognized organization to confer certification on those within a specified profession who achieve a stated level of qualification. The “certified professional” would then be able to apply to be listed on a state registry of professionals and use the term “state certified.” The bill passed from committee and is now eligible for Second Reading on Monday.
Sen. Ron Grooms’ (R-Jeffersonville) pilot program for a single point of entry for persons dually diagnosed with an intellectual disability and a mental health condition (SB 504) passed out of the Senate Family and Children Services committee and is now eligible for Second Reading.
HB 1108, Rep. Woody Burton’s (R-Whiteland) bill to increase elementary school teachers’ proficiency in recognizing reading deficiencies that should be referred for assessment relating to dyslexia, passed the House and will be sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Rod Bray (R-Martinsville).
Additional information about these and other bills can be found at iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills.