As the legislature heads towards its final days, now believed to be next Friday, the push to get lingering issues into the budget or placed in other bills in conference committee is at its peak.
INARF issues are no exception to the legislative scramble. Under the direction of the Government Affairs committee, INARF consultants are working with key legislators to insert a provision that would direct the Division of Disabilities & Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) to review rates and key factors affecting provider employee costs and report those findings to the Developmental Disabilities and Health Finance Commissions this summer.
HB 1001 conferees have held their public meeting and recessed to discuss the issues in closed-door meetings. Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) chairs the conference committee. Members are Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville), Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis), and Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage). Many members of the House Ways and Means committee and the Senate Appropriations committee serve as advisors.
Governor Mike Pence continues to urge legislators to enact his 10 percent individual income tax cut, which legislative leaders have diplomatically resisted. The new revenue forecast was "optimistic" in increasing projected state revenue by just under $300-million.
Efforts are underway to restore some substance to HB 1011, the metropolitan mass transit bill. Author Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel) is trying to generate support for provisions permitting counties to continue with plans to expand bus services, but to require further legislative authorization before light rail or trains become part of the plan. The costs associated with rail transport appear to be the source of most of the opposition.
SB 500, impacting group home setting numbers, is heading to the Governor's desk for his consideration. This bill, authored by Sen. Pat Miller (R-Indianapolis),was not amended in the House.
As the last days of session approach, the INARF Governmental Affairs Committee and consultants will continue to monitor legislative developments impacting the provider community.