Although the Indiana General Assembly may be called back (special session) for some unfinished business, INARF, Ability Indiana and many Community Rehabilitation Centers (A/K/A Employment Centers) were thrilled with the overwhelming support shown by the Legislators and the Governor as HB 1257 (Indiana’s State Use Law) was unanimously voted up and signed by Governor Eric Holcomb on March 8, 2018.
According to Steve Cook, INARF and Ability Indiana’s President/CEO, “we pursued changes to the law because over time different administrations had interpreted the prior law with great variability. Further he said, “The key to [our] legislative success was working with key legislators during the summer prior to the session starting in January in addition to working with the Indiana Department of Administration and involving them in discussions with bill sponsors which was a key to passage.”
This was the third time the Law was amended since its original passage in 1976. This year, a few very important changes were incorporated into the law. Some of the changes were cosmetic but many really strengthened the program. The changes were: changes references of "person with a severe disability" to "individual with a disability" in the public purchasing laws and the laws concerning The Committee for the Purchase of Products and Services of Individuals with a Disability (Committee). It also defined "individual with a disability" consistent with the Rehabilitation Act as amended. Most importantly the Act amended the definition of "qualified agency" and provides that a governmental body's purchasing agent must determine if a product or service is within 10% of the fair market price.
The amendments also added a nonvoting member to the committee who represents the Central Coordinating Agency (CCA). Finally, requires the committee to contract with a Central Coordinating Agency (CCA) which provides management services to organizations that provide employment services to individuals with disabilities; and has a management service agreement with a statewide trade association of providers that deliver services to individuals with disabilities.