After a flurry of conference committee meetings, the Indiana General Assembly adjourned early Saturday morning. Overall, INARF's priorities remained intact; a result of careful planning and advocacy initiatives.
HEA 1001, the biennial budget, provides essentially the same level of funding for developmental disability services and the First Steps program as was included in the House-passed version of the Budget in February and the Governor's proposed budget. When compared to the actual expenditures, funding for the next biennium matches the current one.
The budget negotiators did provide for half of the Governor's ten percent individual income tax cut by the end of his term. The rate will drop from 3.4% for the 2013 and 2014 tax years, to 3.3% for tax years 2015 and 2016, and to 3.23% for 2017 and thereafter.
HEA 1001 authorizes the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) and the Pence Administration to seek waivers from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to receive funds via a block grant for Medicaid expansion.
The adopted budget also contains a section to sunset emergency rules adopted by FSSA in December 2011 that implementing various provider rate reductions using FSSA's "extraordinary" rulemaking authority, permitting such rules an unlimited period of validity. Those rules are sunset as of December 31, 2013; that's six months later than the date established in last year's budget. This extension provides sufficient time for FSSA to re-adopt the rules using traditional procedures that require public notice and comment.
The budget passed the House by a vote of 70-30, and the Senate by a vote of 30-11, just before the session adjourned at 1:30 a.m. Saturday.
HEA 1328, authored by Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) became the home for provisions providing the framework for Indiana's participation in insurance exchanges that are part of the Affordable Care Act, and for authorizing "navigators" for that program.
Language requiring the Office of Medicaid Policy & Planning (OMPP) to report various information to the Health Finance Commission regarding managed care for Aged, Blind, and Disabled Medicaid recipients by the end of 2013 is also included in HEA 1328. The report is to respond to two critical issues - estimated cost savings and ensuring efficient, high quality care.
HEA 1011, Rep. Jerry Torr's (R-Carmel) Metropolitan Mass Transit bill, ultimately saw the House concur in the Senate amendments. It refers the subject to a summer study committee and prohibits local units of government from using existing law permitting inter-local agreements to form a Mass Transit District.
SEA 500, the group home setting size bill authored by Sen. Pat Miller (R-Indianapolis), is awaiting the Governor's signature.
Music therapist certification language was amended into SEA 273. Rep. Suzanne Crouch (R-Evansville) authored HB 1051, which passed the House but failed to get a hearing in the Senate. In the closing days of the session, SEA 273, authored by Sen. Pat Miller, became the "home" for multiple licensing provisions.
Observers noted the large number of Interim Study Committees established by statute or resolution this session. At one point, President Pro Tempore David Long quipped that the committees would need to start immediately, since there were "2,500 topics being assigned."
June 12th has been set as "technical correction day" in the event the legislature has to make an immediate correction to some legislation passed this session.
INARF will continue monitoring activity as the many summer study commissions commence. A comprehensive 2013 legislative session summary is in progress and will be made available to members in May.INARF continues to welcome your feedback and input relating to our legislative and advocacy priorities.