At the literal last minute the Indiana House passed the $31-billion biennial budget Wednesday night on a nearly party-line vote, 69-30. It had passed the Senate 40-9 less than an hour earlier.
Up to $14-million in direct appropriation is anticipated to be aimed at restoring rates cut in 2010 for RHS Level 2 and Supervised Group Living. This is in addition to funding that had consistently been included in FSSA’s budget to restore rates for the other waiver services not yet restored to the pre-cut 2010 levels, including Facility Habilitation Individual, Community Habilitation Individual, Respite, and RHS Level 1.
The efforts of member agencies to educate and inform their own legislators on the critical need for full restoration played a key role in the ultimately successful efforts to achieve full rate restoration.
In a now-adjourned session that may be remembered for the headlines relating to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the repeal of the decades-old Common Construction Wage, and the reduced authority of the elected Superintendent of Public Instruction, hundreds of other bills did pass and are in various stages along the route toward implementation. A bill must be signed by both the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate before it is forwarded to the Governor for his consideration. It could be mid-May before all signatures have been gathered.
Here’s a status review of some of those passed bills INARF has been watching this session:
SB 166—(Sen. Pat Miller). Expands the allowable uses for the Spinal Chord and Brain Injury Fund and directs some proportionality between the two conditions. Signed by both the Speaker and Pro Temp.
SB 327—(Sen. Jean Leising). Revisions to the Charity Gaming law. Signed by the Speaker.
SB 380—(Sen. Mark Stoops). Requires Crisis Intervention Team training overview be part of Law Enforcement Training Academy program. Signed by the Speaker.
SB 420—(Sen. Ron Grooms). Changes the terminology “mental retardation” to “intellectual disability” throughout the Indiana Code. Signed by the Governor.
SB 460—(Sen. Pat Miller). Imposes a moratorium on new comprehensive care beds until July 1, 2018. Signed by the Speaker.
SB 465—(Sen. Pat Miller) Changes the definition of “autism” and makes multiple changes to provisions relating to FSSA. Conference committee report passed both the House and Senate Wed.
HB 1108—(Rep. Woody Burton). Requires teacher training to include recognition that a student not progressing at a normal reading rate should be referred for evaluation to determine special learning needs. Signed by the Speaker.
HB 1142—(Rep. Eric Koch). Directs the Legislative Services Agency to review tax exemptions, credits, deductions, and other tax incentives and submit the analysis to a legislative study committee for review and ultimate recommendation whether they should be repealed, continued, or modified. Signed by the Governor.
HB 1242—(Rep. Dan Leonard). Requires training for reserve police officers in interacting with persons with mental illness, intellectual disabilities, and Alzheimer’s disease. Signed by the Governor.
HB 1265—(Rep. Dennis Zent). Requires each hospital to provide each admitted patient the opportunity to designate a “lay caregiver”. Signed by the Speaker.
HB 1303—(Rep. Jud McMillan). Establishes a 3-year pilot program through which individuals may be placed on a state list of “registered professionals” if they’ve received a professional designation from an approved national or state organization. Conference Committee report passed both the House and Senate.
HB 1304—(Rep. Jud McMillan). Allows a person with an intellectual disability to participate in a forensic diversion program. Conference Committee report passed both the House and Senate.
HB 1401—(Rep. Tom Washburne). Expands the crime of Medicaid fraud. Signed by the Governor.
HB 1435—(Rep. Julie Olthoff). Amends alcohol beverage laws to allow charity auction sales. Signed by the Speaker.
HB 1542—(Rep. Tom Dermody). Multiple revisions to alcohol beverage laws, including changes to the temporary event permit. Conference Committee report passed both the House and Senate.
HB 1613—(Rep. Ed Clere). Consolidates in the Secretary of FSSA authority previously authorized to division directors. Signed by the Governor.
The full text of these and other bills that INARF is watching can be found athttp://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills