The House-drafted version of the budget, HB 1001, will be eligible for Second Reading amendments on Monday. The current version of the budget retained components from the Governor’s budget proposal related to rate restoration for select waiver services (Residential Habilitation and Support, Level 1; Respite; Facility Habilitation – Individual, and Community Habilitation – Individual), the conversion to daily rates, and maintaining momentum to virtually eliminate the Family Support waiver wait list over the biennium. In addition to these components, the House version adds additional resources to fully restore the Supervised Group Living rates.
The investments represent important support for services and supports for Hoosiers with disabilities. INARF is appreciative to the House and Administration for their respective efforts. As we approach crossover, INARF is turning its focus to working with the Senate to maintain these important investments and continue to advocate for Residential Habilitation and Support, Level 2 (RHS20) rate restoration.
The committee deadline in the "first half" of the session was Friday. Monday is the deadline for bills to pass Second Reading and Wednesday is the Third Reading deadline, though the Senate may be working to finish that on Tuesday. After a 4-day weekend, the session will resume on March 2nd with committee action starting on bills that passed from their house of origin.
Headline-grabbing action this week was on repealing the prevailing wage on public construction projects, Sunday retail alcohol sales, gaming changes, and reducing the authority of the State School Superintendent. Meanwhile lengthy lists of other bills passed from committee, through Second Reading, and from the originating house on Third Reading.
Rep. Eric Koch’s HB 1142 would establish a process for review and analysis of all tax incentives to facilitate the General Assembly’s decisions regarding continuing, repealing, or altering the various incentives (such as the Neighborhood Assistance Program). The bill passed the House, 94-2 this week. The Senate Sponsor will be Sen. Brandt Hershman who’s SB 441 also dealt with various tax deductions/credits/exemptions. SB 441 was amended in committee to restore the NAP credit which the original bill would have repealed. SB 441 passed the Senate this week, 42-7. Rep. Todd Huston was named House Sponsor.
HB 1265’s goal is to require a hospital to permit each admitted patient or the patient’s healthcare representative to designate a “lay caregiver” and to provide information and training for post-release care to that person. The bill’s author is Rep. Denny Zent, and the bill is eligible for Second Reading on Monday.
Individuals whose profession is not licensed by one of the state boards would be eligible for a “hybrid” certification through the provisions of Rep. Jud McMillan’s HB 1303. It establishes a process for a nationally recognized organization to receive authorization from the Professional Licensing Agency to certify their members, thus making the individuals eligible to apply to be listed on a state registry and to use the term “State Certified” in their profession. The bill comes as a response to the multiple groups that seek to establish new state boards and licensure/certification/registration through legislation each year. The bill passed the House, 67-26, this week and moves to the Senate where Sen. Pat Miller will be the Sponsor.
Rep. Ed Clere’s HB 1613 and Sen. Pat Miller’s SB 465 both deal with changes to the administration of FSSA and clarifies the authority of the Secretary versus the Division Directors. SB 465 also contained a number of FSSA “clean up” provisions. It passed the Senate 50-0 this week. HB 1613 is on the Second Reading calendar for Monday. Rep. Clere will be the House Sponsor of SB 465.
Sen. Ron Grooms’ pilot program for a single point of entry for individuals who are dually diagnosed with an intellectual disability and a mental health condition did not get a hearing in Senate Appropriations where it was referred after passing the Senate Family and Children Services committee. SB 504 appears to be among those dozen or so bills to which Sen. Appropriations Committee Chair Luke Kenley referred when he said he would not be hearing a number of individual bills but would deal with them when the Senate takes up consideration of the budget, HB 1001.
The full text of these and other bills can be found at iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills.