The day after the Senate passed its $31.5-billion budget, the Revenue Forecast for the 2015-17 fiscal years was revealed to the State Budget committee, indicating a $318-million reduced projection over the Dec. 2014 revised forecast numbers (with which revenues have not been keeping pace in recent months). The reduction was attributed to various factors including slow employment growth. Budget Director Brian Bailey took the opportunity to advocate for maintaining the nearly $2-billion surplus and adopting a conservative 2015-17 budget. The testimony regarding HB1001 given by Kim Opsahl, INARF’s President/CEO, may be read by clicking here.
Rep. Tim Brown set 10 a.m. Friday for the first conference committee meeting on HB 1001 to take public comment. INARF offered comments focused on the need for full rate restoration and the impact of continued reductions on persons served, direct support professionals and the provider community.
The Budget conferees are Rep. Brown, Rep. Greg Porter, Sen. Tallian and Sen. Kenley. The House advisors are Reps. Bob Cherry, Jeff Thompson, David Ober, Holli Sullivan, Todd Huston, Ed DeLaney, Terry Goodin, Sheila Klinker, David Niezgodski , Cherrish Pryor, Gail Riecken, and Steve Stemler. Senate advisors are Sens. Ryan Mishler, John Broden, Earline Rogers, Ed Charbonneau, Doug Eckerty, and Brandt Hershman,
April 29th is the statutory deadline for the session. Staff members have been advised to be prepared to work Saturday, April 25th. Earlier in the week leadership was implying Friday, April 24th was the target for the last day. But skeptics expect the session to go to the deadline. The week ahead has the prospects to be filled with conference committees, meeting to resolve differences between House and Senate passed versions of bills.
Here is recent action on bills INARF has been watching:
HB 1265—Designation of a caregiver for hospital patients. Passed Third reading, 50-0. The House concurred in the Senate amendments. On its way to the Governor.
HB 1304—Various criminal law matters, including allowing a person with autism, an intellectual or developmental disability to participate in a forensic diversion program. Passed Third reading with amendment 50-0. No concurrence or dissent has been filed yet.
SB 327—Charity gaming matters. Passed the House 83-12. Returned to the Senate without Amendments. On its way to the Governor.
SB 380—Crisis intervention teams. Senate concurred in House amendments. On its way to the Governor.
SB 1108—Requires training guidelines for teacher recognition of students not progressing in reading and possible dyslexia evaluation. Conference committee set for Tue. at 10 a.m. in Room 156A.
SB 1303—Three year pilot for non-healthcare provider self-registration. Passed the Senate 45-5. House dissents in Senate amendments.
SB 1435—Alcoholic beverage prizes at charity auctions. House dissents in Senate amendments.
SB 166—Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Fund uses. Passed the House 95-0. Senate dissents in House amendments.
The full text of these and other bills that INARF is watching can be found at http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/.