Legislative Committees continue to meet, with vehicle bills coming into play as the second half of session progresses. Vehicle bills, or placeholder bills, are introduced without content to meet legislative deadlines.
Of interest to INARF members is SB 80, a vehicle bill which emerged from the Senate Rules Committee chaired by Senate President Pro Tempore David Long (R-Ft. Wayne) on Tuesday. This lengthy bill repeals statutory legislative commissions, many of which have been around for decades, including the Commission on Developmental Disabilities, and replaces them with 17 subject matter Interim Study Committees. Issues formerly considered by the DD Commission would become the purview of the Public Health and Human Services Committee.
In addition, SB 80 provides that the commissions are comprised of legislators from the session standing committees with similar subject matter jurisdiction. The bill leaves it to the Legislative Council to determine whether or not lay members will be appointed to the Interim Study Committees and whether those lay members have voting privileges. The bill also provides that the Interim Study Committees can study only those topics assigned by the Legislative Council. Currently, a committee chair has the authority to consider unassigned topics.
Sen. Long has previously voiced his concerns that the legislature has passed bills establishing a proliferation of "special subject" committees and commissions and assigns too many topics for summer study. SB 80 is his response to those concerns. In the past, other legislators have suggested a "Committee on Interim Committees" to review and make recommendations about streamlining the process. SB 80 is eligible for Third Reading on Monday.
With deadlines looming, the Senate has set Tuesday as the last day for Third Reading in the Senate, and the House is still aiming for Monday to be its Third Reading deadline. Committee hearings will resume a few days later.
Here are recent actions on some of the bills INARF has been monitoring:
SB 139 - Amends the definition of "attendant care services" to allow assistance with providing medications. Sen. Becker/Rep. Bacon. Passed the Senate 49-0.
SB 142 - Designates FSSA as the administrator of Medicaid. Sen. Pat Miller/Rep. Tim Brown. Passed the Senate, 49-0.
SB 166 - Changes to Charity Gaming licenses. Sen. Leising/Rep. VanNatter. Passed the Senate 41-8.
SB 173 - Nursing Facility Moratorium. Sen. Pat Miller/Rep. T. Brown. Passed the Senate, 33-14.
SB 176 - Central Indiana Transit. Sen. Pat Miller. On Second Reading calendar.
SB 244 - Health care professional registry. Sen. Pat Miller. On Second Reading calendar.
SB 248 - Psychiatric crisis intervention services study. Sen. Crider/Rep. Clere. Passed the Senate, 47-0.
HB 1045 - Amends Occupation Therapists practice act. Rep. Kirchhofer. Passed the House 94-0.
HB 1391 - CHOICE program asset limitation reductions. Rep. Clere. Eligible for 3rd reading.
For additional information regarding legislation of interest, visit the Indiana General Assembly's new legislative research webpage.