Let’s hear it for the polar vortex! Well, ok not really. But, as interesting as our winter has been so far, so has the first half of the legislative session. Last week was crossover week – when bills that are advancing move from their chamber of origin to the other side for consideration. Bills that have not been referred to the other chamber are now considered dead. As mentioned last month, is HB1287 School Discipline (Porter) was heard in the House Education Committee and, while a vote was not conducted, the topic of school discipline was amended into HB1319 Education Matters for the Commission on Education to study. HB1319 is still alive and has been referred to the Senate Education and Career Development Committee. It will be heard on Wednesday, February 12 at 1:30 p.m. in the Senate Chamber. We will continue to monitor and support this bill as it moves through the Senate. MCCOY was alerted to two bills fairly late in the process – SB277 Student Information (Pete Miller) and HB1320 Student Records (Behning). Both bills contained provisions that would have limited access to certain student academic information by outside entities and were of concern to those organizations who collect student data for outcomes and program evaluation purposes. Those organizations could have been prohibited from accessing data on the youth with whom they work, which would have hampered their ability to assess the progress of the youth in their programs. This was not the original intention when the bills were drafted. Both bills died in their respective chambers but we will continue to monitor if they are inserted into other bills and, if so, see how we can assist in clarifying the language to prevent any unintended consequences. Below is a status update of the bills that MCCOY has been following and links to our tracking reports.
In This Issue
MCCOY’s High Priority Bills
HB1036 CHILD CARE & DEVELOPMENT FUND ELIGIBILITY (MAHAN K) Specifies health, education, safety, and training requirements that a child care provider must meet as a condition of eligibility to receive a federal Child Care and Development Fund voucher payment. Current Status: 2/12/2014 – Senate Health and Provider Services, 9:00 a.m. Rm. 431 All Bill Status: 2/4/2014 – Referred to Senate Health and Provider Services 2/4/2014 – First Reading 1/29/2014 – Senator Holdman added as second sponsor. 1/29/2014 – Senator Taylor added as third sponsor. 1/29/2014 – Senator Walker added as sponsor. 1/28/2014 – Third reading passed; Roll Call 75: yeas 71 and nays 24 1/28/2014 – Referred to Senate Position: Support HB1137 REPORTING OF SEX CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN (HALE C) Requires the commission on improving the status of children in Indiana to study and evaluate the underreporting of crimes against children. Current Status: 2/3/2014 – DEAD BILL; Fails to advance by House 3rd reading deadline Position: Support HB1153 MARRIAGE AMENDMENT BALLOT LANGUAGE (TURNER P) Requires that the question of approval of the constitutional amendment concerning marriage proposed by the 117th general assembly be placed on the 2014 general election ballot if the amendment is agreed to by the 118th general assembly. Prescribes the ballot language for the question. Describes the legislative intent of offering the constitutional amendment. Current Status: 2/3/2014 – DEAD BILL; Fails to advance by House 3rd reading deadline Position: Oppose
HB1220 CRIMINAL GANG LAWS AND JUVENILE COURT JURISDICTION (LAWSON L) Modifies the definition of “criminal gang” to include a group with at least three members that collectively engages in a pattern of criminal gang activity and is a covert or overt organization that has a command structure. Specifies that criminal gang activity can only be committed by a member of a criminal gang. Removes criminal gang activity, criminal gang intimidation, and certain drug offenses from the list of crimes that a juvenile court does not have jurisdiction over. Current Status: Language amended into HB1006 Criminal Code Revision Position: Support
HB1351 WELFARE MATTERS; DRUG TESTING (MCMILLIN J) Requires the division of family resources to establish a statewide program for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that allows SNAP benefits to be used only for food and beverages that have sufficient nutritional value, as determined by the division of family resources. Requires the office of the secretary of family and social services (office) to administer a drug testing program (program) for individuals who are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) assistance or receiving TANF assistance on behalf of a child. Establishes requirements for the program and ineligibility penalties. Prohibits an individual who is ineligible to receive TANF assistance under the program from receiving assistance on behalf of a child and provides for an exception. Requires the office to collect data to assess and avoid discrimination in the program. Requires the office to provide information to the Indiana housing and community development authority and any division of the office that implements the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program concerning an individual who tests positive for controlled substances. Requires the department of workforce development to submit a report to the legislative council and the unemployment insurance oversight committee concerning certain unemployment topics. Current Status: 1/29/2014 – Senator Yoder added as second sponsor. All Bill Status: 1/29/2014 – Senator M. Young added as sponsor. 1/28/2014 – Referred to Senate 1/28/2014 – Third reading Passed: Roll Call 100: yeas 71 and nays 22 Position: Oppose
HJR3 MARRIAGE (TURNER P) Provides that only marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. This proposed amendment has been agreed to by one general assembly. Current Status: 2/10/2014 – Senate Rules and Legislative Procedure, Upon adjournment, Senate Chamber All Bill Status: 2/4/2014 – Referred to Senate Rules and Legislative Procedure 2/4/2014 – First Reading 1/28/2014 – Referred to Senate 1/28/2014 – Senator Kruse added as sponsor. 1/28/2014 – Third reading Passed: Roll Call 70: yeas 57 and nays 40 1/27/2014 – HJR 3 Amendment #3 (Truitt), prevailed; Roll Call 59: yeas 52 and nays 43 1/27/2014 – Second reading amended, ordered engrossed Position: Oppose
SB26 CHILD CARE EDUCATION AND TRAINING (TAYLOR G) Specifies training requirements that must be met by a child care provider as a condition of eligibility to receive a federal Child Care and Development Fund voucher payment. Current Status: 2/4/2014 – DEAD BILL; Fails to advance by Senate 3rd reading deadline Position: Support
SB48 CHILD CARE REGULATION (WALKER G) Specifies requirements that must be met by a child care provider as a condition of eligibility to receive a federal Child Care and Development Fund voucher payment. Current Status: 2/4/2014 – DEAD BILL; Fails to advance by Senate 3rd reading deadline Position: Support
SB275 MANDATORY FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN (ROGERS E) Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, requires a student to enroll in a full-day kindergarten program if the student is at least five years of age on August 1. Provides that a kindergarten pupil is counted as one pupil (rather than 1/2 pupil) for purposes of ADM and school funding. Current Status: 2/4/2014 – DEAD BILL; Fails to advance by Senate 3rd reading deadline Position: Support
To view a list of the bills MCCOY is tracking according to issue/topic, please click here. To view a list of all of the bills MCCOY is tracking, including our position on the bill, please click here.
Last week, Congress voted to pass the Farm Bill after months of debate. While the cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program were not as devastating as they could have been, the program did sustain an $8.6 billion cut. For more information, please see Feeding America’s press release.
If you have any questions about the bills or MCCOY’s public policy priorities, please feel free to contact me. If there is any other information that you would like to see added to these updates, or that you would like to pass on to others for information or support, please e-mail me and I will add to the next update. Thank you!