2020 Legislative Priorities

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Workforce and Education


OUTCOME: SB409 Employment of Minors (PASSED)

  • Eliminates the work permit requirement for minors
  • Changes oversight of child labor from the Indiana Department of Education to the Indiana Department of Labor
  • Requires labor dept to create a public database for businesses to register with if they employ minors
  • Updates state law to mirror federal regulations on the employment of minors age 14-15
  • Sets parameters for 16-17 year olds:

    • Can work up to 9 hours/day
    • 40 hours in school week and 48 hours in non-school week
    • 6 days in any given week
    • Specifies start-end time requirements

Veteran Re-entry:
GOAL: Increase employment opportunities for returning veterans by eliminating duplicative requirements and expedite processes for military-trained personnel to obtain the equivalent civilian license

  • Support ongoing efforts to recruit military personnel to the state to meet the workforce needs of regional employers

OUTCOME: HB1091 Education Benefits Relating to Military Service (PASSED)

  • Allows for residency enrollment status for students of active duty military parents, pending transfer to Indiana
  • Allows spouses and dependents of active duty military the resident tuition rate at a state educational institution

Mental Health Workforce Pipeline:
GOAL: Support incentives that increase the pipeline for social workers and mental health professionals to provide wraparound services in the criminal justice system and to provide more capacity for services in the overall healthcare system.

Smart Justice:
GOAL: Support strategic reform to criminal justice system to minimize jail overcrowding, recidivism, and local fical impact while maximizing rehabilitation through:

  • Multiple Felony Sentencing: To reduce impact on criminal justice systems, offenders with multiple felonies should be sentenced to the Department of Correction
  • Bail Consideration: Cash bond consideration must require a screening assessment and the ability to increase the bond considering severity of criminal history

OUTCOME: HB1346 Jail Overcrowding (PASSED)

  • Will establish a county jail overcrowding workgroup to further collect data that will allow sheriffs to collect, analyze, and exchange information concerning jail occupancy and issues related to jail occupancy.
  • Adds members to the Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council (JRAC) and requires advisory council to identify range of possible solutions to jail overcrowding
  • Requires JRAC to develop incarceration alternatives and recidivism reduction programs

Ex-Offender Re-entry:
GOAL: Support policies that promote reintegrating ex-offenders into the workforce and economy by:

  • Minimizing business liability and increasing incentives to hire ex-offenders
  • Increasing job training and skills enhancement opportunities

    • Expanding pre-release entrepreneurship education and training
    • Support funding for proven models for transitional employment and wrap-around services including access to housing and transportation

OUTCOME: SB47 Expungement Issues (PASSED)

  • Provides that if a court reduces a Class D or Level 6 felony to a misdemeanor, the five-year waiting period for expungement begins on the date of the felony conviction and not on the date the felony was converted to a misdemeanor
  • Requires companies that provide background checks to periodically review their records and remove records relating to expunged protection orders

Workplace Accommodations:
GOAL: Update employer guidance on reasonable accommodations for employees with medical conditions relating to pregnancy to provide needed clarity to employers, allow for expedient resolution of grievances, and improve maternal health and female workforce participation

OUTCOME: SB342 Pregnancy Accommodation (DIED)

  • Original bill would have required employers of less than 15 employees to give reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees
  • Bill amended and stripped of substantive accommodation language, changing to interim study committee on the fiscal impact of accommodations on businesses
  • Indy Chamber testified in support of bill’s in original form
  • Indiana 41st in preventable hospitalizations of expectant women

Social Determinants of Health:
GOAL: Increase strategic investments in public health, prevention, and social determinants to support talent-based economic development. Continue data collection efforts by the state on social determinants of health and unmet needs of government benefit recipients

Higher Education

Reverse Credit:
GOAL: Support permitting specific course credit to be transferable and reciprocal between Indiana’s accredited two-year schools and other state-supported colleges and universities to encourage post-secondary certification and degree attainment statewide

21st Century Scholars:
GOAL: Enhance outreach and wraparound services and evaluate sustainable funding mechanisms for programs, such as the 21st Century Scholars program, in order to increase access to and completion rates at two- and four-year colleges and universities for those with financial need

OUTCOME: HB1082 Various Higher Education Benefits (PASSED)

  • Allows for increased flexibility that enables students eligible for the EARN Indiana work-study program to participate in full-time internship opportunities during the summer
  • Codifies You Can Go Back program, helping people with some higher ed experience go back and finish their degrees
  • Clarifies language pertaining to Graduate Medical Education Board, ensuring funds remain with residencies


Early Childhood Education:
GOAL: Ensure children entering primary (K-12) education are academically, socially and emotionally prepared for success through high-quality, publicly-funded Pre-K programs; increased public investments should focus on those in financial need and support statewide access, while protecting funding and service levels in high-demand, high-capacity ‘pilot’ counties. Further, enact mandatory, fully-funded, full-day kindergarten by age 5 to create a consistent, quality early education pathway

School Safety & Mental Health:
GOAL: Allow public school funding for school resource officers and school safety referenda funding to be used to hire mental health program staff

GOAL: Support dedicated funding and policies to deploy high-quality classroom science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curricula and STEM-focused professional development for the educators. Specifically, emphasize access to computer science and engineering courses at the K-12 level to prepare graduates for college and career opportunities in high-demand STEM fields

Explore the creation of incentives to retain recent STEM-degreed individuals committed to remaining in-state for five years, with an emphasis on those graduates who enter the teaching profession.

High school Career Counselors:

  • Decrease the student-to-counselor ratio, require regular professional development for school counselors and ensure academic coursework align with students’ desired career pathways
  • Explore modification of counselor licensure to differentiate career counseling from social/emotional counseling
  • Require school counselors to advise students in middle school (6th, 7th and 8th grades) of their eligibility to enroll in various state financial aid programs

Required FAFSA Completion:
GOAL: Support matriculation to post-secondary educational institutions by making FAFSA completion or affirmative opt-out a requirement of high school graduation

OUTCOME: SB223 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Requirements (DIED)

  • Mandated all seniors in high school to complete the FAFSA
  • Chairman decided not to call bill for a vote in spite of favoring the language; may see a revival in 2021
  • Indiana’s completion rates are low (58%) compared to other states (as high as 80%)
  • Indiana students lose more than $70M in federal dollars and scholarships
  • Indy Chamber testified in support of bill

GOAL: Provide school districts flexibility to pay teachers based on high need and specialized subject matter areas. Empower local education officials to make administrative and structural decisions affecting individual school performance, including the option to extend school hours, merit pay options, providing voluntary alternative retirement benefits options such as defined contribution plans for new teachers

OUTCOME: HB1003 Education Matters (PASSED)

  • School freedom and flexibility bill allows schools to submit waivers to Indiana State Board of Education to work around curriculum, laws, or regulations, if school proves it will benefit students
  • Makes career-awareness training requirements for teachers to renew their licenses optional

SB2 School Accountability (PASSED)

  • Hold harmless bill for schools and teachers
  • Results of new ILEARN exam will not negatively affect schools’ accountability grades or teacher evaluations
  • Requires last year’s grades (2018-2019) not to be lower than 2017-2018 school year

HB1002 Teacher Evaluations (PASSED)

  • No longer requires schools to include test scores as part of the teacher evaluation process, schools could decide to include at the local level

Operational Efficiency & Facilities:
GOAL: Support school corporation’s operational efficiency efforts by creating a 5-year, renewable exemption to the “Dollar Law” for school corporations that meet the following criteria:

  • Proven willingness and ability to partner with charter schools as demonstrated by:

    • 20% of school corporation’s student population attending innovation network school or innovation network charter schools
    • Equitable distribution of district operating referendum dollars to all innovation network schools, both in-LEA innovation network schools and out-of-LEA innovation network charter schools

  • Proven overcapacity of facilities within the district as demonstrated by independent analysis and verification
  • Commitment to address operational efficiencies as demonstrated by:

    • Undergoing strategic facilities optimization study on current and future population/enrollment projections
    • Implementation of strategic operational efficiency plans through strategic disposition of the properties previously subject to the dollar law

School Funding:
GOAL: Support the inclusion of the second count date for the k-12 funding formula to ensure schools are able to adequately accommodate changing student populations throughout the school year

Teacher Pay:
GOAL: Support efforts to increase teacher pay from the state to local school districts

Charter Authority:
GOAL: Expand the authority of the Mayor of Indianapolis to charter Pre-K educational institutions and require local public hearings for the re-chartering of schools attempting to switch charter authorizers after a charter has been revoked

Financial Literacy:
GOAL: Promote financial literacy education through existing k-12 curriculum requirements and encourage the DOE to develop sample curriculum for local schools to implement

OUTCOME: HB1104 Housing and Community Development Authority (PASSED)

  • Eliminates micro-enterprise partnership program
  • Requires local units to notify the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority of the creation of an affordable housing fund
  • Replaces the member of the low-income housing trust fund advisory committee appointed by and representing the Indianapolis Coalition for Neighborhood Development with one member appointed by and representing the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority

Legislative Priorities Index

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