January 21, 2022
The IU State Relations team reviews every bill that is introduced and determines whether and how the bill could impact the University. This Statehouse Update provides a summary of bills the team is tracking and that moved during the third week of the legislative session.
HB 1001: Administrative authority; COVID-19 immunizations
Passed House 58-35
This bill would give the Governor the authority needed to preserve pandemic-related federal funding streams when ending the state’s pandemic emergency declaration. While the Senate has filed a similar bill (SB 3), this bill goes further by also putting restrictions on employers who implement COVID-19 vaccination mandates. Notably, it would also prohibit public universities in the state from requiring proof of vaccination for any students, faculty, or staff.
HB 1003: Nursing programs and licensing matters
Passed House 91-2
The bill provides flexibility for nursing schools in Indiana, in an effort to allow additional students to enter the nursing workforce pipeline.
HB 1190: Free speech at state educational institutions
Heard in House Education and held for amendments & committee vote. Indiana University testified to thank the bill authors and reaffirm the university’s commitment to the First Amendment protections.
The bill codifies protections afforded by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and existing case law in Indiana Code for state educational institutions.
SB 89: Higher education scholarships
Heard in Senate Education and Career Development and held for amendments & committee vote.
This is the annual agency bill from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE). The bill removes “expected family contribution” from Indiana Code and replaces it with “federal needs calculation” and changes student teaching stipends for eligible students to traditional scholarships.
SB 91: Accreditation of teacher preparation programs
Passed Senate Education and Career Development 9-0
The bill allows a teacher preparation program to report the program's admission practices in accordance with the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) and requires the Indiana Department of Education to approve at least two accreditors to accredit teacher preparation programs in Indiana.
SB 138: Eligibility for resident tuition
Heard in Senate Education and Career Development and held for amendments & committee vote
The bill would provide eligibility for resident tuition for undocumented individuals that have obtained four years of education in an Indiana high school. The individuals would have to sign an affidavit that they will formally seek to become a resident of the U.S.
SB 278: Indiana geological and water survey advisory council
Passed Senate Utilities 8-0
The bill modifies the structure of the Indiana Geological and Water Survey advisory council that would, in part, require various state agency department heads to serve on, or appoint members to, the council. The Survey essentially serves as a state institution embedded, and is funded through a special line item to IU in the state’s biennial budget. This change will better integrate the Survey with the state agencies they already partner with. Additionally, the bill would establish new centers within the Survey for energy and water research, positioning them for better external funding opportunities in the future. Both structure changes were recommended by an IU internal five-year review of the Survey.
SB 366: Higher education funding
Passed Senate Appropriations 13-0
The bill is a product of the recommendations from the 2021 Interim Study Committee on Fiscal Policy’s Higher Educational Operating Funding Working Group. It would codify many of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s existing practices on their strategic plan and outcomes-based funding formula, but importantly would more directly engage the legislature in higher education funding by requiring the State Budget Committee to review the budget request process at various stages of development. The bill was amended to also change the make-up for the Commission’s membership, removing the three at-large gubernatorial appointees and adding four at-large appointees to be named by the Legislative Council.