Previous Reports:  Legislative Archive


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2016 IFCL Legislative Session Summary


IFCL was able to come together in unity, to focus on four particular areas of advocacy in 2016. While the group committed to thoughtful discernment in all areas that come before our legislature, we felt led to focus on the areas of Education, Earthcare, Criminal Justice and Redistricting Reform. Below please find the final 2016 legislative summary.


Education

SB 200-Measuring school and school corporation performance. Provides that a school's or school corporation's category or designation of performance for the 2014-2015 school year may not be lower than the grade assigned to the school or school corporation by the state board of education for the 2013-2014 school year. Provides that for purposes of determining whether a choice scholarship school has become newly eligible for consequences based on the school's category or designation of performance, the department of education may not apply the consequences unless the school is placed in the lowest category or designation for the 2014-2015 school year. IFCL Supported legislation. (Signed by Governor Pence)


HB 1003- Teacher evaluations. Provides that, for a state fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015, and ending June 30, 2016, the amount that a school corporation may receive as part of a performance grant relating to test results shall be calculated using the higher of: (1) the percentage of passing scores on ISTEP program tests for the school for the 2013-2014 school year; or (2) the percentage of passing scores on ISTEP program tests for the school for the 2014-2015 school year. Specifies that if a school's ´┐╝performance grant is calculated using the percentage of passing ISTEP scores from the 2013-2014 school Teacher evaluations. Provides that, for a state fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015, and ending June 30, 2016, the amount that a school corporation may receive as part of a performance grant relating to test results shall be calculated using the higher of: (1) the percentage of passing scores on ISTEP program tests for the school for the 2013-2014 school year; or (2) the percentage of passing scores on ISTEP program tests for the school for the 2014-2015 school year. Specifies that if a school's performance grant is calculated using the percentage of passing ISTEP scores from the 2013-2014 school year, the grant amount may not exceed (with certain exceptions) the grant amount that the school received for the state fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014, and ending June 30, 2015. Provides that the school corporation shall distribute all stipends from a performance grant to individual teachers within 20 business days of the date the department distributes the performance grant to the school corporation. Provides that ISTEP program test scores or a school's category or designation of school improvement for the 2014-2015 school year may not be used by a school corporation as part of an annual performance evaluation of a particular certificated employee unless the use of the ISTEP program test scores or a school's category or designation of school improvement would improve the particular teacher's annual performance rating. IFCL supported legislation. (Signed by Governor Pence)


Earthcare

HB 1082-Environmental rules and standards. Prohibits the environmental rules board (board) from adopting a rule or standard that is more stringent than the corresponding regulation or standard established under federal law. Makes corresponding changes in the law concerning the adoption of environmental rules. Allows the board to adopt a rule or standard if: (1) a corresponding regulation or standard established under federal law does not exist; and (2) the rule or standard is adopted under appropriate general or specific statutory authority granted to the board. Prohibits the department of environmental management (department) from enforcing a state rule or standard adopted or Environmental rules and standards. Prohibits the environmental rules board (board) from adopting a rule or standard that is more stringent than the corresponding regulation or standard established under federal law. Makes corresponding changes in the law concerning the adoption of environmental rules. Allows the board to adopt a rule or standard if: (1) a corresponding regulation or standard established under federal law does not exist; and (2) the rule or standard is adopted under appropriate general or specific statutory authority granted to the board. Prohibits the department of environmental management (department) from enforcing a state rule or standard adopted or established after July 1, 2016, that is more stringent than a corresponding regulation or standard established under federal law unless specific statutory authority is granted to the department to enforce the more stringent rule or standard. Ties the hands of lawmakers to address Indiana environmental issues. IDEM must report any rule proposed or adopted to IGA. IFCL opposed legislation (Vetoed by Governor Pence)


HB 1377Competitive procurement. Requires an electric utility that applies for certain certificates of public convenience and necessity to solicit competitive bids from alternative suppliers. Specifies the costs that the utility may recover through a periodic rate adjustment mechanism. IFCL supported legislation (Did not receive vote in committee.)


SB 366- Allows county commissioners by a simple vote to eliminate a communities Solid Waste Management District(SWMD). IFCL opposed legislation (Signed by Governor Pence).


Criminal Justice

SB 137- Statute of limitations on rape. Eliminates the statute of limitations for rape. IFCL supported legislation (Did not receive a hearing).


SB 267- Employers and expungement. Specifies that the prohibition against questioning a person applying for: (1) employment; (2) a license; or (3) another right or privilege; concerning an expunged arrest or conviction also applies during an interview. Provides that a person who unlawfully questions an applicant about an expunged criminal record commits a Class C infraction, and increases the penalty to a Class B infraction for a subsequent violation. Limits the number of violations that may be charged to: (1) one violation against a person without a prior adjudication; and (2) not more than one violation per month against a person with Employers and expungement. Specifies that the prohibition against questioning a person applying for: (1) employment; (2) a license; or (3) another right or privilege; concerning an expunged arrest or conviction also applies during an interview. Provides that a person who unlawfully questions an applicant about an expunged criminal record commits a Class C infraction, and increases the penalty to a Class B infraction for a subsequent violation. Limits the number of violations that may be charged to: (1) one violation against a person without a prior adjudication; and (2) not more than one violation per month against a person with one or more prior adjudications; regardless of the number of individual violations the person may have committed. Requires the BMV to expunge certain records of a person who was: (1) arrested but not convicted; (2) charged but not convicted; or (3) convicted if the conviction was overturned. IFCL supported legislation (Passed Senate, no hearing in House.)


Redistricting Reform

During the 2015 legislative session, the General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act 1003 which created a study committee comprised of both legislators and citizens. The committee was given 18 months to study and report back findings. IFCL is actively monitoring this issue and hopes that 2017 will be the year for action in the legislature.