Friday, May 1, 2015

Legislative Update: #Indiana General Assembly Adjourns

Family Voices Indiana shares this Legislative Update (edited) from The Arc of Indiana 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Indiana General Assembly adjourned just before midnight last evening after passing the 2 year $31 billion state budget. Overall, the 2015 legislative session was a good one for issues important to people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, their families, and those who provide critical services to them.

Passed Budget Makes Investment in People with Disabilities  
**HB 1001 State Budget.  Budget Bill. 
The budget bill passed both houses by party line votes.  The bill provides funding for some key services and support for people with disabilities.
Includes a $1 million appropriation each year of the biennium for Adult Volunteer Guardianship Programs.  The language in the budget also allows the match required for the program to recognize in kind donations.  This is a major achievement as the demand for quality guardianship services is growing and the availability of programs to meet the demand has been difficult. 
Includes a very slight Increase in the appropriation each year of the biennium for the public mass transit fund. We were very glad to not see this line item decreased by 3% as proposed by the Governor.  We need to find a way to financially support quality, dependable public mass transit.
Provides for growth in the Medicaid Waiver Program at approximately 3500 for the Family and Support Waiver (eliminating current waiting list) and 600 CIH Waiver growth each year of the biennium for emergency cases. We will be able to serve people signing up for the FSW waiver the same year they applied!  That is a tremendous improvement from the 20,000 people we had on the waiting list 15 years ago.  Recognizing, of course, that our waivers have changed.
Funds Vocational Rehabilitation Services to respond to anticipated demand.
Supports rate restoration to 2010 levels for Residential Habilitation and Support, Level 2 and Supervised Group Living Programs.  Also included in the rate restorations are select waiver services (Residential Habilitation and Support, Level 1; Respite; Facility Habilitation – Individual, and Community Habilitation – Individual).  Resources were also included in the budget for the  conversion to daily rates for the Community Integration and Habilitation Waiver. This is a significant investment from the legislature in the budget that will provide some relief in our service delivery system.
First Steps and Early intervention is funded at $6.1 million each year of the biennium and is preparing to study the manner in which Systems Point of Entry and ongoing services are funded to assure transparency and adequacy and study rates.
CHOICE is funded at $48.7 each year of the biennium and allows for transfers to the Medicaid Waiver of $18 million each year.
211 Dialing Code for Human Services Information received $1 million each year of biennium.
We want to make sure we give appropriate credit to the team at the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (INARF), led by CEO, Kim Opsahl.  We are so fortunate to have a strong relationship with the provider association.  Their leadership for the rate restoration was tremendous and we appreciate the collaboration that took place.  We also want to thank all of the Arc’s chapters, families, self advocates and other providers who continued to tell their story to legislators about the important work of direct support professionals and the need to increase wages. This was a huge success and it was only successful because we all worked together.  Thank you!

Other Priority Bills
**HB 1093 Information Concerning Certain Disabilities. Requires the state department of health to collect certain information to be disseminated by health facilities and health care providers to parents who receive a prenatal test results for Down Syndrome or any other condition diagnosed prenatally.
This bill has been signed by the Governor.
**HB 1108 Dyslexia.  Defines dyslexia.  Provides that if an education service center offers in service training or other teacher training programs, the education service center may offer courses for teachers on dyslexia screening and appropriate interventions.  Provides that guidelines for use by accredited teacher education institutions and departments in preparing individuals to teach in various environments must include content that prepares teachers to recognize that a student who is not progressing at a normal rate related to reading may need to be referred to the school’s multidisciplinary team to determine the student’s learning needs, including needs related to dyslexia. 
This bill passed the House and Senate and heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature. 
**HB 1194.  High School Diplomas.  Provides that, beginning with the annual case review when a student who is a child with a disability is in grade 8, the student's individualized education program must include the type of diploma the student will seek and the courses necessary to obtain the diploma. Provides that, beginning with grade 9, the student's teacher of record must communicate with the student's parent at least one time each reporting period to review the student's progress toward the diploma. Provides that, not later than October 1, 2015, the Core 40 subcommittee of the Indiana career council shall present to the education study committee recommended changes to course requirements for general, Core 40, academic honors, and technical honors diplomas to ensure that each student who seeks a diploma has enough flexibility in the student's schedule to pursue a college or career pathway appropriate for the student's individual goals, knowledge, skills, and abilities. Requires the education study committee to propose legislative changes necessary to carry out the recommended changes.
This bill awaits the Governor’s signature.
HB 1265 Designation of Caregiver for Patients.  Requires a hospital to provide each admitted patient or the patient’s legal guardian with an opportunity to designate a caregiver within a specified time.  Specifies documentation of whether the patient designates a caregiver.  Makes other provisions.
This bill is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
HB 1269  Health Matters. Makes the department of correction an inmate’s authorized representative for applying for Medicaid for inmates who are potentially eligible for Medicaid and who incur medical care expenses that are not otherwise reimbursable.  Requires the DOC and FSSA to enter into an agreement in which the DOC pays the state share of the Medicaid costs incurred for the inmate. Makes numerous other changes for DOC and Mental Health.  Requires the department of insurance to report certain information before Oct. 1, 2015, to the public health, behavioral health, and human services interim study  committee concerning: (1) the department’s accident and sickness insurance complaint process; (2) certain definitions in accident and sickness insurance policies; and (3) certain claims data and analysis concerning claim denials for procedures deemed investigatory or experimental.
This bill passed the House and Senate and moves to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
HB 1303 Registry of Certified Professions.  Establishes a pilot project under which individuals who practice a certain occupation that is not a regulated profession under Indiana law can become “state registered” and be listed as practitioners of their occupation on the electronic registry of professions.  Makes numerous other provisions. 
This bill passed the House and Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his signature. 
**HB 1304 Various Criminal Law Issues.  Makes numerous changes to criminal law policies.  Defines intellectual disability and permits a person with an intellectual disability to participate in a forensic diversion program.  Authorizes a prosecuting attorney to require a person participating in a prosecutorial diversion program to receive mental health treatment to reduce recidivism, and permits diversion and deferral fees to be used to fund mental health treatment programs to reduce recidivism. Permits a criminal court to appoint a court appointed special advocate to assist a person with an intellectual disability who is charged with a criminal offense.
This bill passed the House and Senate and will head to the Governor’s desk for signature.
Other key bills that support HB 1304 are HB 1006 and HB 1269. 
We want to recognize Dana Renay, Chief Executive Ally for ASI and her team including, Melissa McCaffrey, for all of their work on the criminal justice bills. Their leadership on these issues were critical.  Thank you!
HB 1613 Family and Social Services Administration.  Specified that the secretary of the family and social services administration rather than certain division directors, is (1) the appointing authority for divisions within the office of the secretary, (2) authorized to advise the governor concerning adopted rules; (3) authorized to adopt administration rules; (4) authorized to enter into contracts for the office of the secretary; and (5) the authority for administering specified programs and grants.
This bill has been signed by the Governor
SB 1 State Board of Education Governance.  Adds a statement of legislative intent regarding the roles of the general assembly, state board of education and the department of education relating to education.  Makes changes beginning June 1, 2015, to the composition of the state board.  Provides that after December 31, 2016, the state board shall elect a chairperson annually from the members of the state board.  Makes numerous other provisions.    
This bill passed both the House and Senate and moves to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
SB 166 Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Fund.  Allows the spinal cord and brain injury fund to be used to fund facilities, treatment and services for spinal cord and brain injuries.  Requires the spinal cord and brain injury research board to consider applications and make grants to nonprofit health care clinics that employ physical therapists and provide activity-based therapy services in Indiana to individuals with traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries that require extended post acute care.
This bill heads to the Governor’s desk to await his signature.
SB 182 Adult Protective Services Study Committee.  Requires the legislative council to assign the topic of adult protective service laws to an appropriate study committee during the 2015 interim.
This bill died.
SB 334 Abortion Prohibition Based on Sex or Disability.  Prohibits a person from performing an abortion if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion because of: (1) the sex of the fetus; or (2) a diagnosis or potential diagnosis of the fetus having Down Syndrome or any other disability. 
This bill died.
SB 358 Medication Therapy Management and Medicaid.   Allows for pharmacist reimbursement for medication therapy management services provided to certain Medicaid recipients beginning July 1, 2016.  Requires FSSA to establish a medication therapy management advisory committee.  Requires FSSA to determine any Medicaid cost savings and improvement in patient quality of care by providing the services and report the findings to the general assembly not later than June 30, 2018.
This bill has been sent to the Governor for his signature.
** SB 420 Developmental Disability Terminology.  Changes the term “mental retardation” to “intellectual disability”.
This bill has been sent to the Governor for his signature.
SB 460 Comprehensive Care Health Facilities.  Prohibits the state department of health from approving new nursing home beds until June 30, 2018.
This bill was concurred upon by the Senate and moves to the Governor’s desk for signature.  
SB 465 Human Services and Health Matters.  Amends the definition of autism.  Makes multiple changes to the administration for the office of the secretary of family and social services.  Requires the division for aging to: (1) meet with stakeholders to collaborate on changes in the health facility preadmission screening assessment process; and (2) submit a written report to the general assembly before November 1, 2015, concerning any recommendations for statutory changes to the process.  Makes changes to the CHOICE board. Urges the legislative council to assign to an interim study committee the topic of drug testing for individuals receiving public assistance. Makes numerous other changes.
This bill will be going to conference committee.
SB 500 Education De-Regulation.  Makes comprehensive revisions to the Indiana Code relating to all aspects of the administration of schools and school corporations and the education for students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12.  Repeals various obsolete provisions and provisions that limit local control of schools.
This bill was concurred upon in the Senate and has been sent to the Governor for his signature.

The Arc of Indiana will offer a full, in-depth wrap up of the legislative session next week.  

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