Friday, April 28, 2017

Legislative update: End of Indiana 2017 Session

From Indian Assn of United Ways:

Legislative Update Webinar May 5
Register now for the final Legislative Update Webinar being hosted by IaUW and the Indiana Coalition for Human Services.  The webinar will provide a recap of the 2017 legislative session and updates on key human services legislation.  Live recording will take place on Friday, May 5 at 2:00pmET and the webinar recording will be available online.

At the StatehouseOutcomes of the 2017 legislative session
The Indiana General Assembly adjourned sine die on Friday, April 21 which concluded the 2017 long session.  Legislators made final decisions on key issues including the biennial budget, road funding, pre-k and more.  Below is a summary of IaUW's key priorities that were advanced during the 2017 session.
  • Education
    • Pre-k Expansion: HEA1004 expands the current pre-k pilot to now include up to twenty counties. Combines the two current state-funded pre-k programs, Early Education Matching Grants (EEMG) and On My Way Pre-K (OMW).  FSSA will determine the counties that are eligible for expansion, with preference given to more rural counties.  Current levels of funding for existing pilot counties and EEMG providers will be maintained.  Reduces the matching requirement of the program to 5%.  The budget bill includes $22 million for pre-k programs:  $12M to maintain current On My Way Pre-k counties and current EEMG providers; $1M for technology-based in-home program; $9M for expansion in up to 15 counties and 20% for capacity building.
  • Financial Stability
    • Safe and Affordable Financial Products:  SB245 attempted to expand the type of lending products that payday lenders could offer to include long-term, small dollar loans (originally drafted as loans up to $2,500 over 24 months with about 280% APR).   Bill was defeated in committee and again when there was an attempt to insert the language in another bill.
    • Supporting ALICE Households:  SEA154 raises the asset/resource limit from $2,250 to $5,000 for SNAP eligibility.  Requires the state to provide a report on certain errors when assessing for program eligibility.  SEA412 prohibits money in a 529 education savings account from being considered as an asset/resource when determining eligibility for certain public assistance programs and scholarships.
  • Health
    • Access to Mental Health Services:  HEA1391 and SEA59 increase accessibility and availability of mental health services, especially related to addiction treatment.  Streamlines the process for various licensed mental health providers from outside states to receive an Indiana license at the same professional level.  Creates an associate level license for addictions counselors.  
  • Strong Communities/Charitable Sector
    • Nonprofit Property Tax Exemption:  HEA1489 urges the legislative council to assign the topic of uniform property tax assessment of nonprofit entities to a study committee.
    • Supporting Indiana 211: HEA1471 transfers the administrative responsibility at the state from the Utility Regulatory Commission to the Housing and Community Development Authority as their work has more alignment.  
  • Budget HEA1001 (total over biennium)

  • Check out our Third House / Meet Your Legislator event calendar
    IaUW is tracking Third House Sessions and "meet your legislator" events across the state.  These meetings are opportunities for constituents to talk to their legislators and learn about bills they are working on at the statehouse.  View our Third House Calendar that will be updated regularly throughout the legislative session.  Check back often for new events as they are posted.  Upcoming events include:
    • Greater Kokomo - May 12 at 11:30am
    • Shelby County - May 19 at 11:30am
    If you attend, drop us a note to share a little about your experience.

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