2017 Legislative Halftime Report

This week the first half of the 2017 Indiana General Assembly concluded. All legislation introduced this session had to have cleared either the State Senate or State House of Representatives by Wednesday to advance further in the process. Next week, House bills will begin being worked on in the State Senate and State Senate bills will be considered in the House.
The following is a brief recap of where some of the key bills tracked by the Indiana AFL-CIO and our affiliates currently stand:
HB1002 Road Funding: Passed the House, 61-36. The bill adds $1.2 billion to the annual road funding budget which would create over 10,000 construction jobs, nearly 4,800 supporting jobs, and over 15,000 induced jobs.
HB1005 Superintendent of Public Instruction: Passed the House, 68-25.  The bill would make the Superintendent of Public Instruction an appointed position, rather than elected.  The Senate’s version of this bill was defeated. 
HB1154 Unemployment Insurance: Passed the House, 95-0.  Requires DWD to give their annual report to the interim study committee on employment and labor (instead of the budget committee).  Also removes the 5 million dollar cap for the investigation of employers while leaving all training dollars in place.
HB1171 Disciplinary process for firefighters:  Passed the House, 91-4.  Allows firefighters to have a labor organization representative or legal counsel present in any interaction that may result in their termination or demotion.
HB1463 Teachers' defined contribution plan:  Passed the House, 68-25.  Gives newly hired teachers the option of establishing a defined benefit or defined contribution retirement plan.  The bill was amended to include additional education for the new hires about the difference of the two options.
SB253 Study of voluntary paid family and medical leave: Passed the Senate, 35-14.  Urges the legislative council to assign the topic of establishing a voluntary paid family and medical leave program to the interim study committee on employment and labor or another appropriate study committee.
SB276 Prekindergarten Education Passed the Senate, 41-9.  The bill has substantial accountability measures built in and does not include vouchers.  This pre-kindergarten bill is favored over the more controversial House version, HB1004, which passed 61-34.
SB285 Traffic Obstruction: Passed the Senate, 34-16.  After intense lobbying and public outcry, the controversial bill was amended to only urge the legislative council to assign to interim study committee the topic of a unit's use of law enforcement to respond to a mass traffic obstructions.
SB407 Education Matters: Passed the Senate, 32-18.  The bill would require union membership totals for each school district to be posted on the IEERB website. And if membership falls below 50% then IEERB would inform teachers of process to decertify the local union or change affiliations among other ‘rights’.   
SB463 Worker Misclassification: Appears dead this session due to the lack of a committee vote despite hours of public testimony in support of the legislation.
With the 2017 General Assembly reaching halftime, it’s more important than ever that you personally engage your State Representatives and State Senators in conversation. Please take time to contact them via phone or e-mail and consider attending local town hall meetings in your community.
In Solidarity,
The Indiana AFL-CIO
To view all 2017 tracked bills that made it through the first half of this legislative session:
To view all 2017 tracked bills (alive and dead for the legislative session):