2021 Legislative Alerts

 

Legislative Update – February 19,2021

Last week was the last day of Committees. The bills will switch sides by February 23rd.

SB251- (Sen. Boots) Deduction of dues to exclusive representative. Provides that a school employee has the right to resign from, and end any financial obligation to, a school employee organization at any time. Provides that a school employee must annually authorize a pay deduction to a school employee organization. Provides that the attorney general, in consultation with the Indiana education employment relations board (board) shall prescribe an authorization for withholding form for use by a school employee to deduct dues from the pay of the school employee to the school employee organization. Adds certain requirements for information to be included on the form. Provides that after receiving the authorization for withholding form, the employer shall confirm the authorization by sending an electronic mail message to the school employee at the employee's school provided work electronic mail address and shall wait for confirmation of the authorization before starting any deduction. Specifies the time frame for (1) ceasing withholding upon receipt of a request, and (2) providing notice to the school employee organization. Provides that a school employer shall annually provide, at a time it prescribes, written or electronic mail notification to its school employees of their right to cease payment of school employee organization dues and to withdraw from that organization. Specifies what the notification must include. Provides that the attorney general, in consultation with the board and the department of education, must annually provide notice to school employers of certain provisions. This bill passed the Senate on third reading (27-22) Four Republicans changed their vote from NO to YES. (Sen. Young, Sen. Baldwin, Sen. Charbonneau, and Sen. Sandlin) Indiana State AFL-CIO plans on meeting with the House Labor Chairman soon. I would like to thank all the Union members that made calls to their Senator on this bill. Great Solidarity! The Indiana State AFL-CIO has set up a Click-to-Call to call your Senator!

SB257- (Sen. Niezgodski) Employee Misclassification. Requires the department of state revenue, the state department of labor, the worker's compensation board of Indiana, and the department of workforce development to report before November 1 of each year for three years, beginning November 1, 2021, to the interim study committee on employment and labor for the immediately preceding state fiscal year: (1) the number of employers that each department or the board determined during the immediately preceding state fiscal year improperly classified at least one worker as an independent contractor; (2) the total number of improperly classified workers employed by those employers; (3) the department's or board's calculation of actual revenue not collected or the additional costs to the state that the department or board attributes to the improperly classified workers; (4) the amount of the penalties and interest assessed against those employers by each department or the board, and the amount of the penalties and interest assessed that has been collected; and (5) the classification criteria used by the department to classify workers. Requires that the reports include only information in the form of aggregate statistics and not include information that can be used to identify specific employers or workers. This bill passed the Senate on third reading (46-0) Awesome!

SB220- (Sen. Tallian) Worker’s Compensation. Provides that if, after the occurrence of an accident, compensation is paid for temporary total disability or temporary partial disability, then the two year limitation period to file an application for adjustment of claim begins to run on the last date for which such compensation was paid. Increases benefits for injuries and disablements by 2% each year for three years, beginning on July 1, 2021. Makes conforming amendments. This bill passed the Senate on third reading (43-3) Great news!

SB1(Sen. Messmer) Civil immunity related to COVID-19. This bill passed the House (72-21). Signed into law. 

HB1002Civil immunity related to COVID-19. This bill passed the House also and is headed to the Senate. We will be working to kill HB1002 when the bills switch sides. The Indiana State AFL-CIO opposes both bills, but HB1002 is much worse.

SB257(Sen. Niezgodski) Employee misclassification. Requires the department of state revenue, the state department of labor, the worker's compensation board of Indiana, and the department of workforce development to report before November 1 of each year for three years, beginning November 1, 2021, to the interim study committee on employment and labor for the immediately preceding state fiscal year: (1) the number of employers that each department or the board determined during the immediately preceding state fiscal year improperly classified at least one worker as an independent contractor; (2) the total number of improperly classified workers employed by those employers; (3) the department's or board's calculation of actual revenue not collected or the additional costs to the state that the department or board attributes to the improperly classified workers; (4) the amount of the penalties and interest assessed against those employers by each department or the board, and the amount of the penalties and interest assessed that has been collected; and (5) the classification criteria used by the department to classify workers. Requires that the reports include only information in the form of aggregate statistics and not include information that can be used to identify specific employers or workers. This bill was heard in committee this week and passed (13-0). This is a good bill for labor!

SB220(Tallian) Worker's compensation. Provides that a claim for compensation must be filed with the worker's compensation board within two years after the last date on which compensation for temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, or suitable alternative work was paid. Increases benefits for injuries and disablements by: (1) 10% on and after July 1, 2021; (2) 6% on and after July 1, 2022; (3) 4% on and after July 1, 2023; (4) 4% on and after July 1, 2024; (5) 4% on and after July 1, 2025; and (6) 4% on and after July 1, 2026. Makes conforming amendments. This bill passed out of committee (9-1). Good bill since there has been no raise in Worker’s Compensation since 2016.

HB1465(Pressel) Highway work zone safety. Authorizes the Indiana state police and the Indiana department of transportation to establish a pilot program for the deployment of an automated work zone speed control system to enforce highway work zone speed limits. Provides that a work zone speed limit violation recorded by an automated work zone speed control system may not be enforced unless the violation is at least 12 miles per hour above the established work zone speed limit. Creates a work zone pilot fund. This bill passed committee (10-0). This bill The Laborers’ International Union of North America has been working on for the past several years to keep road workers safe. They finally got it out of committee! Great bill.


HB1001: STATE BUDGET (BROWN T) Appropriates money for capital expenditures, the operation of the state, K-12 and higher education, the delivery of Medicaid and other services, and various other distributions and purposes. … Replaces the director of the budget agency with the director of the office of management and budget as an ex officio voting member of the board of trustees of the Indiana public retirement system.. Phases in increases to the household income percentage required to qualify as an eligible student for purposes of a scholarship granting organization. Increases the amount of a grant under the charter and innovation network school grant program. Extends the expiration date for funding of certain charter schools for adults. Repeals the deposit of a part of the wine excise tax rate collected on each gallon of wine in the wine grape market development fund and requires the department of state revenue to instead deposit that part of the wine excise tax in the state general fund. Increases the cigarette tax to $1.50 per pack of regular size cigarettes and a corresponding increase for larger cigarettes. And much much more.

Current Status: 2/22/2021 - House Bills on Third Reading

HB1005: SCHOOL CHOICE MATTERS (BEHNING R) Establishes the Indiana education scholarship account program (program). Provides that, after June 30, 2022, a parent of an eligible student or an emancipated eligible student may establish an account in the program. Defines an eligible student as: (1) a student with a disability who requires special education; (2) a student with a parent who is on active duty service in the armed forces of the United States or national guard; or (3) a student placed in foster care or otherwise under care and supervision of the department of child services. Provides that an eligible student who has an account and attends a qualified school is eligible to receive an annual grant amount that may be used to pay for tuition at an accredited nonpublic school or education related expenses. Provides that the treasurer of state shall administer the program. Provides a deduction from Indiana adjusted gross income for a grant amount that is distributed to a taxpayer's Indiana education savings account and used for a qualified expense, to the extent the distribution is included in the taxpayer's federal adjusted gross income. Changes the eligibility requirements to receive choice scholarships. Makes changes to the amount of tuition an eligible choice scholarship student is entitled to receive to attend a choice scholarship school. Establishes the Indiana education scholarship account program advisory council to provide guidance on the implementation of the program as well as to provide recommendation for program improvements to the treasurer of state and to the general assembly. Repeals provisions that provide eligibility to certain students if the student's household income increases. Provides that the department of education shall provide services that offer objective advise upon request to parents of an eligible student or an emancipated eligible student relating to services that can help meet the eligible student's or emancipated eligible student's particular needs. Makes conforming amendments. Vouchers, also called Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), increases in “Choice” Scholarship funding. Passed out of House yeas 61, nays 38 (All 29 Democrats, 9 Republicans), moves to Senate.

Current Status: 2/17/2021 - Referred to Senate

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