The Arc of Indiana

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For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

2017 Legislative Wrap Up

The Indiana General Assembly adjourned Sine Die a little before midnight on Friday, April 21.  Following is a summary of key issues impacting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities followed and advocated by The Arc.

HB 1001 – Budget Bill
Medicaid Waiver Rates Increased for DSP Wages

The two year biennial state budget includes several initiatives supported by The Arc of Indiana.  First and foremost is the 5% increase in Medicaid Waiver rates to help improve the wages paid to direct support professionals. We appreciate the efforts of everyone who contacted their legislators to support this important issue. We also thank INARF who partnered with The Arc on this initiative and was a major player in getting the legislation passed.

Also included in the budget is an additional $500,000 each fiscal year for the purposes of the Medicaid program to be used by the Office of Medicaid and Planning to increase reimbursement rates for Indiana-based nonprofit organizations that (1) were in operation prior to January 1, 2009; (2) currently offer facility-based day services programs for people with disabilities, and (3) do not own, operate or manage supervised group living facilities. This recognizes those providers who choose to only provide day services and have difficulty financially with such a limited source of revenue.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) program in Indiana got the funding needed through the State Treasurer’s office to start marketing efforts and have the Treasurer serve as chairperson of the ABLE Board.

The Indiana Adult Guardianship Program through the Indiana Supreme Court received an additional $500,00 each fiscal year to assist the volunteer advocates for seniors and incapacitated adults programs around state.

C.H.O.I.C.E. funding remained at $48,765,643 each fiscal year.

First Steps received additional monies, making its appropriation $8,149,513 each year of the biennium

Pre-K education pilot was expanded to $22,000,000 each fiscal year.

There is also strong language in the budget regarding home health services.  The budget states that the FSSA secretary may not reduce reimbursement rates for home health services and it voids 405 IAC 1-4.2-4(1) and any successor rule.

Please take a moment to contact ALL Legislators, Both House and Senate to say “Thank You”
for their support this session.  We should be proud of our budget efforts and show our appreciation to those in the legislature who made our initiatives a priority

OTHER PRIORITY ISSUES

Senate Resolution 44 – Supported Decision Making – A Senate Resolution, urging the legislative council to assign to the appropriate study committee the topic of supported decision making as an alternative option to adult guardianship passed the Senate and will go to Legislative Council for consideration to be directed to a summer study committee for discussion.       

SB 61 – School Resource Officers – Senator Randy Head (R-Logansport).  Requires a school resource officer to report all incidents of seclusion and restraint involving the school resource officer.  Requires the commission on seclusion and restraint in schools to adopt rules concerning reporting requirements for the use of seclusion and restraint by school resource officers. This bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

SB 293 – Certification of Service Animal’s Good Health – Senator Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg).  Urges the legislative council to assign to the interim study committee on agriculture and natural resources or another appropriate interim study committee the topics of: (1) federal and state law concerning service and assistance animals; and (2) the permissible uses of service and assistance animals, including emotional support animals and therapy animals, in public accommodations. This bill was signed into law.

SB 390 – Employment of Individuals with Disabilities – Senator Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington).  Adds numerous members to the Commission on Rehabilitation Services.  Adds additional responsibilities to the commission in regards to employment initiatives.  Provides that the policy of the state is to promote competitive, integrated employment, including self-employment as the first and preferred option when providing services to individuals with disabilities.  This bill was signed into law.

SB 407 – Education Matters – Senator Erin Houchin (R). Requires before April 1, 2018, the department of education to develop, and the state board of education to approve, a method for measuring individualized student growth throughout the year using a benchmark assessment to be used to evaluate a certificated employee as part of the school corporation’s staff performance evaluation plan. This bill was signed into law.

SB 475 – Developmental Delay – Senator Eddie Melton (R-Gary). Requires the state board of education to amend its rule establishing developmental delay as a disability category to provide that, beginning July 1, 2018, developmental delay is a disability category solely for students who are at least three years of age and less than nine years of age.  Adds developmental delay as a category for mild and moderate disabilities for purposes of determining special education grant amounts.  This bill was signed into law.

HB 1003 – Student Assessments – Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis).  Replaces the ISTEP test program after June 30, 2018, with a new statewide assessment program to be known as Indiana’s Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network (ILEARN).  Repeals a provision defining the ISTEP program. This bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

HB 1006 – Mental Health Matters – Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Indianapolis).  Authorizes the division of mental health and addiction to operate a pilot program under which mental health and addiction forensic treatment services are provided to individuals who are charged with a misdemeanor offense.  Includes neonatal abstinence syndrome as a factor for a child to be determined a child in need of services. This bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

HB 1007 – Education Course Access Program – Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero).    Allows the department of education to authorize course providers to offer course access program courses that provide the delivery of instruction through any method, including technologies, in the course access program.  Requires the department to: (1) oversee the program; (2) approve courses offered in the program; and (3) maintain a course assessment program catalog.  Requires the department to negotiate a tuition fee for each offered course.  Requires the school corporation in which an eligible student is enrolled to transfer the tuition fee for a course to the authorized course provider.  This bill has been signed into law.

HB 1102 – TASK FORCE TO ASSESS SERVICES – Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany).  Establishes a seventeen (17) member task force for assessment of services and supports for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.  Specifies the composition, duties, and governance structure of the task force. This bill has been signed into law.

HB 1148 – Cannabidiol and Treatment Resistant Epilepsy – Bill Friend (R-Peru).  Defines “cannabidiol” and “substance containing cannabidiol” and establishes a cannabidiol registry for certain persons for the use of a substance containing cannabidiol in the treatment of an individual with treatment resistant epilepsy. This bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk for signature.

HB 1336 – Department of Health Matters. – Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Indianapolis).  Repeals the expiration provision for the office of minority health.  Repeals the expiration provision of the birth problems registry.  Provides that in cases in which food is believed to be adulterated or misbranded as to be dangerous or fraudulent, the commissioner or the commissioner’s agent may mark food to give notice that the food has been detained or embargoed for not more than 15 days. This bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk for signature.

HB 1407 – Probate and Trust Matters – Rep. Tom Washburne (R). Makes various changes to probate and trust laws concerning contesting of wills, the size of unsupervised estates, authorization of certain acts by a trustee, and the consideration of the requests of de facto custodians and living parents of incapacitated persons in the appointment of guardians and in custody orders. This bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk for signature.

HB 1439 – FSSA Matters – Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Indianapolis).  Allows a Medicaid recipient who is incarcerated to have the recipient’s Medicaid suspended for up to two years instead of one year before terminating the recipient’s Medicaid eligibility.  Defines “comprehensive risk contract” and “managed care organization” for purposes of Medicaid.  Specifies that if a provision of Indiana insurance law conflicts with the administration of a law applying to a managed care organization with respect to the managed care organization’s Medicaid responsibilities, the law applying to the managed care organization with respect to the Medicaid responsibilities is controlling.  This bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk for signature.

HB 1493 – Long term Care Matters – Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville).  Requires a home and community based services program for individuals who are aged or disabled to include reimbursement for assisted living services in the Medicaid program.  Requires the division of aging to report to the general assembly a plan to expand the scope and availability of home and community based services for individuals who are aged and disabled and requires the division to implement the plan.  Prohibits the office of Medicaid Policy and Planning from including individuals who receive nursing facility services in a risk based managed care program or a capitated managed care programs. This bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk for signature.

HB 1644 – Study of Applied Behavior Analysis Issues – Representative Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis.)  Urges the legislative council to assign to the appropriate study committee issues concerning (1) the need to license individuals who practice applied behavior analysis and (2) independent centers that provide applied behavior analysis and the oversight that they receive to ensure their practices are current and fall under best practices and guidelines. This bill has been signed into law.

2017 Bill List

For a complete list of bills that The Arc of Indiana has followed, please visit The Arc of Indiana 2017 Bill Report.

Contact Your Legislators

To send “thank you” notes or to contact your legislator on issues concerning you, find your legislators at https://iga.in.gov/ or visit The Arc Action Center.