IBJNews

Statehouse roundup: Drug testing, metro areas, abortion insurance, more

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

State lawmakers on Tuesday advanced legislation on drug-testing for welfare recipients, metro-area promotion, abortion insurance, hearing aids, teacher preparation and cardiac care precautions. Here's a rundown.

Drug testing

A bill that would require drug testing for Hoosiers who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and who have been convicted of a crime passed the Senate.

House Bill 1351 would not take away TANF benefits immediately after recipients tested positive as long as they tested negative two times in a row after that.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, said the bill gives a person a chance to get clean from the drug or substance they are abusing.
If a person who tests positive a second time could lose the benefit for four months, but the benefits would be reinstated after four months if the recipient tested negative.

Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, said the program would be too expensive and is “destined to have a Constitutional challenge.”

Young argued the bill would help children in households receiving TANF and the intent is intended to harm anyone.

HB 1352 passed the Senate 34-14 and heads back to the House.

Boosting metro areas

A bill meant to find ways to help the state’s regional metropolitan areas is headed to Gov. Mike Pence to be signed into law.

House Bill 1035 passed the Senate unanimously Tuesday.

The bill requires the Indiana Economic Corp. to complete a study by Oct. 1 to determine how to make metropolitan areas – including Fort Wayne, Evansville, South Bend and others – more attractive places to live and work.

HB1035 will assess the economic potential of Indiana metropolitan areas by identifying the regions’ strengths and drivers of growth.

The bill will also recommend quality-of-life improvements and come up with financing options driven primarily by private investments and a mix of local and state funding.

Abortion coverage

A bill to ban insurance coverage for abortions is on its way back to the House after it passed the Senate 37-10 on Tuesday.

Sen. Greg Walker, R-Columbus, the bill sponsor, said House Bill 1123 aligned Indiana with one of the provisions under the Affordable Healthcare Act otherwise known as ObamaCare.

HB 1123 would prohibit insurance companies from covering abortions, unless there is a specific circumstance, such as in cases of rape, incest or the health of the mother. It would include all insurance companies, such as state employee health plans, private policies and student health policies.

The bill does allow for abortion coverage if the consumer opts to pay for it separately as an add-on through a rider or endorsement.

Teacher prep programs

Legislation that makes changes to teacher-education preparation programs passed the Indiana Senate on Tuesday.

The bill, authored by Rep. Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis, requires the Department of Education to establish standards for the continuous improvement of the teaching programs and the performance of individuals who complete them by July 1, 2015.

It also makes changes to the information a teacher-education preparation program must submit to the Department of Education, including an annual survey to be completed by the principal of a school after teachers have been hired.

The bill passed the Senate 43-4 and moves back to the House with amendments for further consideration.

Cardiac arrest in athletes

Coaches would be required to remove student athletes from play if they showed any signs of cardiac arrest under legislation that passed the Senate on Tuesday.
House Bill 1290 would require a health care provider to approve the player’s return to a game or practice. The bill also adds athletic trainers to the list of health care providers who can make that call.

The bill, authored by Rep. Ron Bacon, R-Chandler, establishes various protocols for the prevention of and response to cardiac arrest among school-aged student athletes, along with new changes to the role of athletic trainers within the state.
The bill passed 43-5 and goes to Gov. Mike Pence for ratification.

One of the bill’s provisions requires the Department of Education to provide to coaches, student athletes, and parents and guardians of student athletes with information regarding the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

Another provision of the bill requires CPR training and defibrillator training to be added to a high school’s health education curriculum.

The legislation passed the Senate 47-0 and moves back to the House for further consideration.

Hearing aid services

A bill that would prevent non-licensed people from selling, leasing, or renting hearing aids in Indiana – unless the aid has been fitted and adjusted by a hearing aid dealer or audiologist – passed the Senate on Tuesday.

House Bill 1139, sponsored by Sen. Pat Miller, R-Indianapolis, deals with the study of the number of children who are deaf or hearing impaired, the estimated cost for a state program, as well as the health insurance requirements to provide hearing aids to minors.

The bill doesn’t require insurance companies to cover the cost of getting the hearing aid for a child, but it does require a study of potential coverage for minors who have hearing problems.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Is This the Party of Limited Government?
    This legislation coming from the party of "limited government" makes we want to puke. I am glad these goofballs only had a few months to "improve life for Hoosiers." Otherwise, we would move back in time 150 years rather than just 50.
  • Way to go GOP!
    I like how waited until the end of the session to ram through the "abortion insurance" legislation, therefore minimizing the chance of public protests and debate. Very fascist of you...again kudos!
  • Fishers Dad
    To Fishers Mom, as a Fishers Dad, I couldn't agree more. But, keep in mind, the Republican-controlled State Legislature is doing nothing other than simpering, begging, prostrating and debasing themselves and their own families in order to cater to their base of those rooted firmly in the 18th Century. You know the type, they'd be cheering on the judges at the Salem witch trials.
  • Disgrace
    It's clear that our Republican controlled legislature hasn't a clue about how to create jobs, boost educational attainment or any other worthy issue. Instead they waste time--and taxpayer money--on legislation that will not pass legal challenges.
    • Too bad our legislature is discussing this.
      From all the time they have used wasted on unimportant things (same sex marriage, Jesus prayers instead of non specific meditation, etc.,) they do not have the ability to even think about such issues.

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. Hiking blocks to an office after fighting traffic is not logical. Having office buildings around the loop, 465 and in cities in surrounding counties is logical. In other words, counties around Indianapolis need office buildings like Keystone, Meridian, Michigan Road/College Park and then no need to go downtown. Financial, legal, professional businesses don't need the downtown when Carmel, Fishers, North Indy are building their own central office buildings close to the professionals. The more Hamilton, Boone county attract professionals, the less downtown is relevant. Highrises have no meaning if they don't have adequate parking for professionals and clients. Great for show, but not exactly downtown Chicago, no lakefront, no river to speak of, and no view from highrises of lake Michigan and the magnificent mile. Indianapolis has no view.

    2. "The car count, THE SERIES, THE RACING, THE RATINGS, THE ATTENDANCE< AND THE MANAGEMENT, EVERY season is sub-par." ______________ You're welcome!

    3. that it actually looked a lot like Sato v Franchitti @Houston. And judging from Dario's marble mouthed presentation providing "color", I'd say that he still suffers from his Dallara inflicted head injury._______Considering that the Formula E cars weren't going that quickly at that exact moment, that was impressive air time. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised, as Dallara is the only car builder that needs an FAA certification for their cars. But flying Dallaras aren't new. Just ask Dan Wheldon.

    4. Does anyone know how and where I can get involved and included?

    5. While the data supporting the success of educating our preschoolers is significant, the method of reaching this age group should be multi-faceted. Getting business involved in support of early childhood education is needed. But the ways for businesses to be involved are not just giving money to programs and services. Corporations and businesses educating their own workforce in the importance of sending a child to kindergarten prepared to learn is an alternative way that needs to be addressed. Helping parents prepare their children for school and be involved is a proven method for success. However, many parents are not sure how to help their children. The public is often led to think that preschool education happens only in schools, daycare, or learning centers but parents and other family members along with pediatricians, librarians, museums, etc. are valuable resources in educating our youngsters. When parents are informed through work lunch hour workshops in educating a young child, website exposure to exceptional teaching ideas that illustrate how to encourage learning for fun, media input, and directed community focus on early childhood that is when a difference will be seen. As a society we all need to look outside the normal paths of educating and reaching preschoolers. It is when methods of involving the most important adult in a child's life - a parent, that real success in educating our future workers will occur. The website www.ifnotyouwho.org is free and illustrates activities that are research-based, easy to follow and fun! Businesses should be encouraging their workers to tackle this issue and this website makes it easy for parents to be involved. The focus of preschool education should be to inspire all the adults in a preschooler's life to be aware of what they can do to prepare a child for their future life. Fortunately we now know best practices to prepare a child for a successful start to school. Is the business community ready to be involved in educating preschoolers when it becomes more than a donation but a challenge to their own workers?

    ADVERTISEMENT