2023 Legislative Report
Legislative Update – January 20, 2023
Welcome to the 2023 Legislative Session! Legislative reports are back and we will be sending these out weekly to keep you updated on all the happenings at the Statehouse. Committees met for the first time this week. Here are some of the bills we have been watching so far:
HB 1015 - Authored by Rep. Pressel Worksite speed control pilot program. Requires the Indiana department of transportation (department) to establish the worksite speed control pilot program (pilot program) for the purpose of enforcing worksite speed limits. Requires that the department: (1) work with the state police department to administer the pilot program; and (2) enter into an agreement with the state police department to share information regarding the pilot program. Permits the department to contract with a third party vendor to assist in implementing the pilot program. Provides that an individual who is recorded by a worksite speed control system may not be assessed a civil penalty unless the violation is at least 11 miles per hour above the established worksite speed limit. Replaces the term "work zone" with "worksite" throughout the relevant statutes. This bill would help keep workers safe on the job, and we want to see it pass into law. It has bipartisan support, and has been assigned to the House Roads and Transportation Committee for first reading.
HB 1024 - Authored by Rep. Torr Public works projects. Provides that a governmental body may not enter into a debt instrument unless it first receives a written financial analysis. Requires a person who engages in certain activities on behalf of either a governmental body or a potential operator with whom a governmental body is negotiating a BOT agreement to be registered as a broker with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Provides that a contractor that employs 10 or more employees on a design-build public works project must provide its employees access to a training program applicable to the tasks to be performed in the normal course of the employee's employment with the contractor on the public project. Provides that a tier 1 or tier 2 contractor that employs 50 or more journeymen must participate in an apprenticeship or training program that meets certain standards. Requires design-builders and any member of a team working on a design-build public works project to comply with certain statutes. Provides that a public agency awarding a contract for a construction manager as constructor project may not take certain actions based on a bidder's, offeror's, or contractor's entering into, refusing to enter into, adhering to, or refusing to adhere to an agreement with a labor organization. This bill is an anti-RBO (Responsible Bidder Ordinance) bill, that would hurt the Building Trades. We want to see this bill die. It has been referred to the House Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee.
HB 1025 - Authored by Rep. Torr Firefighter discipline. Provides that a fire department of a fire protection district or fire protection territory is subject to certain disciplinary and due process requirements. This is a good bill that we are in support of. It passed the House Veterans Affairs Committee 11-0 on 1/18 and is waiting on second reading.
HB 1074 - Authored by Rep. Morrison School board elections. Provides that for school board offices, each candidate's affiliation with a political party or status as an independent candidate must be stated on a petition of nomination and on the ballot. Specifies: (1) requirements that apply to a candidate who claims affiliation with a major political party; and (2) a process to challenge a candidate's statement that the candidate is affiliated with a major political party. Makes conforming changes. We do not believe that there should be partisan politics involved in school board races. We want to see this bill die. It has been referred to the House Elections and Appointment Committee for first reading. Rep. Lucas has been added as a co-author.
HB 1102 - Authored by Rep. Gore Repeal of right to work law. Repeals the chapter prohibiting an employer from requiring: (1) labor organization membership; (2) payment of dues or fees to a labor organization; or (3) payment to a charity or other third party an amount equivalent to fees required by a labor organization; as a condition of employment. This bill would repeal “Right to Work,” which would be an incredible benefit to all working Hoosiers.. This bill is unlikely to be heard. It was referred to the House Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee.
HB 1288 - Authored by Rep. Goodrich Public works projects. Provides that certain public works statutes do not apply in the context of design-build public construction. Provides that a contractor that employs 10 or more employees on a design-build public works project must provide its employees access to a training program applicable to the tasks to be performed in the normal course of the employee's employment with the contractor on the public project. Provides that a tier 1 or tier 2 contractor that employs 50 or more journeymen must participate in an apprenticeship or training program that meets certain standards. Provides that a public agency awarding a contract for a construction manager as constructor project may not take certain actions based on a bidder's, offeror's, or contractor's entering into, refusing to enter into, adhering to, or refusing to adhere to an agreement with a labor organization. This is a copy of HB 1024, and also is anti-RBO, still an attack on the Building Trades. We want to see this bill die as well. It was referred to the House Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee. Rep. VanNatter was added as a co-author.
HB 1289 - Authored by Rep. Goodrich Fair and open competition for public works projects. Provides that a public agency may not do any of the following: (1) Require a potential bidder on a public works project to provide any information that the potential bidder considers confidential or proprietary as a requirement for the public agency finding the bidder to be a responsive or responsible bidder. (2) By rule, ordinance, or any other action relating to contracts for public works projects for which competitive bids are required impose any requirement that directly or indirectly restricts potential bidders to any predetermined class of bidders defined by experience on similar projects, size of company, union membership, or any other criteria. (3) Take certain actions based on a bidder's, offeror's, or contractor's entering into, refusing to enter into, adhering to, or refusing to adhere to an agreement with a labor organization. This is a complete BAN on RBOs and would be extremely detrimental to the Building Trades. We are hoping this bill dies as well. It was referred to the House Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee. Rep. VanNatter and Rep Torr were added as co-authors.
SB 12 - Authored by Sen. Tomes Material harmful to minors. Removes schools and certain public libraries from the list of entities eligible for a specified defense to criminal prosecutions alleging: (1) the dissemination of material harmful to minors; or (2) a performance harmful to minors. Adds colleges and universities to the list of entities eligible for a specified defense to criminal prosecutions alleging: (1) the dissemination of material harmful to minors; or (2) a performance harmful to minors. This is essentially a book-burning bill, and we don’t want to jail librarians for performing their jobs in Indiana. We want to see this bill die. It was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. M. Young was added as a co-author.
SB 32 - Authored by Sen. Niezgodski and Sen. Qaddoura 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, 2023, 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 or board to classify workers. Requires that the reports include information only in the form of aggregate statistics and do not include information that can be used to identify specific employers or workers. This is a bill that not only protects our workers and members, but also would help save Hoosiers millions of dollars in lost tax revenue from misclassified work. We support this bill. It was referred to the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee.
SB 305 - Authored by Sen. Buchanan and Sen. Bassler Indiana education scholarship account program. Amends the: (1) definition of "eligible student" for purposes of eligibility under the Indiana education scholarship account program (program); (2) definition of "qualified expenses" under the program to include additional items, including computer hardware or other technological devices, and remove certain in-person requirements; (3) grant amount that an eligible student may receive under the program; and (4) date by which a parent or emancipated student must open an education scholarship account to participate in the program. Provides that the treasurer of state shall accept applications July 1 through June 30 of each year for the immediately following school year. (Current law requires applications to be submitted for an eligible student not later than September 1 for the immediately following school year.) Establishes requirements regarding using grants under the program for computer hardware or other technological devices. This bill expands school vouchers through Educational Savings Accounts (ESA) that will significantly impact public schools. SB 305 is based on political ideology and not what is best for teachers or students. We hope this bill dies. The bill was discussed in the Senate Education Committee on 1/18, with testimony for and against. It was not voted on.
SB 327 - Authored by Sen. Mishler Gary Community Schools. Establishes procedures to appoint members to the governing body of the Gary Community School Corporation. Establishes procedures for transferring responsibility of financial and academic matters from the emergency manager to the governing body. Removes obsolete provisions and makes conforming amendments. Provides that, not later than October 31, 2025, and each October 31 thereafter, the governing body must submit a report to the distressed unit appeal board summarizing the financial position and operations of the school corporation for the previous state fiscal year. Repeals provisions relating to the election of advisory board members for the Gary Community School Corporation. We support democratically elected school boards, and this bill denies the Gary community a voice in their school system. We hope this bill dies. It was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
SB 436 - Authored by Sen. Melton Gary Community School Corporation. Terminates the Gary Community School Corporation's (school corporation) status as a distressed political subdivision on June 30, 2024. Provides that the members of the governing body of the school corporation shall be elected at the municipal general election held on November 7, 2023, and take office upon taking the oath required by the Constitution of the State of Indiana not later than November 14, 2023. Requires the governing body to select a superintendent not later than February 1, 2024. Requires the emergency manager and chief financial officer to consistently inform the superintendent of the school corporation regarding the day to day operations of the school corporation. Requires the emergency manager to provide monthly financial and academic reports to the governing body. Provides that the current emergency manager's appointment terminates on June 30, 2024. Provides that the elected governing body assumes all powers, rights, duties, and obligations of the school corporation on July 1, 2024. Provides that, before the governing body sells real property, a building, or another structure owned by the school corporation, the governing body shall: (1) provide written notice to the mayor of the city of Gary at least 30 days before selling the real property, building, or other structure; and (2) provide public notice and hold at least one public hearing within the geographic boundaries of the school corporation to hear public testimony on the proposed sale. Transfers, not later than July 1, 2023, to the common school fund from the state general fund an amount sufficient to pay off all debts from advances and loans that were made to the school corporation from the common school fund. Removes or repeals provisions regarding the establishment and use of a school improvement fund. This is a better path forward for the Gary school community than SB 327. We support this bill and hope it passes into law. It was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
For a full list of bills we are tracking: http://www.hannah-in.com/Report_Custom.aspx?sid=1srqDPIMTdk%3d&rid=7x5Ipold26o%3d
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S/T, Indiana State AFL-CIO