Bosma: House Republican priorities advance as session hits midpoint

Posted by: Erin Reece  | Tuesday, February 26, 2019 10:00 am

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 26, 2019) – As House lawmakers wrapped up the first half of the legislative session Tuesday, Republicans successfully advanced their legislative priorities to the Senate. 

House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) said House Republicans made tremendous progress in the first half, including passing an honestly balanced state budget and their aggressive legislative agenda.

“House Republicans worked hard to pass an honestly balanced state budget that funds the state’s priorities and maintains healthy reserves,” Bosma said. “We also made great progress on legislation focused on school safety, teacher pay, workforce and our veterans. We have a long way to go, but I look forward to continuing to work on these initiatives with our Senate colleagues and Governor Holcomb.”

The halfway point of session marks a milestone for legislation as House bills move to the Senate and Senate bills crossover to the House. Bosma said 75 percent of the 201 bills passed to the Senate received bipartisan support.

House Republican priorities include passing a balanced state budget, increasing protections for Hoosier youth, strengthening the state’s commitment to students and teachers, better aligning workforce initiatives and supporting Indiana’s veterans. Bosma said the 10 priority bills for his caucus are now before Senate lawmakers for consideration:

  • House Bill 1001­, the House Republican’s balanced state budget proposal, maintains healthy reserves while funding substantive increases for education and school safety. The budget includes $611 million in new K-12 funding over the biennium. House Republicans also include $30 million a year for Teacher Appreciation Grants to reward effective and highly effective educators, and maintain the $100 tax credit for teachers for classroom supplies. In addition, the budget fully funds the Indiana Department of Child Services at current spending levels.
  • House Bill 1002 promotes early and continuing career exploration and navigation, reinvigorates career and technical education courses and encourages completion of certifications or postsecondary credentials. In addition, the bill prioritizes funding for workforce programs with proven results and provides additional flexibility for schools to partner with employers to establish work-based learning opportunities.
  • House Bill 1003 strongly encourages schools to shift more existing and future dollars to Hoosier classrooms by setting a target for public schools to spend at least 85 percent of state funding on instructional expenses.
  • House Bill 1004 builds on Indiana’s already strong school safety policies by implementing recommendations from Gov. Eric Holcomb’s school safety report to improve physical security at schools and mental health resources for students.
  • House Bill 1005 moves up the appointment date of the school superintendent of public instruction to 2021 from 2025.
  • House Bill 1006 implements necessary reforms for the Indiana Department of Child Services in order to improve the outcomes of the state’s most vulnerable children. The bill includes reducing family case manager caseloads and allowing foster youth to receive services and participate in independent living programs into their early 20’s.
  • House Bill 1007 aims to engage more at-risk expecting mothers in early prenatal care, and requires medical providers to give verbal substance use screenings to pregnant women to improve and increase referrals to addiction treatment.
  • House Bill 1008 creates new professional growth and advancement opportunities through teacher career ladder models.
  • House Bill 1009 provides critical support for new educators by creating residency programs to pair new teachers with mentors in the classroom.
  • House Bill 1010 phases in an income tax exemption for military retirement pensions and increase the assessed value eligibility cap for the disabled veterans’ property tax exemption.

By law, Bosma said legislators must conclude the legislative session by April 29.

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Indiana House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) represents
House District 88, which includes portions of Marion, Hamilton and Hancock counties.