STATEHOUSE (Jan. 6, 2020) – House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) rolled out Indiana House Republicans’ top legislative priorities for the 2020 session, which kicked off today at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.
“We are hitting the ground at a record pace and fast-tracking a number of priority bills this week, including those supporting teachers and saving taxpayers over $130 million,” Bosma said. “House Republicans are also focused on reducing growing health care costs and helping Hoosier workers reach their potential. We remain committed to making Indiana a better place to live, work and raise a family while remaining fiscally responsible.”
House Republican priorities include supporting students, teachers and schools, driving down health care costs, reducing youth smoking and vaping, cutting red tape and promoting fiscal responsibility. Bosma highlighted key aspects of nine House bills:
Supporting students, teachers and schools
- Hold teachers and schools harmless from ILEARN results – Under House Bill 1001, teachers and schools would not be negatively affected by the ILEARN exams administered in Spring of 2019 or 2020 to give students, schools, and educators time to adapt to the new exam.
- Decouple teacher performance evaluations from student test scores – Under House Bill 1002, the state requirement that student test scores inform teacher evaluations and pay would be removed.
- Provide flexibility in teacher training and licensure requirements – Under House Bill 1003, the State Board of Education would be given the authority to streamline and merge teacher training requirements or recommend their elimination. The bill would also allow workforce-related training requirements for a teacher license to be optional rather than mandatory. Schools could also apply for a waiver from hundreds of state laws and regulations.
Driving down health costs and reducing youth smoking
- Stop “surprise, out-of-network billing” – Under House Bill 1004, health care providers would be prohibited from charging out-of-network rates at facilities that are in a patient’s insurance network.
- Provide Hoosiers with timely, health care pricing information – Under House Bill 1005, Hoosiers could request and receive a timely, cost estimate for non-emergency procedures from health care providers and insurers. Hospitals would also be required to post prices for their services online. The bill would also create a statewide All-Payer Claims Database managed by an independent third party.
- Raise the smoking and vaping age to 21 – Under House Bill 1006, Indiana would align with federal law by raising the minimum age from 18 to 21 to purchase tobacco products, including e-liquids and e-cigarettes. The state would also enhance its enforcement efforts.
Cutting red tape and focusing on fiscal responsibility
- Save taxpayers more than $130 million – Under House Bill 1007, six state university capital projects already approved for debt financing would be paid for with cash. This move would eliminate $21 million in annual bond payments and $137 million in long-term interest payments.
- Streamline professional licensing and provide more mobility to work – Under House Bill 1008, certain professional license holders locating to Indiana could receive license reciprocity, including architects, engineers, nurses, physicians, pharmacists and many others. Bosma said this bill is a commonsense tool to attract and recruit more skilled workers to help address the state’s workforce shortage.
- Empower the next generation of workers by removing barriers to employment – Under House Bill 1009, a dependent’s income earned through a paid internship or work-based learning program would be exempted when determining a family’s eligibility for SNAP and TANF.
Indiana House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) represents
House District 88, which includes portions of Marion, Hamilton and Hancock counties.