STATEHOUSE (July 15, 2020) – With many new laws effective this month, State Rep. Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville) said several important changes support Hoosier teachers, patients and farmers.
"I come to every legislative session with the goal of making our state government more efficient while also supporting efforts that improve the lives of Hoosiers," Borders said. "From supporting our teachers to creating transparency in our health care system and improving our rural communities, these new laws accomplish those objectives."
Here's a look at notable new laws Borders said Hoosiers should know about:
Teachers and Schools
As part of House Enrolled Act 1002, standardized test scores will no longer be required to be a part of teacher performance evaluations. Borders said this should reduce the pressure educators often feel to teach to the test and, as a result, make teaching more attractive as a career. To help cut red tape, House Enrolled Act 1003 went into effect earlier this year to allow the State Board of Education to streamline the timing and frequency of required teacher trainings and grant waivers for schools to bypass over 1,500 regulations. As Indiana continues to transition to the new ILEARN exam, lawmakers passed Senate Enrolled Act 2 so that school accountability grades cannot be negatively impacted by student scores for two years.
Under House Enrolled Act 1004, Borders said patients will be protected from receiving surprise medical bills from out-of-network providers, and, in the case of an elective procedure, the patient will have the right to receive an upfront, good-faith estimate of expected charges. In addition, Senate Enrolled Act 5 requires hospitals, outpatient surgery centers and urgent care clinics to publish their average prices online, and Borders said a new HIPAA-compliant database of all health insurance claims will empower consumers by providing information about cost and quality.
Farmers and Rural Communities
Senate Enrolled Act 184 allows the Indiana Farm Bureau to offer a health benefits plan to its members. Borders said this plan is not health insurance, but would provide similar benefits to help many farmers who have limited access to affordable health care options. Other states, such as Kansas and Tennessee, have implemented similar programs through their Farm Bureaus.
To support rural communities, House Enrolled Act 1370 allows cities and towns to band together and enter into regional land banks to acquire tax-delinquent and blighted properties to restore them.
For more information on these and other new laws effective July 1, visit iga.in.gov.
State Rep. Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville) represents House District 45, which includes
all of Sullivan County and portions of Vigo, Greene, Knox and Daviess counties.
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