STATEHOUSE (July 1, 2020) – With many new laws effective July 1, State Rep. Chris Judy (R-Fort Wayne) said several important changes support Hoosier teachers, patients, farmers and military families.
"Based off of feedback from hardworking Hoosiers, we focused on ensuring students and teachers have more tools to succeed, and stopping the unfair practice of surprise medical billing," Judy said. "These key changes and others supporting our farmers and military members will help a number of people in our community and state, and we are already looking to build off of these policies and move Indiana forward even more."
Here's a look at notable new laws Judy said Hoosiers should know about:
Teachers, Students and Schools
Judy said as part of House Enrolled Act 1002, standardized test scores will no longer be required to be a part of teacher performance evaluations. He 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.
Judy said House Enrolled Act 1283 supports students with mental health issues, including those involved in bullying, and experiencing behavioral problems or physical illnesses. The new law ensures aspiring educators receive training on best practices to recognize students' behavioral reactions to trauma so they can address these issues in their classrooms with increased understanding and insight.
Under House Enrolled Act 1004, 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 Judy said a new HIPAA-compliant database of all health insurance claims will empower consumers by providing information about cost and quality.
Judy co-authored House Enrolled Act 1080 requiring insurance companies to cover screenings for colorectal cancer starting at the age of 45, instead of 50, to help more Hoosiers catch and treat it sooner.
Farmers and Rural Communities
Senate Enrolled Act 184 allows the Indiana Farm Bureau to offer a health benefits plan to its members. Judy 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.
With children in military families changing schools up to nine times before graduating, Judy co-authored House Enrolled Act 1091 so these families can enroll their children in K-12 schools before moving to Indiana, preventing educational disruptions. Judy, a veteran and vice chair of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Public Safety, said the two-year resident requirement for receiving in-state college tuition rates will also be waived for dependents and spouses of military personnel.
For more information on these and other new laws set to take effect July 1, visit iga.in.gov.
State Rep. Chris Judy (R-Fort Wayne) represents House District 83,
which includes portions of Allen and Whitley counties.
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