Happy Friday, Friend!

This past week was the last week that committees could hold hearings and hear public testimony for House and Senate Bills. If a senate bill was not heard or passed out of a House committee deadline of Tuesday, April 6, it is now considered "dead." Likewise, if a House bill was not heard or passed out of a Senate committee by the deadline of Thursday, April 8, it is now "dead." Read more about these bills here.

We are reaching the final sprint of the legislative session where bills will now go before the full chamber for a vote and potentially passage with the 3rd reading deadline set for mid week next week. Below are your updates for what took place this past week at the State House.

Have a wonderful weekend!


IndyGo Funding

Speaking of dead bills... Senate Bill 141, "Central Indiana public transportation projects," did not pass out of the House committee by Tuesday's deadline and has died.

This controversial bill would have penalized IndyGo if they did not meet certain funding requirements, jeopardizing further infrastructure improvements and the development of rapid transit lines in Indianapolis.

MCCOY is pleased to see this legislation die because if passed it could have cut transportation options for many children and families who rely on public transportation for getting to work and school. 

Indiana Budget: the Senate proposal 

On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations made amendments to the State Budget, scaling back the expansion of Indiana's private school voucher program and increasing aid to schools that are educating students from low-income families, students who are learning English, and students who receive special education services. 

Senate Republicans, however, rejected a proposal to fully fund virtual schools in their budget, and instead fully-virtual schools would continue receiving 85% of what brick and mortar schools receive. By keeping the lower funding rate, the Senate budget opens up the possibility that traditional schools offering virtual instruction next year could see a funding loss. 

Virtual school funding

Earlier this week, Governor Holcomb signed Senate Bill 2, "Funding for virtual instruction in public schools," into law. This bill redefines what constitutes a “virtual student” and ensures schools receive full funding for all students, regardless of whether they are receiving instruction virtually or in the classroom due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Without this law up to $160 million would be on the line for funding schools who are using a hybrid format or virtual only format for teaching students this year. Schools will now be compensated for the funding lost from virtual instruction that has already occurred since July 1, 2020. After the July 1, 2021 expiration date, schools will once again only receive 85% of funding for virtual instruction.

Pregnancy Accommodations

House Bill 1309, "Pregnancy Accommodations," passed its third reading (31-19) before the full Senate Chamber earlier this week and is now set to become law. 

MCCOY supports passing a comprehensive pregnancy accommodations bill to ensure all pregnant workers have protections and supports in place to ensure they have a healthy and safe pregnancy. Unfortunately, HB 1309 only states that women have a right to ask for support, not a right to the support itself. We are disappointed a more comprehensive bill did not pass the legislature this year and we hope more work will continue into next year to ensure all pregnant workers are protected. 

Governor Holcomb said he would issue an executive order ensuring such accommodations for state employees to demonstrate to business owners how such accommodations can work. He has yet to issue such an order.

2021 Legislative Wrap-up Power Hour

Now that the 2021 Indiana legislative session is wrapping up at the end of April, join us to learn about what bills crossed the legislative finish line at the State House and what they will mean for children and families once they become law. We will also talk about what bills did not pass and what we can do together to make sure good legislation for children and families will be a top priority for legislators as we prepare for 2022.

  • DATE: April 28th
  • TIME: 11am-Noon
  • COST: Free
  • LOCATION: Online via Zoom

Marion County Commission on Youth, Inc.
1375 W. 16th Street  | Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
317-921-1266 | info@mccoyouth.org

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