Indiana Legislative Update


Indiana General Assembly convened earlier this month and several bills pertaining to children have been proposed in both the House and the Senate.  Please keep posted for committee updates. To see the full text of these bills, go to http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo, type in the bill number and click “go”.

Here are the current bills we are watching:

House Bill 1107 Preventative programs for at-risk children. (Richardson) Provides that a juvenile court may create a preventative program for at-risk children (program). Allows a court to appoint program staff, a guardian ad litem (GAL) or court appointed special advocate (CASA) to implement, coordinate, and carry out the purposes of the program. Provides procedures for program staff, a GAL, or a CASA participating in a program. Provides civil and criminal immunity to a person who: (1) requests that a child participate in a program; (2) provides information concerning a child to program staff, a GAL, or a CASA; or (3) participates in a plan for an at-risk child in a program.

House Bill 1188 Duty to report child abuse or neglect.( Davis, Tyler) Moves certain statutes concerning the duty to report child abuse to Title 35 of the Indiana Code governing criminal law and procedure. Defines “victim of child abuse or neglect” for purposes of the duty to report child abuse.

Senate Bill 0408 Education concerning child abuse. (Rogers) Requires the department of education, in collaboration with organizations that have expertise in child sexual abuse, to identify or develop model child sexual abuse education materials, response policies, and reporting policies.

Senate Bill 0465 Department of child services. (Lawson) Makes changes to the laws concerning: (1) criminal history background check requirements and fees concerning the department of child services; (2) guardianship of a minor; (3) regulation of child caring institutions, foster family homes, including therapeutic and special needs foster family homes, group homes, and child placing agencies; (4) adoption; (5) incentive payments to counties for enforcing and collecting child support; (6) juvenile court jurisdiction; (7) child abuse and neglect reporting and investigation; (8) disclosure of certain reports regarding the fatality or near fatality of a child; (9) local and statewide child fatality review teams; (10) the child protection index; (11) placement of a child in need of services; (12) notification requirements regarding proceedings on motions for child testimony by closed circuit television; and (13) placement of a child that is a delinquent child. Repeals a provision requiring the department of child services to collect and document information surrounding deaths of children reviewed by the statewide child fatality review committee.

House Bill 1070 Flu shots for child care center workers.(Frizzell) Requires a child care center to make available influenza immunizations to employees who have direct contact with children at the child care center. Provides that the immunizations are not required if there is an inadequate supply of the vaccine. Provides that a child care center is prohibited from requiring an employee to receive an immunization under certain circumstances. Allows the division of family resources to adopt rules to administer the immunization requirements.

House Bill 1226 & Senate Bill 0056 Child care regulation. Makes various statutory changes making certain health and safety requirements applying to child care providers consistent, including criminal history checks, drug testing, caregiver education and supervision, nutrition, immunizations, fire and hazardous materials safety, and administrative procedures for noncompliance. Makes technical changes. (The introduced version of this bill was prepared by the committee on child care.)

Senate Bill 0171 School start date and calendar. (Kruse, delph, Schneider) School start date and calendar. Prohibits public schools and accredited nonpublic schools from beginning student instructional days for the school year before the Tuesday after the first Monday in September (Labor Day) and from ending after June 10 of the following year, beginning with the 2013-2014 school year. Provides that a governing body may establish a beginning date before Labor Day or an end date for a school year that is later than June 10 for year-round schools, schools with balanced calendars, and schools that coordinate calendars with a postsecondary educational institution following public hearings and a majority vote of the governing body. Provides that a governing body may not schedule student instructional days while the state fair is held. Makes the change effective for collective bargaining agreements and contracts negotiated after June 30, 2013.

Senate Bill 0317 Kindergarten. (Head, Yoder, Skinner) Kindergarten. Provides that a student is required to begin school in the fall term of the school year in which the student becomes six years of age. (Current law requires the student to begin school in the fall term of the school year in which the student becomes seven years of age.) Requires that a student must be at least five years of age before: (1) September 1 of the 2012- 2013 school year; (2) October 1 of the 2013-2014 school year; or (3) November 1 of the 2014- 2015 school year or any subsequent school year; to enroll in a kindergarten offered by a school corporation. Removes provisions that: (1) require the school superintendent to make a determination as to whether a child who enrolls in school and has not attended kindergarten shall enroll in grade 1 or kindergarten; and (2) require the department of education to adopt a model assessment that may be used by the superintendent in making that determination.

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