SB 496 – Voluntary Family Leave Insurance Program
Authored by Sen. Karen Tallian D (Portage)
Co-Authored by Sen. John Ruckelshaus (R-Indianapolis)

Requires the Department of Insurance to develop a proposal for a voluntary family leave program. Provides for certain provisions when developing the proposed program. Provides that the department shall study and make fiscal estimates about the costs of offering an employer tax deduction of 200% to small businesses who choose to pay all or part of the contribution. Requires the department to submit the proposed program to the state Budget Committee that includes projected costs of the program.

Chamber Position: Neutral

The Latest: The bill passed the Senate Pensions and Labor Committee 10-1. The bill will be on second reading next week and we anticipate it passing the full Senate.

Chamber Action/Commentary: The one no vote in committee came from Sen. Chip Perfect (R-Lawrenceburg), who told the Chamber he voted no because of his fear of this becoming a mandate. The Chamber informed him that if anyone attempted to make it a mandate we would fight it tooth and nail.

Senator Tallian has been working on this issue for five years. She incorporated all of our suggestions to make the bill an option for employers and not a mandate. Because of the changes, the Chamber was able to stand down from its early opposition to the bill.

Senate Bill 99 – Wage Assignments for Clothing and Tools; authored by Sen. Phi Boots (Crawfordsville)
House Bill 1410 – Wage Assignment for Uniform Rentals; authored by Rep. Jack Jordan (R-Bremen)

Senate Bill 99 provides that a wage assignment may be made for the rental of uniform shirts, pants and job-related clothing. Provides that a wage assignment may be made for the purchase of equipment or tools necessary to fulfill the duties of employment. House Bill 1410 provides that a wage assignment may be made to pay for the rental or use of uniforms as well as the purchase of equipment needed for a job; it is retroactive to 2015.

Chamber Position: Support

The Latest: Senate Bill 99 was not amended on second reading and passed the Senate unanimously on third reading. The House sponsors will be House Labor Committee Chairman Heath VanNatter (R-Kokomo) and former House Labor Committee Chairman Doug Gutwein (R-Francesville). On second reading for HB 1410, Rep. Lisa Beck (D-Hebron) filed an amendment that makes HB 1410 exactly the same as SB 99, but the issue has not been taken up yet.

Chamber action/commentary: The Chamber will be working with House Labor Committee members to ensure a hearing and a vote for SB 99. Meanwhile, on HB 1410, we anticipate the House will most likely defeat the amendment despite the Chamber signing off on this version in the Senate. The Chamber suspects Rep. Jordan will want to keep his bill close to its current form to have some control over this issue.  He may also offer an amendment of his own. The Chamber will be closely evaluating action on this House measure and assisting as warranted.

Resource: Mike Ripley at (317) 264-6883 or email: [email protected]