The Indiana Chamber testified in support of two priority education and workforce development bills this week:
- House Bill 1002 (Career and Technical Education Matters), authored by Rep. Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville), takes various approaches aimed at educating more Hoosiers in the jobs demanded by today’s employers. In testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, Chamber President Kevin Brinegar relayed the results of the Chamber’s recent employer workforce survey, noting that well over half of employers surveyed intend to add jobs within the next two years and most will be requiring less than a bachelor’s degree but some postsecondary education such as certification or a credential. He also specifically stressed the Chamber’s support of the increased funding for training included in the bill. No action was taken by the committee, which will hear possible amendments next week and then likely take a vote on the bill.
- House Bill 1005 (Superintendent of Public Instruction), authored by Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis), would move up the date for the superintendent of public instruction to become an appointed position – from January 2025 to January 2021. This is a Chamber priority bill so that the Governor and superintendent are in agreement on the key education objectives. With the current superintendent having announced no plans to seek re-election, this measure is meeting very little resistance. It passed the House Education Committee on Wednesday, 10-1.
The Chamber also supported a measure important to a member company in the medical field:
- Senate Bill 436 (Nurse Licensure Compact), authored by Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington) and Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso), would allow nurses in border/regional communities to practice across state lines without the financial and regulatory burden of two state licenses. At the request of Indiana Chamber member Hosparus Health, the Chamber expressed its support. Hosparus Health is one of the nation’s largest non-profit hospice and palliative care providers, serving counties in Kentucky and Indiana. Like many providers, Hosparus Health has faced staffing barriers due to the shortage of registered nurses and believes the Compact will ease the financial burden of dual licensure for the organization and its practitioners. The Senate Health and Provider Services Committee passed the bill on Wednesday, 11-0.