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Legislative Review 2019

Posted by: Tom Mellish, Executive Director  | May 3, 2019

Indiana Retired Teachers Association General Assembly

Dear IRTA Members:

Hopefully each week you are catching up on our legislative journey through our podcast that is on our website and it is titled Indiana EdCast.

The good news the House stood firm and we were able to get the “13th Check” back in the Budget Bill, HB 1001, during the Conference Committee process. Any potential increase to the check was lost at that point along with the April Budget Forecast that was below expectations.

Another positive was we were able to stop the transfer of $150 million from the Pension Stabilization Fund (PSF) for the Pre ’96 Teacher Retirement Fund and placing it into the Post ’96 Teacher Retirement Fund. They will now use general fund money to help the Post ’96 Fund lower school corporation’s contribution rate and leave the PSF alone.

Steve Beebe and I thank you for all your help and support throughout the session, especially the last two weeks when things looked bleak. Without your calls, emails and meeting with the legislators the outcomes could have been very different.

The full House stood behind the “13th Check” and PSF issues in conference committee and the Senate was persuaded to support both issues. Please thank your representative for their continued support and advocacy for the “13th Check”.

On the senate side all the democrats and these republican senators voted for Sen. Niezgodski’s amendment to place the “13th Check” back into the budget although it was defeated on the floor 28-19. Republican Senators – Alting, Becker, Bohacek, Crane, Garten, Grooms, Leising, Niemeyer, Ruckelshaus, Tomes. They also spoke up during their caucus sessions to support the “13th Check”. Please thank them for supporting retired educators.

Other bills we tracked that passed this session that benefit seniors and active teachers were the following:

  • HB 1001 Budget HB 1003 School Expenditure Targets
  • HB 1008 Teacher Career Ladders HB 1059 Survivor Benefits
  • HB 1009 Teacher Residency Grants Pilot Program
  • HB 1224 School Intergenerational Safety Pilot Project
  • SB 22 Pension Matters SB 280 Over 65 Property Tax Deduction

We had 120 members sign up to attend our Legislative Brunch on April 9. Six committee hearings ended up being scheduled that morning so that cut down on our legislators’ attendance. We did see a few new legislators that have not attended recently, and many stayed along time with their constituents.

Tom Mellish
Executive Director