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The 2020 Session of the Indiana General Assembly will begin with the tradition of Organization Day, set this year for November 19th, 2019. The coming session is a Short Session that will last until mid-March, a full 6 weeks shorter than the Long Session, or a Budget Session. Organization Day is typically the day that newly elected legislators are sworn in but this year being an off year for statehouse elections the day will be less ceremonial in nature. Changes in committee chairs and committee assignments will be formally announced and, perhaps, some legislation will be introduced.
The IHCA/INCAL Board of Directors, staff and members had the opportunity to meet both with Indiana House and Senate majority leadership in September and October and the message from both House and Senate leaders is that the coming session will be focused and quick. This is typically the message for every Short Session, but it may hold true in 2020 given how crazy and difficult the 2020 election year is expected to be.
House and Senate leaders are expected to focus in on a “mini-budget” that is to be focused on paying cash for significant capital projects that would otherwise be payed for via bonds and cost more over the long run. These projects include university-based buildings, state fair buildings, and other construction projects. Education and teacher salaries are sure to be debated. As for health care issues, several items will be forwarded from the interim committee on public health, and additional legislative action is likely on the issue of hospital pricing and heath care costs.
IHCA/INCAL continues to press for solutions to the Medicaid transportation/SoutheasTrans problems. Whether legislation is necessary is to be seen, but several legislators have expressed interest in legislating a solution. IHCA/INCAL will also be seeking an extension of the prohibition on managed care programming for Medicaid nursing facility residents. The current prohibition, first passed in 2016, is set to expire June 30, 2020.