As the second half of session kicked off this week, the Senate Appropriations Committee began its hearings on the budget, and advocates for the $1 per pack cigarette tax increase made their case. The week also saw university presidents requesting larger funding increases and the Department of Child Services presented its fiscal request.
The Senate Health Committee this week approved a bill mandating public colleges and universities require meningitis immunizations. The bill’s author, Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler), says the measure is really aimed at out-of-state students; Indiana’s K-12 system already requires meningitis vaccines.
Federal lawmakers rolled out their Obamacare replacement this week, the American Health Care Act. Analyses of the bill suggest it could significantly reduce coverage for low-income Americans – and that could jeopardize Indiana’s HIP 2.0 program. Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma says, in his words, he’s not hitting the planning button or the panic button. He says there are too many unknowns for state lawmakers to react.