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ISHA is following numerous bills in this year’s Indiana General Assembly as it does each year. Some of the bills would have more impact on our professions that other bills, so there are times when ISHA requests that our members contact their legislators to support or oppose a bill. Contacts from constituents in this manner can influence legislators and DO make a difference. So please take action when ISHA requests you to do so.

The major bills of interest to ISHA this session are as follows:

 Subject ISHA Position
SB 3 Telehealth Support
SB 123 Interstate Compact for Audiologists and SLPs
SB 278
Emergency Permits in Schools
HB 1286
HB 1347

You can view the bill track of all bills that ISHA is following using this live link, which will be automatically updated throughout sessions.

ISHA Legislative Update (2-22-21)

This year’s Indiana General Assembly is at the half-way point of its 2021 session, and there are several bills of interest to ISHA members that are moving and potentially could become law.

  1. Senate Bill 123, authored at our request by Sen. Dennis Kruse, would enact the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact (ASLP-IC). The compact would allow audiologists and speech-language pathologists who are licensed in one state to practice in another compact state without having to obtain a license in the second state. This bill could be particularly useful in getting more SLPs to practice in our schools. Ten states must enact the compact for it to become effective; 6 states enacted it last year and another 14 states are considering enactment this year. The bill also contains provisions that would provide more flexibility for SLPAs to practice.

  2. Senate Bill 3, authored by Sen. Ed Charbonneau, would provide permanent telehealth authority for many health care providers, including Audiologists and SLPs. The bill does not address telehealth authority for SLPAs, CFs, or students.

  3. House Bill 1286, authored by Rep. Shane Lindauer, would provide permanent telehealth authority for all health care providers, including Audiologists and SLPs. The bill would provide telehealth authority for SLPAs, CFs, and students.

  4. House Bill 1516, authored by Rep. Chris Judy, would license behavior analysts and create a licensure board to regulate them. The bill would also prohibit the practice of music therapy unless an individual meets the requirements in the bill, although licensed professionals working within their scope of practice would be exempt.

Other bills of particular interest to our members were introduced but did not survive action in the first chamber.

  1. House Bill 1261, authored by Rep. Doug Miller and ISHA member Rep. Chris Campbell, would require the owner of a place of public accommodation to activate closed captioning on television sets that are visible to the public. The bill passed out of committee but did not move further.

  2. House Bill 1307, authored by Rep. Doug Miller and ISHA member Rep. Chris Campbell, would require face makes worn by hosts at a retail establishment to be transparent and would require the state to adopt rules for the placement of wireless assistive listening systems. The bill was heard in committee, but no vote was taken.

  3. House Bill 1362, authored by Rep. Brad Barrett and ISHA member Rep. Chris Campbell, would require newborn screening for cytomegalovirus. The bill did not receive a hearing in Committee.

  4. Senate Bill 278, authored by Sen. Vaneta Becker, would re-authorize Emergency Permits for communication disorders in Indiana schools for 3 years. Emergency permits are issued by the Indiana Department of Education in school districts when the districts do not hire SLPs for an SLP position. An individual receiving an emergency permit must have an undergraduate degree in communication disorders and must be enrolled in SLP graduate school. With an emergency permit, an individual may provide the full range of SLP services just as if the individual were licensed as an SLP.

    Authority for such permits was renewed in 2019 for 2 years, so that authority expires July 1, 2021. ISHA opposes the renewal of Emergency Permit authority because holders of Emergency Permits are not qualified to provide SLP services and therefore it creates a two-tiered level of service in our schools.

    SB 278 did not receive a hearing by the Senate Education Committee. ISHA appreciates and thanks all of you who contacted their senator on the committee to voice opposition to this bill.

ISHA tracks many bills during a legislative session. The complete list of bills that we have followed during the first half of session can be viewed using the following link. See blue box above for a live link that will automatically update throughout session.

To support and empower members to provide the highest quality, life changing communication, swallowing and hearing services to the people of the State of Indiana.

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