Legislative session: few changes for nonprofits

Compiled by Lynn Sygiel, editor, Charitable Advisors |

This year’s Indiana legislative session was not without controversy. Of the over 1200 bills that were originally filed for the session, several hundred made it through the entire process and were eligible for action by the governor. In addition, lawmakers approved a two-year $31 billion budget, which includes a $464 million increase in K-12 education spending.

While there were no surprises for nonprofits, here are bills that may have an effect on the way nonprofits do business.

If you want to learn more about any bill, click here.

HB 1009: Innovation Network Schools. (Behning)

Provides for innovation network school programs in school corporations. Establishes the career pathways pilot program. Establishes the innovation network school pilot grant. Repeals the article relating to the establishment of innovation network schools by the Indianapolis Public Schools.

Status: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR 5/7/2015

HB 1015: Benefit corporations (Cox)

Allows a business entity to incorporate as a benefit corporation under Indiana law.

Status: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR   4/30/2015

HB 1042: Education loan information. (Cox)

Requires a postsecondary educational institution that enrolls students who receive state financial aid to annually provide each student with certain information concerning the student’s education loans. Provides that an eligible institution does not incur liability for any information provided to students.

Status: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR 4/15/2015

HB 1435: Beer, wine, liquor prizes/charity auction sales (Olthoff)

Allows a nonprofit corporation that is a qualified organization under the charity gaming law (qualified organization) to give sealed bottles or cases of alcoholic beverages as prizes in a charity gaming event without obtaining an alcoholic beverage permit. Allows a qualified organization to auction purchased or donated alcoholic beverages in sealed bottles or cases, without obtaining an alcoholic beverage permit. Prohibits alcoholic beverages that are auctioned or given as prizes from being consumed on the premises. Repeals and replaces the current statute regarding payments to the commission. Requires the commission to accept payments by certain financial instruments. Allows the commission to charge certain fees.


HB: 1635: Various education matters. (Behning)

Allows grants from the safe schools fund to provide school wide programs to improve school climate and professional development and training in alternatives to suspension and expulsion and evidence based practices thatcontribute to a positive school environment. Provides that a consolidated school corporation shall offer to transfer property to the township from which the consolidated school corporation received the property for any purpose if the property is no longer needed by the school corporation. (Current law requires the transferred property to be used for park and recreation purposes.) Allows the township to sell or lease the property to an Indiana nonprofit corporation that is exempt from federal taxation.


HB 1636: Charter schools. (Behning)

Provides that a governing body of a school corporation, a state educational institution, and a nonprofit college or university must register with the state board of education (state board) if it has not previously issued a charter for any charter school prior to July 1, 2015. Makes changes to the definition of an “organizer.” Requires the state board to provide a formal evaluation of the overall state of charter school outcomes in Indiana every five years. Provides that a charter school may give enrollment preference to children of the charter school’s founders, governing body members, and charter school employees, as long as preference is not given to more that 10% of the charter school’s total population. Provides that if a proposal to establish a charter school concerns an existing charter school overseen by a different authorizer than the authorizer to which the organizer is submitting the proposal, the proposal must include written acknowledgement of the proposal from the current authorizer. Provides that a charter school may limit admissions to allow preschool students who attend a Level 3 or Level 4 Paths to QUALITY program preschool to attend kindergarten at a charter school if the charter school and the preschool provider have entered into an agreement to share services or facilities. Provides that a governing body is not bound by a collective bargaining agreement for employees of a conversion charter school. Provides that employees of a conversion charter school may collectively bargain.

Status: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR 5/7/2015

SB 267: Dual language immersion; biliteracy. (Kruse, Lanane)

Establishes the dual language immersion pilot program to provide grants to school corporations and charter schools that establish dual language immersion programs in certain foreign languages. Creates the state certificate of biliteracy. Requires that the appropriate designation appear on the student’s transcript. Requires the state board of education to adopt rules and to direct the department of education to administer the state biliteracy program. Provides that a school corporation, a charter school, or a nonpublic high school is not required to participate in the biliteracy program.

Status: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR 5/7/2015

SB 317: Community foundations. (Head)

Defines an “eligible community foundation” for state income tax purposes as an organization that: (1) is a tax exempt charitable organization; (2) satisfies the public support test for public charities; (3) is an autonomous, nonsectarian philanthropic institution with component funds established by many separate donors; (4) is accredited under national standards for United States Community Foundations; and (5) supports a broad range of charitable activities in a specific area of the state.

Status:  SIGNED BY GOVERNOR 4/23/2015

SB 327: Charity gaming. (Leising)

Provides that the prize for a progressive bingo game may not exceed $2,000. Provides that the total prizes for one pull tab, punchboard, or tip board game may not exceed $10,000. (Current law provides that the total prizes may not exceed $5,000.) Provides that the prize limit for a game using a seal card is $1,000 and a progressive or carryover pull tab game is $5,000. Requires that a qualified organization may pay for licensed supplies only with a check drawn on or by an electronic funds transfer from the qualified organization’s gaming account. Provides that a licensed distributor may obtain licensed supplies to be used in charity gaming only from an entity licensed by the gaming commission as a manufacturer or distributor or from certain qualified organizations. Reduces from three years to one year the amount of time that an Indiana affiliate of a qualified

organization holding an annual comprehensive charity gaming license must be in existence in Indiana before it may conduct a raffle or door prize event. Adds “bona fide state foundations” and “bona fide state organizations” to the list of qualified organizations that may receive an annual comprehensive charity gaming license. Requires a licensed distributor to notify the gaming commission of the sale of any licensed supply that has a certain prize level.

Status:   SIGNED BY GOVERNOR 5/8/2015

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