Update on Indiana SB 160 & HB 1160 School Background Checks

I wanted to give you an update on SB 160 and HB 1160, companion bills in the Indiana General Assembly that would remove private vendors as an option for schools conducting background checks. This past Thursday, I testified at the House Education Committee hearing on SB 160.  Rep Jeff Thompson offered an amendment that would strengthen the current law by requiring that all background screening firms would have to meet the definition of a Consumer Reporting Agency under federal law (we do).

The amendment passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 9-2.

Several representatives stated they were influenced by the letters and emails they have received from schools.

Your efforts are working!

We still have HB 1160 in the Senate Homeland Security, Transportation and Veteran Affairs Committee.  We need to contact the members of this committee and ask them to amend HB 1160 like the House Education Committee and allow private vendors to continue to serve Indiana schools.

Here are some key points from the hearing:

  1. The bill is being pushed by  L1 screening solutions, a Boston, MA based-company,who has the exclusive contract with the Indiana State Police to provide fingerprinting services. Right now the state police only works with 10% of schools so the bill would give a private Massachusetts company a 100% monopoly.
  2. State police testified that there is no study done that shows fingerprint background checks are any better than name based background checks.
  3. Rep Arnold mentioned that on another committee they have heard testimony on problems with smaller communities either not sending or very slow to send their criminal data to the state and feds.
  4. No one could answer Rep Todd Huston's question "are we trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist?"

Please contact DJ Weidner dj.weidner@safehiringsolutions.com or Brigitt Klaum brigitt.klaum@safehiringsolutions.com for sample letters that can be edited.

Here is the contact information for the Senate committee members:

Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City)

Email: S17@in.gov

Telephone:         (317) 232-9808        

Legislative Assistant: Ian Hauer

Email: Ihauer@iga.in.gov

Telephone:         (317) 232-9808       

Sen. Vaneta Becker (R-Evansville)

Email: S50@in.gov

Telephone:         (317) 232-9494        

Legislative Assistant: Kristen Tjaden

Email: Ktjaden@iga.in.gov

Telephone:         (317) 232-9494       

Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield)

Email: S28@in.gov

Telephone:         (317) 232-9493        

Legislative Assistant: Brian Rockensuess

Email: Brockens@iga.in.gov

Telephone:         (317) 232-9493       

Sen. James Merritt, Jr. (R-Indianapolis)

Email: S31@in.gov

Telephone:         (317) 232-9533        

Legislative Assistant: Dawna Smith

Email: Dsmith@iga.in.gov

Telephone:         (317) 232-9533       

Sen. Allen Paul

Email: Senator.Paul@iga.in.gov

Telephone:         (317) 232-9533          Sen. Jim Arnold (D-LaPorte) – Ranking Minority Member

Email: S8@in.gov

Telephone:         (317) 232-9441        

Legislative Assistant: Michelle Moody          

Email: mmoody@iga.in.gov

Telephone:         (317) 232-9532       

Sen. Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis)

Email: S34@in.gov

Telephone:         (317) 546-5136        

Legislative Assistant: Tyler Hempfling

Email: thempfli@iga.in.gov

Telephone:         (317) 232-9534       

Sen. Earline Rogers (D-Gary) 

Email: S3@in.gov

Telephone:         (219) 949-7578        

Legislative Assistant: Tracy Woolbright

Email: twoolbri@iga.in.gov

Telephone:         (317) 232-9491    

Please do not hesitate to email or call if you have questions.