INdiana Systemic Thinking

February 9, 2008

Inside H.B. 1288: Certified Behavior Analysts

H.B. 1288 requires the state to establish the State Board of Behavior Analysts.  Behavior Analysis, as defined by the bill “means the design, implementation, and evaluation of instructional and environmental modifications to produce socially significant improvements in human behavior through skill acquisition and the reduction of problematic behavior”.  It allows for two levels of Analysts, one requires a Bachelor’s degree, while the other requires a Master’s degree, although the degree can be in any area.  Both certifications require a test and supervised hours.  The requirements mimic the requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, a non-profit Florida Corporation.


This legislation was first requested at an Indiana Commission on Autism meeting.  Specifically, the commission was asked by Michelle Trivedi, “parent of an autistic child, for the commission to support legislation to be introduced in the 2008 session of the General Assembly that would require board certification for applied behavior analysts.”  The commission heard from Ms. Trivedi, but had many significant questions and did not recommend the legislation be pursued in it’s final report.  However, Rep. Vanessa Summers and Rep. Phil Hinkle, both commission members, introduced the legislation in the 2008 session.

Legislative Progress

Upon introduction, the legislation became very controversial for several reasons.  First, it did not exempt any professionals currently licensed to practice medicine, psychology, mental health counseling, social work, and marriage and family therapy.  Because the definition of what behavior analysis is, it would require all of those professions to become certified as behavior analysts to continue to practice with the licenses they already have.  Thankfully, the authors of the bill agreed to amend the bill to effectively state no-one could use the title Certified Behavior Analyst, unless they are certified.  With this amendment, the concerns of the already licensed professionals were satisfied and they did not oppose the bill in the house.  The bill passed the House last week and is now awaiting a hearing in the Senate Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters Committee.


January 30, 2008

Abused Children: Indiana’s Hmurovich

Yesterday a report was released by Prevent Child Abuse America.  It calls for more federal money to be made available for “Federal” foster care support and prevention services.  Sounds good.  Unfortunately, the CEO of the organization is none other than James Hmurovich.  Those who have been around the “welfare” system long enough remember he was in charge of a former incarnation of Family and Children’s Services, where he attempted to do the same thing.   What happened when he was in Indiana is prevention services went up, BUT they were used INSTEAD of foster care services.  The reason?  It is much more cost effective to keep children in their homes than in foster care.  This led to many dangerous situations and the calls for welfare reforms implemented by Governor Daniels.  Looks like Mr. Hmurovich wants to screw up the whole country.  Under his current proposal, he wants to “reward” states for decreasing the number of children in foster care.  Doesn’t look like he learned his lesson from screwing up Indiana.  Here is a summary of what the Indianapolis Star had to say:

January 24, 2008

Black Marriage Amendment?

Not really, but I betcha that got your attention.  Now before you start sending the blogmeister hate mail, read this story over at the Indy Star.  Which makes more sense, the nonsense about the real marriage amendment currently going on over at the statehouse, or doing something to help a portion of our population that really, really needs it.  From the story:

About eight in 10 black children in Indiana are born to unwed parents — a start to life that sets them up for problems during adolescence and beyond, according to an Indiana Black Expo report.
Indiana’s black youths fare significantly worse than Hoosier youths in general across 18 indicators of well-being, such as graduation rates and poverty levels, and do worse than black youths in the U.S, according to the report being released Friday.
The explosion of births to unwed parents is driving many of the state’s social problems, such as increases in poverty and child abuse and the growing cost of public aid, said Bill Stanczykiewicz, president and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute.
He added that the problem is not exclusive to any one race.
Indiana’s out-of-wedlock birthrate is at an all-time high, with unwed mothers accounting for nearly 40 percent of all births, he said. Nationally, about 36 percent of all births are to unwed mothers.

January 23, 2008

FW Schools: Why Would We Need RN’s?

The Fort Wayne News Sentinel this morning is reporting a medication mix up in a Fort Wayne area school.  Read the excerpt below for more of the story, but isn’t this what happens when you cut school nurses out of schools?  Isn’t there some law, somewhere, that forbids the passing of meds by unregistered or uncertified professionals, other than family members?  If not, there should be.  By the way, neither if these medications are something you want to take if your not supposed to as they have are for serious disorders and have very serious side effects.

A 6-year-old child at Price Elementary School was given the wrong medication by a staff member last week, resulting in a trip to the hospital.

The child was supposed to be taking Adderall, a medication used to treat narcolepsy or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but was given two doses of Seroquel, or Saraquill as it was written in the police report, which is a medication to treat schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. The incident occurred on Jan. 15, and the child was taken to St. Joseph Hospital by his mother for being “sick and sleepy,” according to a Fort Wayne Police Department report.

The Seroquel was another child’s medication. The child was said to be fine after treatment at the hospital, according to the report.

According to, side effects of Seroquel are drowsiness, dizziness or decreased vision. Also, children who take this medication may “be at increased risk for suicidal thoughts or actions.” The Web site reports there is a possible fatal reaction to the drug.

The Price staff member, who was not identified, may have been a secretary at the school, although a police report says the person was the school nurse. Fort Wayne Community Schools spokeswoman Krista Stockman said full-time nurses are not available in all schools, and secretaries are sometimes required to give a child a medication.

January 21, 2008

10% Laid Off At Dunn MHC

Calling it a “temporary reduction in force”, Dunn Mental Health Center is saying goodbye to 29 employees, according to the Indianapolis Star.  This accounts for almost 10% of their workforce.  Not wanting to sound partisean, here is the whole story from the Star.  Remember, she said it, I didnt.

Twenty-nine employees of Dunn Center Mental Health in Richmond have been laid off, said CEO Kay Whittington on Sunday.Whittington called the “temporary reduction in force” a result of Gov. Mitch Daniels’ proposed cuts in Medicaid and a bill that could limit how much Medicaid communal health centers may offer.
Dunn Center is comprised of a staff of more than 300.”We have had a temporary reduction in staff across (the) seven counties that we provide services to,” Whittington said.The Dunn Center is a Medicaid provider, and the state government has “dramatically reduced what (the center) can do for Medicaid rehabilitation options,” Whittington said.Gov. Mitch Daniels said in early January a new budget forecast that shows state revenue falling below predictions could lead to some cuts “in some of the entitlement programs like Medicaid.””It all relates to that,” Whittington said.Five of the 29 positions laid off are part-time and the rest are full-time, and Whittington said many of the employees were offered a transfer into other positions.

Whittington said she knows of other communal health centers in the state that have laid off workers.

“We’re all faced with the same thing,” she said. “You can’t wait for the ship to sink.”

Whittington will be available for further details about the situation today, she said.

“We wanted to make sure our staff had the weekend to think about (transferring).”

January 20, 2008

Drug Test Welfare Recipients?

The Evansville Courrier Press has a good story about a Kentucky lawmaker who wants to start drug testing people who rely on various welfare programs.  The argument for this seems to be that many people in the private sector have to undergo drug tests for their money, so why shouldn’t welfare recipients.  The argument against it is what do you do with the children of parents who test positive?  In addition, there is this bit of history:

Michigan briefly required drug tests for welfare recipients in 1999, but was ordered by a federal judge to stop just weeks into the program when the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit. After a federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled the law unconstitutional in 2003, Michigan officials reached an out-of-court settlement with the ACLU, agreeing to stop the drug-testing program.

So, this legislation probably won’t go anywhere in Kentucky, but if it does, it may come our way soon.

Bills and Resolutions Updated

Here are the current bills and resolutions filed in the statehouse this week.  The master list has been updated and is here.  This should be the all the filings for this legislative cycle, if the state web site is up to date (and thats a big if). 


  • HB 1218 — Eminent domain issues.
  • HB 1219 — Unemployment insurance.
  • HB 1220 — Transportation tax area.
  • HB 1221 — Operating a vehicle recklessly.
  • HB 1222 — Death taxes.
  • HB 1223 — Sales tax exemption for road material recycling equipment.
  • HB 1224 — Transfer fees.
  • HB 1225 — Illegal alien matters.
  • HB 1226 — State licensure of towing services.
  • HB 1227 — Shoreline development commission.
  • HB 1228 — Sheriff’s compensation.
  • HB 1229 — Fresh start income tax credit.
  • HB 1230 — Redistricting commission.
  • HB 1231 — Mechanic’s liens.
  • HB 1232 — Criminal history checks.
  • HB 1233 — Grandparent visitation.
  • HB 1234 — School attendance records and enforcement.
  • HB 1235 — Deduction for postsecondary tuition.
  • HB 1236 — Local spending caps.
  • HB 1237 — Extra heavy duty highway route.
  • HB 1238 — Year to year tenancy on land used for agriculture.
  • HB 1239 — School improvement progress and awards.
  • HB 1240 — Restrictions on public benefits to illegal aliens.
  • HB 1241 — Lottery advertising.
  • HB 1242 — Business tax matters
  • HB 1243 — Retractable tire studs.
  • HB 1244 — Common school fund; certification fee.
  • HB 1245 — Transit districts.
  • HB 1246 — Student graduation plan and online learning.
  • HB 1247 — Taxes on motor fuel; mass transit funding.
  • HB 1248 — Law enforcement continuing education program court fee.
  • HB 1249 — Tuition exemption for Purple Heart recipients.
  • HB 1250 — State park development and funding for the NAIAC.
  • HB 1251 — Various property tax matters.
  • HB 1252 — Property tax relief.
  • HB 1253 — Manual on uniform traffic control devices.
  • HB 1254 — Animal cruelty.
  • HB 1255 — Valuable metal dealers.
  • HB 1256 — Distributed generation facilities.
  • HB 1257 — Judges’ pensions.
  • HB 1258 — Methadone clinic drug testing and minors.
  • HB 1259 — Child safety and CHINS.
  • HB 1260 — Encoded ammunition.
  • HB 1261 — Study commissions.
  • HB 1262 — Police enforcement of federal immigration laws.
  • HB 1263 — Lake County innkeeper’s tax.
  • HB 1264 — Limitation on school starting date.
  • HB 1265 — Land surveyor registration.
  • HB 1266 — Eligibility criteria for Medicaid waiver.
  • HB 1267 — LIFE Scholarships.
  • HB 1268 — Regulation of cigarette retail sales.
  • HB 1269 — Employee classification.
  • HB 1270 — Greendale local taxes.
  • HB 1271 — Inmate credit time.
  • HB 1272 — City legislative bodies.
  • HB 1273 — Compensation for emergency or disaster training.
  • HB 1274 — Illegal alien matters.
  • HB 1275 — Local government copying fees.
  • HB 1276 — Bail.
  • HB 1277 — State economic development incentives.
  • HB 1278 — Reporting tax violations.
  • HB 1279 — ISTEP for students with disabilities.
  • HB 1280 — Energy efficient buildings.
  • HB 1281 — Property tax exemptions.
  • HB 1283 — Unemployment insurance benefits fees.
  • HB 1284 — Group insurance.
  • HB 1285 — Limit on sex offender as guardian or custodian.
  • HB 1286 — Library services authorities.
  • HB 1287 — Home health agency expenditures.
  • HB 1288 — Certification for behavior analysts.
  • HB 1289 — Electronic waste.
  • HB 1290 — Older youth foster care.
  • HB 1291 — Unauthorized aliens.
  • HB 1292 — Flags on public buildings to be made in USA.
  • HB 1293 — Homestead deduction application.
  • HB 1294 — County option dog tax on kennels.
  • HB 1295 — Fees for spinal cord and brain injury fund.
  • HB 1296 — State funding of child welfare services.
  • HB 1297 — Publication of notices.
  • HB 1298 — Communications and public safety answering points.
  • HB 1299 — Sex offender residency.
  • HB 1300 — Labeling standards for milk.
  • HB 1301 — Expungement of certain felony conviction records.
  • HB 1302 — Custodial interrogation recording.
  • HB 1303 — Contracts for operation of animal shelters.
  • HB 1304 — Diesel fuel inspection program.
  • HB 1305 — Public safety funding.
  • HB 1306 — State spending cap.
  • HB 1307 — State spending cap.
  • HB 1308 — College readiness program.
  • HB 1309 — Repeal of valuation method for certain property.
  • HB 1310 — Faculty member on university boards of trustees.
  • HB 1311 — Medical care for town firefighters.
  • HB 1312 — County drain maintenance funding.
  • HB 1313 — Inmate employment counseling and searches.
  • HB 1314 — Expungement of certain conviction records.
  • HB 1315 — Automated traffic control systems.
  • HB 1316 — Sales tax holiday.
  • HB 1317 — Spinal manipulation.
  • HB 1318 — Funding for spinal cord and brain injury research.
  • HB 1319 — Assessment of forest land for taxation purposes.
  • HB 1320 — BMV fees for law enforcement academies.
  • HB 1321 — Veterans’ jobs tax credit.
  • HB 1322 — Mandatory ethanol level in gasoline.
  • HB 1323 — Dialysis treatment coverage.
  • HB 1324 — Disclosure of event data recorders.
  • HB 1325 — Contractor performance bonds.
  • HB 1326 — Commission on Hispanic/Latino affairs.
  • HB 1327 — Property tax deductions.
  • HB 1328 — Testing of special education students.
  • HB 1329 — Sex offenses and children.
  • HB 1330 — Eliminate sales tax on gasoline.
  • HB 1331 — Expense advances to driver employees.
  • HB 1332 — Trustee duties concerning life insurance.
  • HB 1333 — State reimbursement of child services costs.
  • HB 1334 — Annexation.
  • HB 1335 — Child visitation and electronic communication time.
  • HB 1336 — County government reorganization.
  • HB 1337 — Elimination of property taxes.
  • HB 1338 — Property tax elimination.
  • HB 1339 — Drug testing of welfare recipients.
  • HB 1340 — Privatization review committee.
  • HB 1341 — Ports of Indiana.
  • HB 1342 — Electronic health records system.
  • HB 1343 — Health insurance coverage for children under age 24.
  • HB 1344 — 1985 judges pension fund.
  • HB 1345 — Trespass.
  • HB 1346 — Loan broker commission.
  • HB 1347 — Excise tax on recreational vehicles and campers.
  • HB 1348 — Review of total debt and lease burden on taxpayer.
  • HB 1349 — State spending cap.
  • HB 1350 — Police enforcement of federal immigration laws.
  • HB 1351 — Game preserve licenses.
  • HB 1352 — Appraisals and assessment reviews.
  • HB 1353 — Property tax benefits for seniors.
  • HB 1354 — Disaster relief fund.
  • HB 1355 — Donations by local units to community foundations.
  • HB 1356 — Donor withdrawal of property from institutions.
  • HB 1357 — Marion superior court magistrates.
  • HB 1358 — Civil rights.
  • HB 1359 — Various financial institutions matters.
  • HB 1360 — Mortgage lending issues.
  • HB 1361 — Nutritional information at food establishments.
  • HB 1362 — Nonprofit and county hospitals.
  • HB 1363 — Solid waste management districts.
  • HB 1364 — Long term care coverage.
  • HB 1365 — High school athlete steroid testing.
  • HB 1366 — High school IEP diplomas for students with a disability.
  • HB 1367 — Reclassification of manufactured homes as real property.
  • HB 1368 — Industrial waste products.
  • HB 1369 — Defenses to controlled substance offenses.
  • HB 1370 — State forests.
  • HB 1371 — Marion County airport authority.
  • HB 1372 — Selection of superintendent of public instruction.
  • HB 1373 — School board elections at general election time.
  • HB 1374 — Public works projects.
  • HB 1375 — Judges pensions.
  • HB 1376 — Drug courts and children in need of services.
  • HB 1377 — Crimes of violence.
  • HB 1378 — Indemnification requirements in state contracts.
  • HB 1379 — Viatical settlements.
  • HB 1380 — Distribution of Lake County Income Tax.
  • HB 1381 — Annexation.
  • HB 1382 — Redistricting commission.
  • HB 1383 — Lobbying by former legislators.
  • HB 1384 — Various economic development matters.
  • HB 1385 — Restrictions on public benefits to illegal aliens.
  • HB 1386 — Validating certain law enforcement actions.
  • HB 1387 — Personal needs allowance.
  • HB 1388 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1389 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1390 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1391 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1392 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1393 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1394 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1395 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1396 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1397 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1398 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1399 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1400 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1401 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1402 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1403 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1404 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1405 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1406 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1407 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1408 — Vehicle Bill.
  • HB 1409 — Vehicle Bill.
  • Sentate:

      • SB 0336 — Stroke prevention task force.
      • SB 0337 — Direct wine sales.
      • SB 0338 — Electronic registration and titling of vehicles.
      • SB 0339 — Various motor vehicle matters.
      • SB 0340 — Prosecuting attorney pensions.
      • SB 0341 — Explanation of proposed constitutional amendments.
      • SB 0342 — Exemption of nonbusiness personal property.
      • SB 0343 — Theft of copper and other valuable metals.
      • SB 0344 — Police officer and firefighter appointments.
      • SB 0345 — Collection of unemployment contributions.
      • SB 0346 — Property tax circuit breaker.
      • SB 0347 — Dangerous communicable diseases.
      • SB 0348 — Child product safety.
      • SB 0349 — Sales tax increment financing feasibility study.
      • SB 0350 — Funding for community mental health centers.
      • SB 0351 — Property tax limitations and procedures.
      • SB 0352 — Various financial institutions matters.
      • SB 0353 — Office of the child advocate.
      • SB 0354 — Parole eligibility.
      • SB 0355 — Cemeteries.
      • SB 0356 — Possession of handguns on public property.
      • SB 0357 — Expungement of criminal offenses.
      • SB 0358 — Voter deception.
      • SB 0359 — Enhanced 911 systems.
      • SB 0360 — E85 fueling station grants.
      • SB 0361 — Treasurer of state.
      • SB 0362 — Interstate enforcement of protective orders.
      • SB 0363 — Uniform emergency health practitioners act.
      • SB 0364 — Child abuse or neglect reports.
      • SB 0365 — Law enforcement training funding.
      • SB 0366 — Standards for tutoring services.
      • SB 0367 — Financial responsibility for carriers of property.
      • SB 0368 — Teacher professional development days.

    January 15, 2008

    Inside SB 0091: Sibling Visitation

    The Associated Press, via the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette carried this story yesterday about SB 0091.

    From the Story:

    The bill would allow children in foster care to request visits if it is in their best interests. It also would allow a special advocate to be appointed to represent the child. If the Department of Child Services denies a visit request, the child or advocate could petition a juvenile court to intervene.

    The Indiana Department of Child Services encourages sibling visits when possible and is always looking for foster homes and adoptive parents willing to take in several children from the same family, spokeswoman Susan Tielking said.

    The bill was introduced by Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel). 

    Here is the official summary of the bill:

    Foster care sibling visitation. Requires the department of child services (DCS) to promote sibling visitation for every child who receives foster care. Allows a sibling to request sibling visitation if one of the siblings is receiving foster care. Requires DCS to allow sibling visitation if it is in the best interests of the child receiving foster care. Provides that if DCS denies a request for sibling visitation, an individual may petition a juvenile court for sibling visitation. Requires a court to grant sibling visitation if the court determines sibling visitation is in the best interests of the child who receives foster care. Permits a court to appoint a guardian ad litem or a court appointed special advocate if a child requesting sibling visitation is receiving foster care. Provides that a guardian ad litem or court appointed special advocate appointed in a sibling visitation case is immune from civil liability, except for gross misconduct. (The introduced version of this bill was prepared by the interim study committee on missing children.)

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