Accelerate Team Performance with These Opportunities in May

Don’t coast along when it comes to employee skills and legal developments that impact your business. Engage people – and protect your bottom line – through a variety of upcoming training events.

The annual Indiana Worker’s Compensation Conference will take place May 11 at Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown Union Station. It will feature sessions on psychological injuries in the workplace; the impact of worker’s compensation on your organization; Indiana’s Worker’s Compensation Act (and how it works together with the FMLA and ADA); and more!

Sponsors are Athletico Physical Therapy, Center for Diagnostic Imaging, Ice Miller LLP and Pro Resources Staffing Services. Contact Jim Wagner at (317) 264-6876 regarding additional sponsorship and exhibit opportunities.

Shift gears by attending the annual Indiana Environmental Permitting and Reporting Conference on May 18-19 at the Indiana Chamber Conference Center. Sponsored by KERAMIDA, Inc., it’s the most complete and comprehensive permitting and reporting course offered in the state.

Highlights include:

  • 2016 Annual Reporting Requirements and Update
  • Are You Prepared for Your Next Air Compliance Inspection?
  • Spill Reporting and Spill Prevention Considerations
  • Most Common Notices of Violation – How to Demonstrate Permit Compliance
  • Beneficial Reuse of Foundry Sand/CCR – Permits and Regulations

Two additional events, both at the Indiana Chamber Conference Center, round out May offerings: Forklift Safety: Train the Trainer (May 24) and OSHA Recordkeeping and Reporting Course (May 25).

Register for any of these events online or by calling Nick at (800) 824-6885.

KAR Auction Services Exec Named 2016 HR Pro of the Year

LisaPriceThe Indiana Chamber of Commerce announced today the 2016 recipient of the Ogletree Deakins Human Resources Professional of the Year award. Lisa Price, executive vice president of human resources at KAR Auction Services in Carmel, was honored during a luncheon at the 52nd Annual Human Resources Conference & Expo at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis.

The HR Professional of the Year award is a statewide recognition given annually to those that provide lasting impact through the implementation of best practices, organization design and effectiveness and accomplishment of the company’s strategic direction.

“Lisa is instrumental in furthering KAR’s overall goal of bringing our various subsidiary companies together under one unified banner and spearheading a common set of employee policies, practices and organizational structure,” praises Don Gottwald, chief operating officer at KAR Auction Services.

“The fact that Lisa is an experienced employment attorney enhances her already stellar HR skillset and makes her invaluable to furthering KAR’s ‘One Company’ vision.”

In 2013, Price switched lanes from exclusively being KAR’s in-house employment counsel to her current human resources position.

Plagued by a Poor Attitude?

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If you’re channeling Robert De Niro’s defiant dialogue in the iconic “Taxi Driver” in the way you treat co-workers and handle projects, chances are you’ve got an attitude problem.

But maybe it’s not that blatant. What if you’re blissfully unaware of how you’re coming across?

This U.S. News & World Report article lays out several scenarios. Among them:

You’re grumpy. A lot. Everyone has occasional frustrations at work, but if your job and everyone around you regularly irritate you, and you’re not shy about letting people know it, people are going to dread working with you. If your frustrations impact you to the point that everyone knows about them, it’s probably time to decide whether you can find a way to be reasonably happy at work or whether it’s time to move on. Otherwise, you’ll do serious harm to your reputation and ultimately could even lose your job.

You never want to hear that you could have done something differently or better. If you get defensive when you get feedback on your work, you could be doing yourself serious harm. It’s tough to give feedback to a defensive person, and many people will simply stop trying. That means that you won’t get information that you need to grow professionally, which can significantly limit your prospects and your long-term success. Plus, people who do stick it out and keep giving you feedback anyway are likely to resent that you make it so unpleasant to do it.

You’re preoccupied with “what’s in it for you.” It’s reasonable to expect that over time, good work should pay off – with better assignments, raises and career advancement. But the key words there are “over time.” It’s not reasonable to expect special rewards every time you’re asked to go even slightly outside your routine responsibilities. Doing that is just part of being on a team (within reason, of course).

One pointer provoked a gasp: Don’t roll your eyes during meetings or have other visibly negative facial expressions. That’s beyond exhibiting a bad attitude – it’s insolence, plain and simple.

Focusing in on Student Engagement and Hope

tCareer readiness preparation begins long before a student makes it to college and begins pursuing internships to explore strengths and interests. It even begins before high school, when students are making postsecondary decisions.

Career readiness largely hinges on success students experience when they are much younger – even back to fifth grade!

The Gallup Student Poll (Fall 2015) measures four dimensions of student success – engagement, hope, entrepreneurial aspiration and career/financial literacy – and analyzes how those impact student behavior. The poll is administered to U.S. students, grades 5 – 12.

For example, students who are “engaged” and “hopeful” are 4.6 times more likely to say they do well in school than “actively disengaged” and “discouraged” students.

The aim of the Gallup Student Poll is to enable superintendents, principals and educators to take direct action based on the results to provide a more robust educational experience. This early action is critical in preparing students for college and the workforce.

One of the most interesting pieces of data from the poll relates to entrepreneurial aspirations. A staggering 42% of respondents indicate they plan to start their own business. However, these aspirations dwindle as students get older, especially for females, indicating that entrepreneurial aspirations should be identified and supported in middle school.

Of the respondents, 50% were “engaged,” 29% were not engaged and 21% were actively disengaged, meaning they are totally disconnected from the learning environment.

The data finds that engagement is different across the age groups. As you go up by grade, engagement goes down. For example, 75% of fifth graders are engaged at school, while 33% of 10th graders are engaged at school.

This suggests students are not getting the needed mentorship as they go through school and are not receiving praise and recognition.

  • 48% of students are hopeful
  • 34% of students are stuck
  • 18% of students are discouraged

When students know what they do best and have opportunities to develop their strengths, they are more motivated and enthusiastic about learning and are more likely to be engaged at school. High engagement in primary and secondary school, especially a focus on “hope” (defined as ideas and energy students have for the future), can only improve postsecondary and career outcomes.

Purdue’s Income Share Agreement Option Moves Forward

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In the latest BizVoice, we covered Purdue University’s recent exploration into the world of Income Share Agreements (ISAs). The funding strategy allows students to pay back loans based on their future earnings. It’s a way to mitigate the mountains of debt today’s college students often find themselves in after graduation.

Since the article’s release, Purdue has moved forward to the next phase of the process. Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) is managing and making the funding available for the program. This web site provides more information.

PRF is now focused on providing educational and informational sessions to students and parents. The application process for the Back a Boiler – ISA Fund will begin in May. PRF anticipates this will give students time to review all of their options and determine which best serves their educational funding needs.

Indiana Chamber Welcomes Mark Lawrance Back to New Role

LawranceR. Mark Lawrance will return to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce in May as vice president of engagement and innovation policy.

Lawrance served as director of the Indiana University Public Policy Institute from 2014 until earlier this year, guiding the comprehensive Thriving Communities, Thriving State initiative that was released in March and other important research and programs.

An Indianapolis native, Lawrance spent more than 13 years at the Indiana Chamber beginning in 2000. He previously guided the efforts of the Indiana Chamber Foundation and, among other roles, represented members on local government and technology issues. In his new position, Lawrance will advocate in the critical economic development, infrastructure and technology areas, lead efforts on the Indiana Vision 2025 long-range economic development action plan and work with organizations on their collaborations with the Indiana Chamber.

“We’re pleased to welcome Mark back to the Indiana Chamber,” states Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “His experience, relationships and knowledge about what it takes for Indiana to move forward are obvious assets that will benefit both our members and partners. Mark was one of the keys to the launch and early victories in Indiana Vision 2025,and it’s wonderful to have him focused once again on its success.”

Lawrance graduated from Indiana University with a degree in public affairs. He was a vice president of the MCL restaurant chain before first coming to the Indiana Chamber.

“This indeed is like coming home for me,” Lawrance says. “I’m passionate about doing what I can to help create the best possible Indiana for today and future generations – and the Indiana Chamber is a perfect place to continue to do just that.”

Lawrance will begin his work with the Indiana Chamber on May 16.

Telemedicine a Major Health Issue in 2016 Session

16358656House Bill 1263 (Telemedicine), authored by Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Indianapolis), was enthusiastically supported by the Indiana Chamber during the 2016 Indiana legislative session. Numerous organizations supported the concept and not one opposed; the Indiana State Medical Association remained neutral. The bill allows physicians, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses that have authority to prescribe drugs and optometrists to prescribe medicine to a patient via telemedicine services.

While everyone supported the concept, getting everyone to agree on the final version was a rocky process. Concerns ranged from existing patient/provider relationships, out of state providers, hospital relationships to standards of care and jurisdiction for medical malpractice. But by the end, the conference committee report had only one vote against in both houses.

Senate Bill 165 (Healthy Indiana Plan or HIP), authored by Sen. Patricia Miller (R-Indianapolis), is the Governor’s measure to repeal the former HIP plan and codify into statute the current HIP 2.0. The Pence administration believes that codifying the current plan strengthens its position with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for when the new 1115 Medicaid waiver is negotiated.

Opponents believe that codifying the existing plan leaves no room for flexibility. Chiropractic services under the HIP 2.0 plan were added in the House on second reading but removed in conference committee. The bill passed both houses, mostly along party lines with a few exceptions. The Chamber has been supportive of the core principles of HIP and HIP 2.0, offering an alternative to the Medicaid system by providing a power account (similar to an HSA) which encourages individual responsibility in a participant’s medical decisions.

 

Pseudoephedrine and Pharmacists

statehouse picEphedrine, pseudoephedrine and meth received a lot of discussion during session, especially when House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) came out in November and said that something needed to be done about the state’s meth problem. The Chamber supported HB 1157/SB 161, which included putting individuals with drug-related felonies on the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) and thus would trigger a stop-sale alert; both bills passed. The Chamber has historically been opposed to making ephedrine products prescription only because of the inconvenience to consumers that need these products and the impacts on businesses that supply them; HB 1390 in its original form would have done that.

During the last week of session, the Chamber provided a written letter to the General Assembly on the conference committee report for SB 80 that was voted on in the House. The letter stated that the conference committee language prohibited consumers from
accessing multi-ingredient, time-released allergy products, such as Claritan-D, Allegra-D, Zyrtec-D and Mucinex-D – the most effective products for consumers suffering from allergies. The multi-use products are less likely to be used in meth than the single-ingredient products referenced in the conference committee report. The letter also suggested how to fix the problem.

Representative Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) was the House sponsor and although he did not make the changes necessary to fix the conference committee report of SB 80, he did agree that the House-passed third reading version of SB 80 should be concurred upon in the Senate.That essentially amounted to the same thing as the fix and addressed the concerns the Chamber had.

The Indiana Chamber joined CVS, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance, the Indiana Retail Council, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson in penning a letter to encourage the Senate to concur on the House-passed version of SB 80 because it allowed legitimate cold and allergy sufferers the medicine they need while dramatically reducing sales of pseudephedrine to meth cooks and those they hire to purchase the drugs. Senate Bill 80 allows individuals who have a relationship with a pharmacist to purchase ephedrine and pseudoephedrine products.

It also allows the pharmacist to sell lesser amounts of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine products if there is no relationship. The House version was what ultimately became law.

Lawsuit Lending Legislation Made Big Leap in 2016 Session

10044552The most unbelievable surprise of the 2016 Indiana legislative session ended up being the bill to address the practice known as “lawsuit lending.” At the beginning and throughout much of the session, it was believed by all parties that this would be the year to reach an agreement on the issue. But as both sides began to define terms, it was clear that we weren’t really any closer than in years past.

Lawsuit lending or civil proceeding advance payment transactions, as described in HB 1127, is the practice where a third party finance company loans money to a plaintiff in anticipation of a favorable settlement in a lawsuit. The finance companies justify a high interest rate because if the plaintiff does not win the suit, there is no requirement to repay the amount financed/loaned.

The Chamber has always maintained that this practice has an adverse impact upon the settlement/litigation process. As has been the case previously, Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) was the author in the House and Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport) was the author in the Senate. The Chamber and coalition members have supported Rep. Lehman’s position and the lawsuit lending industry has supported Sen. Head’s.

Representative Lehman took a different approach this year and attempted to place the transactions under the Uniform Consumer Credit Code (UCCC). Because of the way that interest rates and deferral interest rates are calculated for banks under the UCCC, there was some confusion as to how these transactions would operate for lawsuit lending purposes. To keep a long story short: The industry wanted a $500 document fee on all transactions, 36% interest rate cap and a 36% deferral fee. Due to how their product is financed, it effectually produced an interest rate of 72% – which was totally unacceptable to the Chamber, the Indiana Manufacturers Association, the Insurance Institute of Indiana and other business interests. During conference committee time, Rep. Lehman made several proposals to find common ground.

The night before the last day of session, the Chamber met with Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) to discuss our concerns. He thought a deal might still be struck. Early the final day, a conference committee report was presented and the legal finance industry was opposed to it. By 10:30 a.m., all parties agreed that the bill was dead and we would be back next year to fight even stronger. As a result, most of the coalition members had returned to their respective offices for the day. A little after 11 a.m., the local contract lobbyist for the American Legal Finance Association approached the Chamber to see if there could be a tweaking of the fees if the interest rates were kept lower. Around 12:30 p.m., Rep. Lehman asked the coalition if all of us could live with a 36% interest rate, a 7% service fee, a $250 document fee for loans under $5,000 and a $500 document fee for loans in excess of $5,000. The kicker was that Lehman said that it would be calculated based upon APR (Annual Percentage Rate).

Immediately the Chamber and others said take the deal. Without the APR the deal would have been OK at best, but with APR this was a game-changer. The rest of the afternoon and evening we worked ferociously to get the Senate Democrats to get Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) to sign the conference committee report and get the bill passed. The final HB 1127 passed the Senate 40-10 and was in the last batch of bills to be voted on in the House, passing by a margin of 63-32.

The Chamber wants to thank Jon Zarich, representing State Farm, and Michael Niland and Logan Harrison of the Insurance Institute for their amazing efforts. Their partnership with the Chamber helped make the passage of lawsuit lending possible after six long years.

Positive Developments on Pro-Teacher/Pro-Student Measures in 2016

26256966There were some notable strong successes on pro-teacher/pro-student issues during the 2016 Indiana legislative session. The Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship (HB 1002) allows the Commission for Higher Education to award college scholarships for up to 200 of the best and brightest future teachers. These students must have graduated in the top 20% of their class and received the top 20th percentile scores on the SAT/ACT exams. Upon graduation, scholarship recipients have the requirement to teach in Indiana for five consecutive years.

While the administration set up the program in HB 1002, the Legislature appropriated $10 million in HB 1001. The Chamber advocated for this program to assist with the potential teacher shortages moving forward. We believe that this legislation is a great first step in recruiting strong teachers into the field as well as helping to raise the profession. Strong teachers lead to strong students, which will eventually lead to strong and talented employees.

Also in the good bucket column is HB 1005, which also sought to assist in the teacher shortage issue by providing career pathways and mentorship opportunities for teachers in Indiana schools. The Chamber stressed that mentorship opportunities can help teachers during their beginning years and have significant application for other professions as well. Mentorship is a key tool in attracting and retaining strong employees in the workforce and it is something that the Chamber thinks could and should be utilized to help with teacher
shortages in specific areas such as STEM and special education.

We also supported language in the bill providing supplemental pay for teachers that take on leadership roles in their schools. Another teacher incentive contained in HB 1005 was the creation of a Dual Credit Teacher Stipend Matching Grant Program for eligible educators who teach dual credit courses and are in the process of obtaining or have finished their master’s degree in that subject area. No appropriation was made this year (likely next year during the budget process).

During conference committee time, Chamber-supported language from SB 334 was added into HB 1005 that would allow for a second application period for voucher students. This way if a student were to change schools during the year, it would ensure that the money truly followed the child – specifically during the second semester. Under previous law, should a student change to a different voucher school (for any reason, including parent’s job relocation, divorce, dropout, expulsion or simply to provide a better educational opportunity or fit for that child), they lose that voucher for the remainder of the school year. By contrast, if a traditional public school student were to transfer to a different traditional public school, the money follows the child for the second semester. The Chamber strongly advocated that no child should be treated any differently based on their school choice.

Opponents argued feebly that the bill was an expansion of the voucher program, but the Chamber stressed that it was merely providing students with fair access to funding for their education and did not change any eligibility requirements. Should a child need to transfer schools – for whatever reason – they should have a right to be educated and have funding follow them appropriately. Language from SB 334 regarding background checks and student safety was also added to the bill calling for a child protection index check requirement to the current system of background checks for new employees of school systems.

Specifically, the language requires that the Department of Child Services must notify a school employer if a potential employee has ever been the subject of a substantiated report of child abuse or neglect, and states that confidentiality agreements between teachers and employers moving forward can no longer protect a former employee regarding any substantiated report of child abuse or neglect.