Education Niezgodski legislation focuses on resident tuition, worker misclassification

Niezgodski legislation focuses on resident tuition, worker misclassification


INDIANAPOLIS – State Senator David Niezgodski (D-South Bend) is introducing multiple bills this upcoming session, two of which address in-state resident tuition for non-citizens and worker misclassification.

Resident tuition

There are an estimated 800-1000 undocumented immigrant students living in Indiana looking to attend college, but are denied the right to pay in-state tuition at Indiana public universities. Sen. Niezgodski authored Senate Bill (SB) 226 which would allow undocumented students living in the State of Indiana to qualify for in-state tuition provided that they have gone to school in the state for 12 months, graduated high school or obtained a GED, and signed an affidavit saying they will apply for citizenship as soon as the opportunity is made available. This bill is different from others trying to reach the same goal because it requires a student to apply for citizenship when they are able and reduces the amount of time a student must be in Indiana from three years to one year.

“After conversations with the Latino Roundtable, it is apparent that 12 months, as opposed to 3 years, is enough time for a student to have earned the right to qualify for in-state tuition,” Sen. Niezgodski said. “These students see Indiana as their home, so why should we deny them the privileges granted to all Hoosiers?”

Worker misclassification

Studies show that more than 375,000 Hoosier workers were misclassified in 2008. This typically takes the form of an employer classifying a regular employee as an independent contractor. This means employers don’t have to pay local or state payroll taxes, hurting businesses who play by the rules and causing annual losses of nearly $400 million to state and local governments. SB 166 calls for a process of information gathering and reporting in which the Departments of Labor, Revenue, Workforce Development and the Workers Compensation Board will prepare reports on their findings over a three-year span.

“Three years is sufficient time to determine the true extent of just how great of an economic loss the State of Indiana incurs on an annual basis,” Sen. Niezgodski said.

Committee assignments

Sen. Niezgodski will be representing constituents of Indiana Senate District 10 as a Ranking Minority Member on the following committees: Homeland Security and Transportation, Pensions and Labor, and Veterans Affairs and the Military. Sen. Niezgodski will also serve on the following committees during the 2018 session: Appropriations, Environmental Affairs, and Local Government.