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Weekly Statehouse Update: Child care regulations, Medicaid policy, cellphones in classrooms

The northwestern exterior of the Indiana Statehouse, during the day.
Lauren Chapman
IPB News
Indiana's 2024 legislative session runs through no later than March 14, 2024.

The House approves a bill loosening some child care regulations. A Medicaid policy bill fails to advance. And the Senate passes a measure to prohibit cellphones in school classrooms.

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

HB 1102: Child care

Under House-approved legislation, unlicensed child care providers in Indiana would be able to serve more children for more hours each week. And it allows those providers to accept child care vouchers.

HB 1102 also eliminates a requirement for some licensed providers that the person running it has a high school diploma and any training or experience in child care.

HB 1386: Medicaid matters

A bill to update state Medicaid policy, HB 1386, wasn’t called down on the House floor on a deadline day to advance it. That’s after Democrats filed amendments that would pause proposed cuts to attendant care.

Republican leaders say the attendant care issue doesn’t require legislation this session and will be resolved through the Family and Social Services Administration’s normal rulemaking process.

READ MORE: How do I follow Indiana’s legislative session? Here’s your guide to demystify the process

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 765-275-1120. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues, including our project Civically, Indiana and our 2024 legislative bill tracker.

SB 185: Student use of wireless communication device

And the Senate approved legislation, SB 185, that would restrict students from using cellphones, tablets, laptops, and gaming devices during instructional time unless approved by a teacher for educational purposes.

There are exceptions, like in the event of an emergency or if a student requires a device to manage their health care.

Find all the bills our statewide team is covering in our bill tracker at

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.