24 more school corps join IRS lawsuit on employer mandate

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Twenty-four additional school corporations have joined the lawsuit filed in October by the state of Indiana and 15 school corporations against the Internal Revenue Service challenging the tax penalties that could be imposed in 2015 under the “employer mandate” of the Affordable Care Act.

The lawsuit challenges new IRS regulations implemented under the new health care law and the authority of the federal government to impose the employer mandate on the state and Indiana public school corporations. The mandate declares that applicable large employers are required to offer full-time employees health insurance.

If large employers do not meet that requirement and workers then receive federal subsidies to get health insurance coverage, the employers may be subject to large financial penalties – up to $2,000 per employee for all full-time employees in the organization.

“It is unprecedented in the history of the United States that 39 public schools have joined together in a single lawsuit against the IRS. The significant participation of Indiana public schools in this lawsuit underscores the debilitating impact that the employer penalties are having upon public education,” said Jim Hamilton, an attorney at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP representing the public schools.  “All Indiana public school corporations provide comprehensive health insurance coverage to most of their employees. However, the practical reality is that most Indiana public school corporations do not have the financial resources to provide affordable, minimum value coverage to all employees who work in excess of 30 hours of service per week.”

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who represents the state in the lawsuit, called the IRS tax penalties “draconian.”

“The objective of this case is to defend fundamental state authority to structure our government workforce to provide services; and individuals’ access to health insurance never has been the focus of the suit,” Zoeller said. "Our State should be protected as is constitutionally guaranteed from federal government overreach under our American system of federalism, and the participation of so many school corporations in the challenge reflects mutual concern that this principle has been undermined by the IRS’s actions.”

The amended lawsuit seeks an injunction blocking the IRS and other federal agencies from applying the regulation and penalties against the school corporations and the state as government employees. The plaintiffs also want the federal court to issue a declaratory judgment finding the IRS regulations as applied to the state government and schools unconstitutional and void under the 10th Amendment.

The school corporations in the lawsuit come from throughout the state and include the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corp. in Knightstown; Salem Community Schools in Salem; and Mooresville Consolidated School Corp. in Mooresville.

The lawsuit is pending in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. No response has been filed yet by the federal defendants, which include Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the U.S. Department of Labor.



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  1. This new language about a warning has not been discussed at previous meetings. It's not available online. Since it must be made public knowledge before the vote, does anyone know exactly what it says? Further, this proposal was held up for 5 weeks because members Carol and Lucy insisted that all terms used be defined. So now, definitions are unnecessary and have not been inserted? Beyond these requirements, what is the logic behind giving one free pass to discriminators? Is that how laws work - break it once and that's ok? Just don't do it again? Three members of Carmel's council have done just about everything they can think of to prohibit an anti-discrimination ordinance in Carmel, much to Brainard's consternation, I'm told. These three 'want to be so careful' that they have failed to do what at least 13 other communities, including Martinsville, have already done. It's not being careful. It's standing in the way of what 60% of Carmel residents want. It's hurting CArmel in thT businesses have refused to locate because the council has not gotten with the program. And now they want to give discriminatory one free shot to do so. Unacceptable. Once three members leave the council because they lost their races, the Carmel council will have unanimous approval of the ordinance as originally drafted, not with a one free shot to discriminate freebie. That happens in January 2016. Why give a freebie when all we have to do is wait 3 months and get an ordinance with teeth from Day 1? If nothing else, can you please get s copy from Carmel and post it so we can see what else has changed in the proposal?

  2. Here is an interesting 2012 law review article for any who wish to dive deeper into this subject matter: Excerpt: "Judicial interpretation of the ADA has extended public entity liability to licensing agencies in the licensure and certification of attorneys.49 State bar examiners have the authority to conduct fitness investigations for the purpose of determining whether an applicant is a direct threat to the public.50 A “direct threat” is defined as “a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services as provided by § 35.139.”51 However, bar examiners may not utilize generalizations or stereotypes about the applicant’s disability in concluding that an applicant is a direct threat.52"

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  4. I hope you dont mind but to answer my question. What amendment does this case pretain to?

  5. Research by William J Federer Chief Justice John Marshall commented May 9, 1833, on the pamphlet The Relation of Christianity to Civil Government in the United States written by Rev. Jasper Adams, President of the College of Charleston, South Carolina (The Papers of John Marshall, ed. Charles Hobson, Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2006, p, 278): "Reverend Sir, I am much indebted to you for the copy of your valuable sermon on the relation of Christianity to civil government preached before the convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Charleston, on the 13th of February last. I have read it with great attention and advantage. The documents annexed to the sermon certainly go far in sustaining the proposition which it is your purpose to establish. One great object of the colonial charters was avowedly the propagation of the Christian faith. Means have been employed to accomplish this object, and those means have been used by government..." John Marshall continued: "No person, I believe, questions the importance of religion to the happiness of man even during his existence in this world. It has at all times employed his most serious meditation, and had a decided influence on his conduct. The American population is entirely Christian, and with us, Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it. Legislation on the subject is admitted to require great delicacy, because freedom of conscience and respect for our religion both claim our most serious regard. You have allowed their full influence to both. With very great respect, I am Sir, your Obedt., J. Marshall."