At this point in the 2019 session of the Indiana General Assembly, there are 1349 bills filed: 639 Senate bills and 710 House bills, a challenging number for any citizen to follow.
The following list includes bills of interest to members of IFCL. Anyone is encouraged to contact persons following the bills to share information, support or concern.
Based on feedback from other Quakers and the consensus of the group, IFCL supports redistricting reform bills, and follows as many education, environment, health, and restorative justice bills as we can.
At this time, we don’t have a consensus for specific bias crimes legislation due to language in the bills that needs to be vetted, but we will we follow all of the bills as they are discussed and amended with interest and the belief that no one should be a target of bias.
Redistricting commission. Establishes a redistricting commission (commission) to create, hold hearings on, take public comment about, and recommend plans to redraw general assembly districts and congressional districts.
Prescription drug pricing study committee. Urges the legislative council to assign to the interim study committee on public health, behavioral health, and human services the task of studying issues related to prescription drug price transparency by drug manufacturers in Indiana.
Conservation funding. Establishes the Indiana outdoor stewardship program to: (1) protect land, water, and wildlife resources; (2) acquire land, or an interest in land, for the protection of land, water, and wildlife resources; and (3) maintain Indiana department of natural resources (DNR) owned or managed facilities in good condition.
Regulation of confined feeding operations. Amends the law on confined feeding operations (CFOs), which include any confined feeding of at least 300 cattle, 600 swine or sheep, 30,000 fowl, or 500 horses.
SPEA study of low-carbon and green industries. Requires the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) to assess the potential for development of low-carbon and green industries in Indiana and the job creation, economic growth, and wealth generation that could result for Indiana communities from the development of these industries.
Collective bargaining matters. Provides that increases or increments in a local teacher salary range are not required to be equal for all teachers even if the salary increases or increments are based on the same combination of weighted factors.
Integrated school based mental health. Establishes the integrated school based mental health and substance use disorder services grant program (program) to provide grants to school corporations for the development, implementation, and maintenance of integrated school based mental health and substance use disorder services plans. Requires the department of education to administer the program.
Installment small loans. Authorizes a lender that is licensed by the department of financial institutions (department) to make small loans under the Uniform Consumer Credit Code (UCCC) to make installment small loans under the same license.
Bias crimes. Makes it an aggravating circumstance (for purposes of imposing a criminal sentence) that a crime was committed with bias and with the intent to harm or intimidate: (1) an individual; (2) a group of individuals; (3) the property of an individual; or (4) the property of a group of individuals; because of the individual’s or the group’s real or perceived characteristic, trait, belief, practice, association, or other attribute the court chooses to consider.
Bias motivated crimes. Provides that a bias motivated crime is a crime in which the person who commits the crime knowingly or intentionally selects: (1) the individual against whom the crime was committed; or (2) any property damaged or otherwise affected by the crime; in whole or in part because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or disability of the individual or a group of individuals, whether or not the person’s belief or perception was correct.
Hate crimes. Makes it an aggravating circumstance (for purposes of imposing a criminal sentence) that the crime was committed with the intent to harm or intimidate an individual or a group of individuals because of certain perceived or actual characteristics of the individual or group of individuals.
Protecting Hoosiers from unregulated confined feeding operations that affect water and air quality.
Animals are being raised in extremely tight spaces. Not only is it unhealthy for the animals, management of their waste is currently poorly regulated. HB 1378 offers reasonable guidelines to protect downstream and downwind areas from water and air bacterial contamination. Urge your legislator to have this bill heard.
Protecting our water and streams
SB4 is a good bill that is moving forward. SB 4 will establish the first-ever water planning in Indiana. Both SB 4 and HB 1438 will require audits of water loss from drinking water systems, which should help prioritize infrastructure projects to stop leaks and conserve water.Construction practices can affect water quality by allowing sediment and run-off to clog streams. HB 1266 and HB 1531 would reduce local control in ways that could increase sediment pollution. We do not support these bills
Protecting our natural resources
HB 1376: Indiana Outdoor Stewardship Act will help provide funding for land acquisition for outdoor uses. Questions have been raised recently about how timber management of state forests is determined. SB 610 calls for a State Forest Commission and Management plan.
There are many good bills that may not get a hearing before the deadline in the 3rd week of February.
Supporting Redistricting Reform
Having a supermajority of one party decreases the vitality of our democracy; citizens can feelthat their vote isn’t important and one party can determine the direction of legislation withlittle input or restraint from another point of view. There are several bills addressing redistricting reform. Unfortunately, none of them have yet been heard. SB 91 calls for an independent redistricting concern and IFCL supports this.
Reducing barriers to solar energy
Coal burning endangers the health of Hoosiers by increasing rates of asthma, preterm births, cardiovascular disease and heavy metal contamination of our groundwater. Last year a bill was passed that discourages residents, companies and schools from installing solar collection systems and selling back kilowatts generated to the local utility. Support SB 430 which would eliminate this restriction. Additionally, HOAs can limit solar installation. HB 1331 removes unreasonable restrictions on homeowners who want to install solar collection systems on their property. SB 205 needs to be heard. It proposes that SPEA be commissioned to study environmental policies.
For more information on any of these issues, go the the Hoosier Environmental Council’s 2019Bill watch page. https://www.hecweb.org/billwatch2019/
Several bills hope to protect environment was last modified: February 11th, 2019 by Diana Hadley
IFCL has been working with the Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting at the Statehouse this January to pass redistricting reform. Senator John Ruckelshaus has introduced SB 91, which is the coalition’s bill to create a citizens redistricting commission for Indiana. So far, we have not gotten a commitment from the Chair of the Senate Elections Committee, Senator Greg Walker, to hear this bill. With some encouragement from folks around the state, he is more likely to give our bill a hearing and vote.
In addition, the coalition recently released the following, a letter to Indiana legislative leaders to back SB 91 as well as another citizen redistricting commission bill, HB 1011.
“(INDIANAPOLIS, IN)- Ten public interest organizations — representing tens of thousands of Hoosiers — have issued a united call to the leaders of the Indiana Senate and Indiana House of Representatives to hear — and support — citizens redistricting commission reform bills this session.
SB 91, filed by Republican Senators Ruckelshaus (Indianapolis), Bohacek (Michiana Shores), and Ford (Terre Haute), as well as HB 1011, filed by Republican Representatives Torr (Carmel) and Clere (New Albany), would both bring about citizens redistricting commissions. Such a Commission, led by a politically balanced team of citizens, would be similar to Commissions in a growing number of states that aim to draw state legislative and Congressional maps that are colorblind to party affiliations, keep local government boundaries together, and stay in compliance with state and federal civil rights law.
More than 25 local governments in Indiana have adopted resolutions calling for a citizen-led redistricting commission for Indiana. “There is a groundswell out there for reform,” states Debbie Asberry of the League of Women Voters of Indiana. “Citizens know full well that very low levels of voter turnout and civic engagement are tied to the way that we draw districts in Indiana — where elections feel like foregone conclusions because they are drawn to favor one political party or another.”
“Legislative leaders have acted with foresight on some of the leading issues facing our state in the recent past,” notes Jesse Kharbanda of the Hoosier Environmental Council. “Time is running out for our legislature to act on the leading issue of redistricting reform. If we fail to act in the 2019 session, we may have to wait another ten years before we have another shot at creating fairer maps for Indiana. Much is at stake for voter and civic involvement.”
“Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, and Utah are some of the states that recently enacted redistricting reforms. We have many models to follow – and states like Indiana can otherwise create our own path. But we must act. President Pro Tem Bray, Speaker Bosma, Leader Lanane, and Leader GiaQuinta, please do everything possible to see that reform bills are heard, receive votes, and become law,” intones Julia Vaughn of Common Cause Indiana.
Organizations who have signed on to the letter to legislative leaders include: League of Women Voters of Indiana, Common Cause Indiana, Women4Change Indiana Action Fund, Hoosier Environmental Council, American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network, Earth Charter Indiana, Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation, and The Greater Indianapolis NAACP Branch 3053.”
Finally, next week will be an important one for the campaign to end gerrymandering in our state. Legislation to create a set of public interest standards for redistricting, SB 105, will get a hearing in the Senate Elections Committee on Monday, February 4. SB 105, sponsored by Senator Greg Walker, isn’t everything necessary for a fair and impartial redistricting process in Indiana, but it is an important piece of the puzzle. Coalition activists will be at the hearing to testify in support of this bill and to urge lawmakers to add amendments to make it stronger. We will also testify to the need to address not only HOW districts are drawn, but also WHO draws the maps — and will continue to call for the creation of a citizens redistricting commission with SB 91. If you’re not able to join us in person next week, you can watch the Senate Elections Committee hearing here: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/meeting/watchlive/983fe2e2-7f7d-4669-ab80-36ddf4ca5bd5/?link_id=0&can_id=36ca9639678bd01d46e6e6b351e410bd&source=email-youre-invited-redistricting-reform-lobby-day-on-feb-4th&email_referrer=email_486080&email_subject=youre-invited-redistricting-reform-lobby-day-on-feb-4th
Time is running out for redistricting reform. Contact IFCL to learn how you can help build support for reform in your community.
Redistricting Reform Legislative Update was last modified: February 2nd, 2019 by Diana Hadley
Indianapolis is on the brink of an historic step and needs your help now to make it a reality. Incorporating input from nearly a year of public meetings, the City has drafted a sustainability and climate resilience plan! If there is a good show of support, the plan, which is called Thrive Indianapolis, will be finalized and move toward implementation.
The Hoosier Environmental Council has been helping to coordinate a coalition of public interest organizations to carefully review the City’s draft Thrive Plan. The Plan has many good steps forward in the realms of renewable energy, public transportation, recycling, and natural resources. That being said, the City’s Plan could aspire to more ambitious yet feasible goals, especially given the serious conclusions of state and federal climate change reports.
The coalition mentioned above developed the following 5 goals that would take the Thrive Plan to the next level:
Indianapolis, community wide, is 100% powered by renewable energy by 2030
There is environmental justice such that all parts of the City have clean air, water, soil, healthy food, and protection from flooding
All residents are within a 15-minute walk of public transit and of a public green space, park, or trail.
Community-wide solid waste generation is reduced 30% by 2030 and a plan is written by 2025 for achieving zero waste.
By 2030, companies and institutions in the City begin implementing their own sustainability plans.
Please take just 2 minutes to add your support for the plan and consider adding a request for one or more of the 5 goals above. The deadline for comments is December 26, 2018.
2.) Next click “Indianapolis Thrive Plan”
This will bring up a special website that shows the whole draft plan and accepts comments.
3.) Click anywhere in the plan to add a comment.
4.) Share this email with your Indianapolis friends and family!
Thank you for taking time to provide input under this very compressed timeline. We wish you a wonderful holiday season!
Indianapolis Thrive Plan was last modified: January 19th, 2019 by admin
IFCL is fortunate to have Fran Quigley, Director, Health & Human Rights Clinic, Indiana University McKinney School of Law, joining our lobbying effort in a volunteer capacity.
See his concern about the future of the Healthy Indiana Plan below.
Below is a new report with a stark reminder of what is at stake if Governor Holcomb succeeds in imposing his planned red-tape work requirement on Hoosiers who rely on the Healthy Indiana Plan for their healthcare:
Arkansas has already cut 12,000 people off of healthcare in just the first three months of rolling out their work requirement.
IFCL works with the Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting for this important reform. The coalition is holding a rally at 12:30pm on Tuesday, November 20 — Organization Day — on the Capitol Street side of the Statehouse. The purpose is to motivate legislators to take up redistricting reform in the coming session. Our elected officials continue to assure us that Hoosiers really don’t care about this issue. To the contrary, as this recent column from the South Bend Tribune illustrates, redistricting reform is gathering momentum all over the state. Come join your fellow Hoosiers at the rally next Tuesday.
Looking for ways to engage and make a difference after the recent midterm elections? Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation (IFCL) is part of a coalition working for redistricting reform in Indiana, and you can participate. Join us for a rally organized by the Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting to let legislators know that 2019 is the year for redistricting reform in Indiana. The rally will be on Tuesday, November 20 at 12:30pm on the Capitol Street side of the Statehouse. The father of gerrymandering, Elbridge Gerry, will make a special appearance, and there’ll be a brass jazz combo, all to send an upbeat message: Hoosiers want fair redistricting for the state legislature and congressional districts. In addition, you can sign a petition at www.allinfordemocracy.org encouraging Gov. Holcomb to put redistricting reform high on his legislative agenda next session. If you have any questions, please contact Phil Goodchild (email@example.com; 317-790-9054).
Join Us For A Redistricting Rally was last modified: January 17th, 2019 by admin
As IFCL looks toward the 2019 legislative session, we face several changes and challenges.
Bill Chapman, IFCL clerk since 2015 and lobbyist for the 2017 and 2018 sessions, has decided it is time for him to leave IFCL.
Bill has been a positive and persuasive voice for faith-based groups in general and IFCL specifically as he has worked with legislators in a bipartisan spirit to address issues that Quakers support.
In addition to our IFCL group, lawmakers and other lobbyists have appreciated Bill’s passionate effort to promote legislation that benefits all Hoosiers. We thank him for this incredible contribution.
At the August IFCL meeting, members approved Diana Hadley (Plainfield Friends Meeting) as clerk and Phil Goodchild (First Friends Indianapolis Meeting) as recording clerk for the next two-year period.
The coming legislative session is a revenue session. Myriad draft bills will be offered and debated at the Statehouse, representing great opportunity for input on issues of concern to Quakers and other people of faith. Now more than ever, IFCL needs the involvement of spirit-led people in its efforts to help shape responsible decisions by our state government. We invite your participation, at whatever level you feel called.
As IFCL identifies and researches issues of particular focus for the 2019 session, note meeting dates below.
Future meetings at First Friends Indianapolis: Sept 15: Full IFCL Committee Meeting, 9:00 a.m. Oct. 6: Full IFCL Committee Meeting, 9:00 a.m. Nov. 3: Policy Committee Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
Quaker Connections and Fundraising Meeting, 10:00 a.m. Dec. 1: Full IFCL Committee Meeting, 9:00 a.m.