Sometimes the effort to make a difference as bills travel through the Indiana General Assembly seems impossible, but Governor Holcomb’s veto of SB 148 sent a message that every message counts.
According to a March 26, 2020, Indianapolis Star article, “hundreds of individuals and organizations representing senior citizens, African Americans, veterans, immigrants, domestic violence and more—had all but begged Holcomb to shoot down the bill after their pleas were ignored by the Indiana General Assembly.”
As part of that group that contacted Governor Holcomb, we are encouraged to continue to weigh in on topics important to Hoosiers. See an example of IFCL correspondence to Governor Holcomb below.
Letter to Governor Holcomb
Dear Gov. Holcomb,
First, thank you for taking the initiative with your announcement this week, directing Hoosiers to stay at home during this public health crisis. This act of leadership will save lives, and hasten the day when our lives and economy return to normal.
I also want to urge you to veto a legislative measure, SEA 148, that will do harm to individuals and to our economy once we are past the coronavirus crisis.
I understand that during this period of crisis there is a moratorium on evictions. But if you sign SEA 148 into law, after the period of public health crisis passes, two million Hoosiers who rent would be legally subject to eviction in only three days, even if they have not violated their leases. Even before the coronavirus, our state was suffering a crisis in affordable housing and evictions. The ability of many Hoosiers to afford a place to live will be greatly diminished after the public health emergency has eased, and SEA 148 will only worsen things for them. Indiana has long had a workforce shortage, and SEA 148 will adversely impact Indiana’s ability to retain a skilled workforce, especially in a possible economic recession.
SEA 148 was not heard with notice and an opportunity for stakeholders to voice their concerns. Even in normal times, a bill with changes this substantial, affecting so many Hoosiers, should not be rushed into law in the last days of a short session. Now is a particularly bad time for such legislation — both cruel and against our state’s economic interests while we all attempt after coronavirus to regain our footing.
Please let the 30% of Indiana’s population who rent — veterans, working families, young professionals, college students, elderly with fixed incomes, the disabled — know that their state government has their back. Especially now. Please veto SEA 148.
Thank you for your leadership in these extraordinary times.
Phillip E. Goodchild, Zionsville, N 46077