Recently, Representative Ed Soliday has fast-tracked legislation that is anti-conservative and anti-business. HB 1414 would stop utilities from making the best economic decisions for their shareholders and/or customers when they do a full financial analysis and determine that upgrading electricity production to less expensive renewables of wind and solar is best for business. While the national energy markets are investing in other sources of cost-effective energy production for the 21st century, Rep. Soliday’s bill appears to hold Hoosier energy production back in the 20th century.
During the 21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force study committee hearings this past year, many representatives of the coal and fossil industries testified. While several of these speakers opined on the unfairness of subsidies for renewable energy in tax credits, the costs of pollution to the air, water and soil and their negative effects on human health were not considered. When some committee members tried to raise questions about the unaccounted costs of health care for conditions such as preterm birth, cardiovascular disease, lung disease and cancer that have been associated with living near coal fired power plants, these were dismissed as irrelevant.
Did the Task Force recognize, the real dangers to Indiana water supplies that are likely with the more frequent severe rain events causing flooding along our waterways? Many toxic coal ash ponds are located next to sources of drinking water. Were such known risks even acknowledged?
The minutes from the interim study closing session state the following:
“Task Force Action: The Task Force made no findings or recommendations regarding the testimony received at the meeting. The Task Force considered a draft of an interim information report that: (1) summarizes the Task Force’s statutory directive and work program for the 2019 interim; and (2) states that the Task Force issued no findings or recommendations concerning any of the topics it considered during the interim. (See Exhibit 12.) The Task Force adopted the information report on a 10-0 roll call vote. (See Exhibit 13).”
HB 1414 seems to reach a conclusion not supported by the Task Force minutes. At best, it makes sense only if one turns a blind eye – as the Task Force leadership did in its committee hearings — to the higher costs and ill health effects of continuing reliance on expensive coal-fired power plants. Hoosiers who care about utilities’ right to choose the benefit of cheaper, cleaner energy production should oppose HB 1414.
RE: HB 1414 – A Healthy Influence of Coal Lobby on Indiana Politics? was last modified: January 24th, 2020 by Diana Hadley
The 2020 General Assembly started last Monday, and it’s a short session this year. Our legislators will be packing up and heading home by early March. That leaves us very little time to reform redistricting before new legislative maps are drawn in 2021.
We hit the ground running on the first day of session with a very successful Statehouse press conference to announce two redistricting reform bills being introduced by Sen. John Ruckelshaus-R, Dist.30. A bipartisan team of legislators attended who pledged their support for redistricting reform by publicly signing the End Gerrymandering Pledge, a national initiative championed by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Eric Holder.
It’s extremely important we continue to make redistricting reform visible and keep it at the top of the legislative agenda. Citizens can help make a difference right now by joining the AllIN4Democracy Lobby Day January 16.
WHAT: Redistricting Reform Lobby Day
WHEN: Thursday, January 16 at 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Indiana State Library, 315 West Ohio Street, History Reference Room
After a briefing on the status of the bills and some talking points, you are encouraged to walk across the street to the Statehouse and talk to your legislators about reform. It’s best to call their offices in advance and make an appointment. (One way to get their telephone numbers can be found at “Find Your Representative” on this website.
At least two more Republican legislators, Rep. Woody Burton-R, Dist. 58 and Sen. Greg Walker-D, Dist. 41, have publicly signed the End Gerrymandering Pledge just this week. After the struggle to find support among Republicans the last several years, this is great news! Please join us on January 16 to learn how to talk with your representatives about supporting this vital reform, then meet with them. They need to hear from us! Thank you.
Photo: After the Jan. 6 press conference, legislators sign the End Gerrymandering Pledge. Photo submitted by Phil Goodchild
Citizens encouraged to support redistricting reform Jan. 16 was last modified: January 11th, 2020 by Diana Hadley
There are high hopes on opening day of the 2020 Indiana legislative session, as IFCL participates in a press conference at the statehouse for Sen. John Ruckelshaus-R, District 30 to introduce his twin bills for redistricting transparency and for an independent redistricting commission.
Sen. Ruckelshaus and Sen. Tim Lanane-D, District 25, each spoke about this bipartisan legislation. Ten other legislators were present in support of the bills.
Then a crowd of approximately 40-50 looked on as legislators publicly signed the End Gerrymandering Pledge. Two Quakers signaled their approval.
Bill numbers will be shared when they are assigned.
Ed Morris and Phil Goodchild represent IFCL at the Jan. 6, 2020, redistricting reform press conference. Photo submitted by Phil Goodchild
IFCL supports redistricting reform bills was last modified: January 11th, 2020 by Diana Hadley
Hoosier singer/songwriter Tim Grimm entertained and inspired those who attended his concert sponsored by IFCL Saturday, July 28, 2019. Grimm’s sons Connor and Jackson added a special treat for the event.
IFCL shares Tim Grimm concert was last modified: July 29th, 2019 by Diana Hadley
Tim Grimm is a singer-songwriter and actor residing in south-central Indiana. He has released a dozen recordings in the US and Europe, and is known for his rich storytelling sense and his deep love of the rural Midwest.
His recent release, Heart Land Again, revisits songs from a 20-year-old recording. Grimm infuses them with the conviction of time and with the help of his two musician sons—who were only small boys when the album was first released. Grimm is joined too by his wife Jan—making this the third “Family Band” recording. In 2016, the family released FINDING HOME: Indiana at 200— a recording of original songs from the Indiana Repertory Theatre’s Bicentennial production of the same name. In 2017, the Family band released A STRANGER IN THIS TIME— a recording that ended up as the #1 (most played) Album on Folk Radio for the year, and also produced the #1 Song- GONNA BE GREAT.
Tim grew up in the hills of Brown County and in the town of Columbus (IN), where his parents were teachers. He attended Earlham College (BA) and The University of Michigan (MFA). He has worked extensively in film and television and in regional theatre. Current projects include voicing Eugene Debbs and composing music for an upcoming documentary film on Debbs for WFYI, and acting in a new feature film, SWING SHIFT, portraying actor Richard Jenkins’ brother.
Tim also leads three different small group tours to Europe each year. THE TURNING POINT tour travels to The Netherlands; BEYOND THE TARTAN Tour travels through Scotland; and INISHFREE MUSIC TOURS travel through three counties of Ireland. The groups average only 8-22 guests per trip and highlight the culture, history and arts of each individual country. Music plays a part in each of the tours as well— both Tim’s music and some of the finest local musicians in the areas. For more information on Tim and these tours, visit www.timgrimm.com
IFCL sponsors Tim Grimm Concert July 27 was last modified: July 15th, 2019 by Diana Hadley
IFCL enjoyed meeting with State Representative Carey Hamilton and State Senator John Ruckelshaus Saturday, July 13. In addition to spending time discussing issues for the next legislative session, IFCL members presented the two legislators with appreciation awards for their support for IFCL priorities during the 2019 General Assembly session.
Diana Hadley, IFCL Clerk, and Ed Morris, IFCL member and constituent of both Hamilton and Ruckelshaus, presented the awards.
IFCL honors legislators with appreciation award was last modified: July 15th, 2019 by Diana Hadley
Emily Ketterer, Statehousefile.com reporter, interviews IFCL members Jim Donahue, Noell Krughoff, Mary Blackburn, Phil Goodchild, Josh Curry and Beth Henricks after the House Financial Services Committee passed an amended SB 613 Tuesday, April 9.
IFCL continues to oppose this bill with a coalition of nearly 100 service, faith-based and military groups. We urge citizens to contact their State Representatives (See “Find and Contact Your Indiana Legislators” below) to vote against this bill that expands predatory lending when it advances to the House as early as Thursday.
Time is growing short for meaningful action by the Indiana General Assembly this session on redistricting reform. SB 105, the redistricting standards bill passed by the Indiana Senate last month, needs a hearing by the House Elections and Apportionment Committee to stay alive this year.
Please join us for a rally and march in Indianapolis on March 26 — “Slay the Gerrymander!”
See below for more event details. This event is sponsored by All IN for Democracy, the coalition working for redistricting reform of which IFCL has been a part.
Thank you for your interest and activism.
Will SCOTUS Slay the Gerrymander?
On March 26th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two partisan gerrymandering lawsuits: one from North Carolina where Republicans used redistricting to their advantage, and one from Maryland where Democrats did the same. It’s time for the Supreme Court to take a stand on this issue — and declare partisan gerrymandering unconstitutional.
If they do, it will absolutely help our efforts to win redistricting reform here in Indiana. As it stands now, without a definitive decision from the highest court in the land, politicians know they can get away with drawing maps that serve political interests,not the public interest. This has to stop.To call attention to the important cases being heard at the Supreme Court on March 26th — and to highlight the need for a hearing and vote on SB105, the redistricting standards bill that passed the Indiana Senate last month — the Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting is holding a rally and march for redistricting reform.
WHAT: Rally and march for redistricting reform WHEN: March 26th at 12:00 p.m. WHERE: Federal Courthouse (corner of Ohio and Meridian Streets in downtown Indianapolis) RSVP: Email Julia at email@example.com
We’ll meet at noon in front of the Federal Courthouse in downtown Indianapolis — at the corner of Meridian and Ohio Streets — for some brief remarks by activists and legal experts. Then we’ll march three blocks to the State House to send a message to legislators that Hoosiers want action on redistricting reform this year.I hope you will be able to join us next week to stand in solidarity with the attorneys and activists who have brought this litigation to the nation’s highest court — and to call for Indiana legislators to take action on redistricting reform this year.
Redistricting Reform Rally for SB 105, March 26 was last modified: March 21st, 2019 by Diana Hadley
IFCL has been working with over 60 faith-based, service and military groups to oppose SB 613, an expansion of payday lending services. See the recent update from our partners at Indiana Institute for Working Families
Erin Macey, Senior Policy Analyst, Indiana Institute for Working Families 317-270-0874
Broad Coalition Gathers at Statehouse to Oppose Large-Scale Expansion of Loans at Loansharking Rates in SB 613
Indianapolis, IN – Indiana veterans’ groups, faith leaders, social service agencies, and community advocates gathered Monday at the Statehouse to send a strong message to the Indiana House of Representatives: Reject Senate Bill 613.
Advocates walked through the bill using this chart and offered those present a copy of this bill analysis, noting that while Indiana made an extremely limited exemption to its loansharking law in 2002, SB 613 would open the floodgates to high-cost lending by authorizing multiple larger, longer products outside that 72% cap and even rewriting the definition of loansharking itself. It will also substantially increase the allowable costs on all kind of consumer loans – from auto loans to personal installment to lines of credit and beyond.
“The bill this year is far worse and more far-reaching than past years,” said retired Brigadier General James Bauerle of the Indiana Military / Veterans Coalition.
In fact, former Department of Financial Institutions regulator Mark Tarpey issued a written statement calling SB 613 “the single most negative piece of consumer credit legislation that I have seen in over 40 years as a former regulator of consumer credit in Indiana.”
Indiana’s current payday lending law – narrow as it is – has already created problems for borrowers like Steven Bramer, Jr. who came to speak at the press conference. “I got myself in a horribly expensive cycle,” Iraq War veteran Bramer told the audience. He called on Indiana lawmakers to reject the even larger loans proposed in SB 613. “I protected you at one point. Now, it is time for you to protect me.”
Outreach Minister Marcie Luhigo from The Creek Church in Indianapolis also shared the story of a Bill and Misty, working homeowners who came to the church for assistance after a cycle of payday loan debt caused them to fall behind on their mortgage and other bills. Bill and Misty finally sought help from the Church’s generous ministry. “We see a lot of Bills and Mistys,” she said.
Leaders representing Episcopal, Catholic, Pentecostal, Muslim, Unitarian, Quaker, and Christian faiths also stood with the coalition. “We are called to address injustice,” said Pastor Tammy Butler Robinson of House of God Church, speaking on behalf of the faith community, “and SB 613 opens doors for lending practices that are unjust and which take unfair advantage of people in desperate circumstances.”
Social service agencies represented at the press conference expressed concern that SB 613 would increase the workload of these agencies, as many families seek out help only after trying to manage a financial crisis with high-cost debt. “Adding larger, longer term and higher rate loans to vulnerable families will only make their lives, and our work, more difficult,” said Mark Lindenlaub, Executive Director of Thrive Alliance.
President and CEO Tanya Bell of Indiana Black Expo, Inc. put it more simply: “Making loan sharking legal in the guise of helping is absurd.”
Bell concluded the conference with an appeal, “I urge lawmakers to stop listening to the lenders, and start listening to this coalition. We represent your veterans, your faith based groups, families, your social service agencies and community organizations. And we are ALL telling you to reject SB 613.”
An online file folder with resources, copies of statements, and photos is available here.
IFCL joins coalition against payday lending expansion was last modified: March 12th, 2019 by Diana Hadley
Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation
1723 Ramsey Lane Plainfield, IN 46168