Indianapolis Urban League

Legislative News 2023 Session

Know Your Interest Legislative News Final 2.11.21

Indianapolis Urban League  

2023 Legislative Session News

“Know and Support Your Interests”

Legislative Session Mid-way Update

The Indianapolis Urban League-African American Coalition of Indianapolis (IUL-AACI) Public Policy Team has been working hard to advocate for the IUL-AACI legislative priorities.  We remain focused on our legislative priorities while continuing the fight against bills that may harm our community at the mid-point of the legislative session.

The IUL-AACI legislative agenda focuses on education, housing, economic development, and mental health. The Indianapolis Urban League and the AfricanACI support the following bills:


HB 1449 21st Century Scholars Program: Rep. Harris (Support)

  • Amends the twenty-first-century scholars’ program (program) eligibility requirements for certain students requiring the commission for higher education to notify an emancipated student, or the custodial parent or guardian of a student if the student is an unemancipated minor, of the student to eligibility to participate in the program and right to opt out of the program.

HB 1637 Teacher education programs: Rep. Behning (Support)

  • Increases the annual scholarship amount from $7,500 to $10,000, which an applicant can receive as a next-generation Hoosier educators scholarship recipient.
  • Establishes the next generation of Hoosier minority educator’s scholarship program and fund.
  • Provides that the commission for higher education may approve awarding a scholarship to an eligible applicant for $10,000 each academic year for not more than four academic years.
  • Establishes criteria an applicant must meet and terms an applicant must agree to receive a scholarship.
  • Increases the annual scholarship amount, from $4,000 to $5,000, that an applicant can receive as an Earline S. Rogers student teaching scholarship for minority student recipients.

HB1138 Preschool and childcare facility drinking water – Rep. Jackson (Support)

  • Requires the owner or operator having authority over a childcare facility or preschool to test the drinking water in the childcare facility or preschool before January 1, 2025, to determine whether a lead is present in the drinking water.
  • Identifies exceptions to testing before January 1, 2025.
  • Requires action to reduce lead concentration that equals, or exceeds, the action level for lead.
  • Requires the environmental rules board to adopt rules, including emergency rules, that conform with the forthcoming Lead and Copper Rule Improvements being promulgated by the EPA.

HB1281 Financial Literacy: – Rep. Hall (Support)

  • Provides that, beginning with the cohort of students who are expected to graduate from a public school or a charter school in 2027, an individual must complete a personal financial responsibility course (course) before the individual may graduate.
  • Creates requirements for content that must be covered in a course.
  • Provides that a public school or charter school may offer instruction on a course as a separate subject or as units incorporated into appropriate subjects. HB1281 provides that a course may qualify as a mathematics credit for an alternative diploma if offered as a separate subject.

SB167 FASFA: – Sen. Leising (Support)

  • Requires all students, except for students at certain nonpublic schools, in the student’s senior year to complete and submit the FAFSA not later than April 15 unless: (1) a parent of a student or a student, if the student is an emancipated minor, signs a waiver that the student understands what the FAFSA is and declines to complete it; or (2) the principal or school counselor of the student’s high school waives the requirement for a group of students due to the principal or school counselor being unable to reach the parents or guardians of the students by April 15 after at least two reasonable attempts to contact the parents or guardians.
  • Requires that the: (1) model notice prepared by the commission for higher education; and (2) notice that each school corporation is required to send regarding the FAFSA; include information regarding the requirements and exceptions for completing the FAFSA.
  • Makes a conforming change and technical corrections.


HB 1157 Residential housing development program:– Rep. Moed (Support)

  • Makes the following changes regarding Marion County redevelopment: (1) Revises allocation area requirements for the redevelopment commission (commission) to establish a housing program. (2) Allows the commission to establish a residential housing development program (residential housing program) and a tax increment funding allocation area for the residential housing program if the construction of new houses fails to reach a benchmark.
  • Requires the department of local government finance, in cooperation with the city of Indianapolis, to determine eligibility for the residential housing program.
  • Specifies the rights, powers, privileges, and immunities of the commission in implementing a residential housing program.

HB 1005 Housing – Rep. Miller (Support)

  • Establishes the residential housing infrastructure assistance program (program) and residential housing infrastructure assistance revolving fund (fund).
  • Provides that the Indiana finance authority (authority) shall administer the fund and program.
  • Provides that political subdivisions may apply to the fund for loans for certain infrastructure projects related to the development of residential housing.
  • Provides that money in the fund may not be used for: (1) debt repayment; (2) maintenance and repair projects; (3) upgrading utility poles; or (4) consulting or engineering fees for studies, reports, designs, or analyses.
  • Provides that loans from the fund must be allocated as follows: (1) 70% of the money in the fund must be used for housing infrastructure in municipalities with a population of less than 50,000 (2) 30% of the money in the fund must be used for housing infrastructure in all other political subdivisions.
  • Requires the authority to establish a project prioritization system to award loans from the fund and specifies the criteria that must be included in the project prioritization system.
  • Allows the authority to establish a leveraged loan program to or for the benefit of program participants.
  • HB 1005 requires the public finance director to prepare an annual report of the fund’s activities for the legislative council and the budget committee and make a continuing appropriation.

Economic Development

SB 320 Brownfields inventory.  – Sen. Zay (Support)

  • Allows the Indiana brownfields fund to be used to pay for assessments or studies conducted under the Indiana brownfields program.
  • SB 320 authorizes the Indiana finance authority (finance authority) to create and maintain an inventory of brownfields located in Indiana.
  • Authorizes the finance authority: (1) to contract with one or more state-supported colleges or universities for assistance in creating and maintaining the inventory, and (2) to pay costs arising from the creation and maintenance of the inventory with funds appropriated to the Indiana brownfields fund.
  • Provides that, if the inventory is created, the finance authority shall report the contents of the inventory to the interim study committee on environmental affairs in 2024 and each succeeding even-numbered calendar year.

Mental Health

HB 1006 Mental health programs Rep. Steuerwald (Support)

  • Specifies the circumstances under which a person may be involuntarily committed to a facility for mental health services and specifies that these services are medically necessary.
  • Establishes a local mental health referral program to provide mental health treatment for certain persons who have been arrested and repeals obsolete provisions.

SB 1 Behavioral health matters – Sen. Michael Crider (Support)

  • Provides that, subject to certain procedures and requirements, the office of the secretary of family and social services may apply to the United States Department of Health and Human Services: (1) for a Medicaid state plan amendment, a waiver, or an amendment to an existing waiver to require reimbursement for eligible certified community behavioral health clinic services; or (2) to participate in the expansion of a community mental health services demonstration program.
  • Requires the division of mental health and addiction to establish and maintain a helpline: (1) to provide confidential emotional support and referrals to certain resources to individuals who call the helpline, and (2) that is accessible by calling a toll-free telephone number.
  • Establishes the Indiana behavioral health commission (commission) and sets forth the commission’s membership.
  • Changes the name of the “9-8-8 crisis hotline center” to “9-8-8 crisis response center”.
  • Makes conforming changes.

HB 1422 Dementia care Rep. Porter (Support)

  • Requires an area agency on aging designated by the bureau of aging services (area agency) to establish a dementia care specialist program.
  • Allows an area agency to designate at least one individual as a dementia care specialist to administer the program.
  • Requires the division of aging to employ a dementia care specialist coordinator.
  • Sets forth the duties of (1) a dementia care specialist; and (2) the dementia care specialist coordinator, and makes conforming changes.

The IUL-ACCI policy team continues to monitor bills that may harm our community to work with legislators to address potential community concerns.

As we head to the latter part of this session, we will continue to engage the community in legislative action needed to educate legislators on our support or concerns for bills that disproportionately impact our community.

IUL-AACI Public Policy Team

2023 Legislative Session

The long legislative session began on January 9th. In this session, we will see the state of Indiana develop its budget priorities for the 2023 and 2024 fiscal years. Over 1,000 bills will be presented by Hoosier legislators that will impact residents financially, socially, and culturally—our everyday lives.

“The upcoming legislative session is a long budgetary session to set the two-year state budget and related spending priorities.  Even though there is a projected budget surplus, Hoosiers should not expect a spending spree,” said Tony Mason, President & CEO, of Indianapolis Urban League.  The IUL will prioritize spending for traditional public education, mental health,  preventive health and wellness, and affordable housing for working-class and low-income Hoosiers.

We are proactively advocating for legislation that will positively impact Black and marginalized communities. Through thought leader engagement, listening sessions, and our research following the end of the last legislative session, we have identified the 2023 IUL-AACI Legislative Agenda.

What should the legislative priorities be? The IUL values community input. We continue to listen to the community for your concerns. If you have issues that you want us to address from a legislative perspective, please reach out to Mark Russell, Director of Advocacy at or

The IUL encourages its various constituencies to provide human and financial resources to support our advocacy agenda.

Start of the 2023 Legislative Session – IUL-AACI 2023 Legislative Agenda

In this session will monitor legislation that will impact Black and marginalized communities through the entire session.

IUL-AACI 2023 Legislative Agenda


  • College Enrollment – 21st Century Scholars automatic enrollment (and ensuring recruitment of 21st Century Scholars by Indiana colleges and universities).
  • Education – NAACP Black Excellence report objectives including enforcement of Every Student Succeeds Act and address low numbers of Black teachers in Indiana schools.
  • Black History – In state statute include mandatory teaching of Black history including slavery and achievements of Black Hoosiers.
  • Increase School Funding – Increase funding of complexity index to increase equitable outcomes for schools and students.
  • Full Day Kindergarten – Addressing daycare deserts and affordability as a workforce issue.

Housing and Economic Development

  • Housing – Housing appraisal disparity and workforce housing affordability.
  • Predatory Lending – End predatory lending in Indiana.
  • Economic Development– Addressing brownfield remediation.
  • Property Tax Relief – Provide property tax relief in gentrifying neighborhoods.
  • Small Business Development – Support for organizations that aid minority and women owned businesses.


  • Infant and Maternal Mortality – Cultural competency training for healthcare workers is a key tool to address disparities of outcomes in infant and maternal mortality.
  • Pregnancy Accommodation – Ensuring pregnant women have appropriate supports in the workplace including paid family leave.
  • Mental Health – Funding rollout of 988 including clinician led response and a place for people experiencing challenges to go that is not connected to criminal justice system.
  • Public Health – Supporting legislation that addresses disparities in the social determinants of health (economic stability, education access and quality, healthcare access and quality, neighborhood and built environment, social and community context) including increases in funding for the public health system.


  • Voting rights – Defend democracy including making the right to vote more accessible and removing barriers to early voting.