Indianapolis Urban League

2022 Legislative News

Know Your Interest Legislative News Final 2.11.21

“Know Your Interests”

Indianapolis Urban League In Action Against Anti-Community Policing Bills

and In Support of Root Cause Solutions 

IUL at the Statehouse January 4 – 21, 2022

The 2022 legislative session started quickly on January 4th with the end coming on March 14th or possibly sooner.

The Indianapolis Urban League (IUL) – African American Coalition of Indianapolis (AACI) Policy Team has been actively fighting bad bills and supporting good legislation, some of which still needs a hearing as we continue to follow more than 100 bills. Click here to learn more.

We are revisiting ideas we socialized at the General Assembly following the last session. We have already seen some progress on unfinished business from last year, including SB 94 Sentence Modification which passed out of the Senate and heads to the House. We will continue monitoring this bill. In addition, we are still fighting to get a hearing on HB 1065 Cultural Awareness and Competence Training, another unfinished priority from last session.

As we seek to continue forward progress on our issues, we launched an “Economic Agenda” this year focused on anti-gentrification, Black business development, and eviction expungement. We were glad to see bipartisan support for some of our legislative ideas. Bills that we are supporting and align with our Economic Agenda include:

HB 1214 (Resident Evictions) passed out of committee, and we anticipate a hearing on SB 233 (Disclosure of Eviction Information). We are working to get a hearing on HB 1325 (Property Tax Relief) and HB 1164 (Small Business Development), both of which are assigned to the House Ways and Means committee. HB 1325 would allow a city-county council to create a Neighborhood Enhancement Relief Program for the purposes of providing longtime homeowners property tax relief.

HB 1164 leverages federal funds to do the following:

  1. Increase outreach efforts to minority owned small businesses and partnerships.
  2. Increase technical assistance to minority owned small businesses and partnerships, including in acquiring state and federal government funds and loans.
  3. Create a group purchasing program for products and services.
  4. Create an African-American owned community development financial institution for minority owned small businesses.
  5. Create a startup grant program specifically intended for minority owned small businesses.
  6. Provide mentorship and instruction for scaling minority owned small businesses.

While we had our unfinished business, some legislators have theirs with a few deciding to make Anti-Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Anti-Indy legislation their fight for this session. We’ve pushed back against SB 167 Education Matters because it was meant to be “impartial” on the teaching of historical atrocities and generally designed to chill the teaching of African American history.

While HB 1134 Education Matters has virtually identical language save a few amendments, the author of the bill made it pretty clear that the bill would not allow the discussion of racism, because in their view racism isn’t a fact. HB 1134 has passed out of committee and may go to the floor this week. With bills like HB 1040 Education MattersSB 415 School Discrimination, and HB 1190 Free Speech at State Educational Institutions we are seeing an attempt to “whitewash” history, attack critical race theory which is only taught in graduate school, and “chill” the teaching of diversity, equity, and inclusion broadly.

Not too long ago a broad coalition of Hoosiers of all races, ages, and gender identities marched against the injustice to George Floyd, and institutional racism. This apparently made some legislators mad. We will continue to fight against any efforts to quiet the truth, whitewash history and challenge diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Some legislators also have continued the effort to be a “Super City-County Council” at the General Assembly, authoring bills that are Anti-Indy. You can find the Indianapolis Urban League, Indiana Black Expo and African American Coalition of Indianapolis letter opposing SB6 Bail for Violent ArresteesSB 7 Marion County Crime Reduction Pilot, SB 8 Nonprofit Bail FundingSB9 Electronic Monitoring Standards, and SB 10 Marion County Violent Crime Reduction Pilot at the following link.

Again, we are requesting your help in making calls to the House at (317) 232-9600 and/or the Senate at (317) 232-9400 to request bills be heard on the above legislation that matters to our community.

If you have questions or concerns, feel free to email projectmanager@blackonyxmanagement.com.

Thanks,

IUL- AACI Policy Team