Bills We’re Tracking

What’s going on at the Statehouse?

IFCL Plain Speaking: Week 2 Update, 1/19/24

Action Items: ASK

  1. Good Bill: SB 246 would create a property tax break for property owners who preserve wetlands. It passed out of committee and needs a hearing at the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee. ASK for the bill to have another hearing.
  2. Bad Bill:  HB1383 reclassifies wetlands and further erodes wetland protection. It is heavily supported by Builders Associations.  It has passed out of committee and is heading to the full house for a vote. Please call your representative and ASK them to vote NO, and YES to SB 246.  
  3. Good Bill  SB 277.  Call Senator Buck’s office ASAP (317-232-9466) and ASK him to give SB277 a public hearing and a vote.  See Phil Goodchild’s report on Affordable Housing.

Affordable Housing & Eviction Report – IFCL meeting 1/18/2024
IFCL has chosen this area as a priority because of the crisis levels of eviction in our state, and the critical shortage of affordable housing in Indiana.  

  • Tenants in IN have very, very few rights by law
  • Out-of-state corporate investors own a disproportionate amount of residential leased property. They love our extremely pro-landlord laws, are permitted to be unresponsive to tenant complaints about substandard conditions, and are aggressive in pursuing evictions.  
  • Indianapolis ranks second only to NYC in total evictions.  
  • Indiana is one of only 6 states that does not allow a tenant to escrow rent for repairs.

GIMA has been working this issue for at least the last two years.  IFCL has been allied with them and in touch with Aaron Spiegel.  GIMA tried but failed to get a bill voted on in committee in 2023.
GIMA has worked with Sen. Greg Walker, Sen. Fady Qaddoura, and the Indiana Apartment Association to draft a rent escrow bill, filed by Sen. Walker as SB277.
SB277 is a strong bill: 

  • Has bipartisan support
  • Defines certain “essential services” a LL must provide and maintain for safe and habitable occupation in a rental unit
  • LL must maintain premises free from (a) pests, (b) mold, and (c) rot
  • Sets up a procedure for tenants to use to get repairs:  LL must repair or replace an essential service within 72 hours after T request
  • Gives T certain remedies if LL does not comply, including T paying rent into escrow with court clerk while a court action is pending; escrowed rent to be paid to the prevailing party.  
  • Requires out-of-state LLs to be authorized to do business in IN, or LL to maintain at least one physical office in IN, or LL to designate a licensed R/E broker or company to manage rental properties.   

SB277 is the best of several bills that have been filed re T rights, including:  

  • Sen. Ron Alting’s SB235 (in Judiciary Comt; waiting for hearing).  
  • Sen. JD Ford’s SB0064 (in Judiciary Comt; waiting for hearing) (prescribes a tenant statement of rights, and for Ts over 62 caps rent increases at 10% per year, even if ownership of rental property (the LL) changes; in response to Hoosier Village’s attempt to sell and kick out senior citizen residents of a HUD Sec. 8 complex)
  • Alting will defer to Walker’s SB277 
  • JD’s SB0064 Aaron will testify in favor of if asked.

As of Jan. 16, SB277 has been assigned to the Senate Local Govt Committee  

  • Sen. Jim Buck is chair (R; Dist. 21 Kokomo – Tipton, Howard and Hamilton counties). 
  • Buck is a retired R/E broker and his biggest campaign contributor other than “non-campaign contributors is the R/E, finance & insurance sectors.

Sen. Buck needs to decide to give SB277 a hearing in his committee – or the bill is dead. 

  • Call Senator Buck’s office ASAP (317-232-9466) and tell him you want SB277 to get a public hearing and a vote.  Tell him the people of Indiana come first, that human dignity is a Hoosier (and a Quaker!) value, and that decent housing is critical to human well-being. 

On a national level: Last October, Diana, Clark, Deb and I had a 45-minute lobbying visit with Sen. Todd Young and two staffers on housing and evictions at the federal level.  Asked him: 

  • To support an expansion of Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers (Fran’s suggestion)
  • To reintroduce the Eviction Crisis Act of 2021 he introduced with Dem Senators Michael Bennet Portman and Sherrod Brown (Aaron’s suggestion)

He was absolutely in agreement (“I’m in violent agreement with you!) on Section 8 expansion, and sounded positive on the eviction bill (“Staff will look into where that stands”).
We have yet to see action, but he totally gets it.  And at least he’s not militantly opposed, even if other things are grabbing bandwidth in the U.S. Senate.


Everyone needs a safe, clean place to live.  Help tenants have that right in Indiana 
We work with other organizations to have a stronger voice.  Here are links to their websites for more information. 
Hoosier Environmental Council
Citizens Action Coalition
Faith in Place
Solar United Neighbors
Greater Indianapolis Multifaith Alliance
League of Women Voters Indiana
Share our action items with your Quaker meetings and encourage them to call, email or visit their representatives.   

IMPORTANT DEADLINES:  Things move fast! 

Monday, February 5, 2024 Last day for 3rd reading of House bills in House.
Tuesday, February 6, 2024 Last day for 3rd reading of Senate bills in Senate.

February 13, 2024. 7:00- 8:00 PM
Join Zoom Meeting: link will be sent out before the meeting. 

This is the longer budget session at the Indiana General Assembly. Call your legislator to support the bills you care most about.

January 2023
• 1/9/23: First Day of Session for the House and the Senate
• 1/10/23: Senate Unlimited Bill Filing Ends and State of the State (7:00 pm)
• 1/11/23: State of the Judiciary (2:00 pm) and Senate 2 per day filing begins
• 1/12/23: House Bill Filing Deadline (2:00 pm)
• 1/13/23: Senate Bill Filing Deadline (4:00 pm)
• 1/20/23: Senate Deadline to Assign Bills to Committee

• 2/21/23: House Committee Report Deadline
• 2/23/23: House 2nd Reading Deadline and Senate Committee Report Deadline
• 2/27/23: House 3rd Reading Deadline and Senate 2nd Reading Deadline
• 2/28/23: Senate 3rd Reading Deadline

• 4/11/23: House Committee Report Deadline
• 4/13/23: House 2nd Reading Deadline and Senate Committee Report Deadline
• 4/17/23: House 3rd Reading Deadline and Senate 2nd Reading Deadline
• 4/18/23: Conference Committees Begin and Senate 3rd Reading Deadline
• 4/27/23: Anticipated Sine Die
• 4/29/23: Last Day to Adjourn Sine Die (by Statute)

Color coding: green bar -support, red bar,-oppose, gray bar -monitoring.

Education Bills

Legislation proposed for education in the 2023 session includes a variety of bills that could make education more affordable, such as eliminating textbook fees and automatically enrolling students for the 21st Century Scholars program. IFCL will continue to support bills that provide resources and encouragement for educators and students. We will oppose bills that stifle best practices teaching methods and promote partisan leadership of school boards.

View Education Bill Tracker

Environmental Bills

Our climate is changing and we will encourage our legislators to protect Hoosiers from drought, flooding and heat stress. Top priorities are increasing renewable energy, expanding opportunities to expand conservation in the state, cleaning up coal ash ponds next to our waterways.  

We support a youth climate initiative to create a climate task force and other initiatives.

View Environmental Bill Tracker

Public Health Bills

Following the aftermath of the pandemic, a state commission found that our public health departments need support. We support increased funding for public health, lead testing of preschool water sources, removing barriers to practice for nurse practitioners and nurse midwives. As well as support for mental and physical health and compassionate end of life options.

View Public Health Bill Tracker

Voting & Elections

IFCL strongly supports an amendment to the Indiana Constitution, to remove redistricting responsibility from the legislature and put it in the hands of a multi-partisan, citizens redistricting commission.  We also support automatic voter registration at the BMV and elimination of straight ticket voting.

View Voting & Elections Bill Tracker