Hello, friend!

We are about to start the last full week of the first-half of the legislative session! This means that if bills do not pass out of a committee and pass out of the full chamber where they originated by the 31st of January or the 1st of February for the House and Senate, respectively, then they will die. Any surviving bills will then move to the opposite chamber for further review. 

A lot has happened this week as we work to support and help push good bills closer to becoming law and oppose and fight against bad bills that could impact children and families negatively. Read on to learn more and to take action!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sarah 

School Curriculum

Late last week, legislators decided that there was no path forward for SB 167, "Education Matters."  This great success could be in part due to the national attention it received in response to Senator Scott Baldwin's remarks that teachers should remain impartial on Nazism. 

The debate continues, however, with HB 1134, "Education Matters," a very similar bill that would also put unnecessary burdens onto teachers to post their full curriculum online for committee review, restrict or eliminate critical lessons on racism and history of marginalized people in the US. On Wednesday, MCCOY joined other education advocates and participated in a press conference organized by the Indiana State Teacher's Association to oppose HB1134.

The bill has passed the House Education Committee and we expect it to go to the full House chamber for a vote on Monday. 

Click on the link below to quickly email key House legislators asking them to oppose HB1134- tell them to let our teachers teach and let our children learn fully! 

Youth Justice

MCCOY joins our colleagues in the Indiana Coalition for Youth Justice to support HB1359, "Juvenile Justice Matters" which passed out of the House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code earlier this week with bipartisan support. If passed, this bill would establish a minimum age of 12 for juvenile detention. Currently, IN doesn’t have a minimum age standard and children as young as seven and eight can be held in detention facilities. Click on the link below to tell key legislators you also support this bill! 

We also support SB 340, "Juvenile Law Matters," which is still sitting in the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee. Next week is the last week to get bills heard in committees and SB 340 is not scheduled for a hearing yet. If passed, this important legislation will protect children who interact with the justice system. Contact Senate members of the Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law to ask for their support for SB 340 by clicking on the second link below!

SNAP Benefits

On Thursday afternoon, legislators in the House committee on Family Children and Human Affairs heard testimony on HB1354, "Requirements for SNAP Participants." If passed into law, this bill would erect costly and complex barriers that would cut vital food assistance for Hoosier families. SNAP and the Child Support program form an important lifeline for low-income children, which is why the state should ensure that changes to these programs help families-- not hurt them. 

The bill is still in the committee. Contact committee members today and tell them that you want to ensure no food assistance will be cut for Hoosier children. Ask them to oppose HB1354.

Trans Youth

This upcoming Monday, HB1041, "Participation in School Sports," will receive a hearing in the House Committee on Education. If passed, this bill would prohibit students assigned male at birth from participating in a girls' sport. Trans students participate in sports for the same reasons other young people do: to challenge themselves, improve fitness, and be a part of a team. Excluding trans students from participation deprives them of opportunities available to their peers and sends the message that they are not worthy of a full life. 

MCCOY opposes this bill and will join other advocates to defend trans youth. School should be a place that provides belonging and academic opportunity for everyone--including transgender children.

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