Hi, friend!

This week brought us more committee hearings addressing juvenile justice reform, school board elections, reproductive health, and gun training.

MCCOY was at the Statehouse to testify in support of a bill that would eliminate court fees for youth in the justice system. Click here to see archived video from that hearing. Curious about how to testify on a bill yourself? We can show you how! Check out MCCOY's Tik Tok for a quick video on how to sign up to testify in a committee hearing and check out some of our other advocacy related tik toks!

Thanks for all you do to support Hoosier youth and families!

Read on for more information from this week at the Statehouse and have a great weekend!


Juvenile Court Fees and Fines

On Wednesday, HB1493, "Elimination of Costs and Fees in Juvenile Court" passed 12-1 out of the House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code. This bill would eliminate the costs and fees that accumulate when a young person goes through the juvenile court and often times puts them and their families in deep financial debt. 

A recent national study conducted by the Juvenile Law Center reported that these financial penalties increase recidivism, push impoverished young people deeper into the juvenile justice system, exacerbate racial disparities, and increase economic and emotional distress for families that are already experiencing financial struggles. Other consequences for failure to pay include the inability to get records expunged as well as additional court visits that would lead to missed school or missed work. These consequences have long term effects on that young person’s success as they grow into adulthood.  

MCCOY went to the Statehouse to join other youth advocates to testify in support of the bill. Now that it has passed through committee, the bill will now be sent to the full House chamber for further review.

Partisan School Board Elections

Another partisan school board election bill was heard this week. This time, HB 1428, "School Board Elections," was discussed and ultimately passed 6-4 out of the House Elections committee. This bill would allow a school board to decide to nominate and vote on candidates in the same way as other elections, with candidates nominated by a political party to run; or it would allow candidates to share their party affiliation when they are running. The bill was amended so that this decision would be made by each individual school board through a referendum vote, ultimately allowing local control of the decision.

School board members and education advocates throughout Indiana have expressed their opposition to this bill, stating that it will needlessly insert politics in local school decisions. MCCOY shares these concerns and opposes any attempts to make school board races partisan. 

Now that the bill has passed out of the Elections committee, it will be sent to the full House chamber for further review.

Birth Control

HB 1568, "Prescription for Hormonal Contraceptives," received a hearing in the House Committee on Public Health on Tuesday. This bill would allow pharmacists who meet certain requirements to prescribe and dispense birth control. This and other bills regarding easing access to birth control were developed as a direct result of the special session last summer on banning abortion in Indiana. The authors of HB1568 are all women and represent both parties. Author, Rep. Elizabeth Rowray said, "We thought that having access to hormonal contraceptives as readily available as possible would be one step in making sure we didn't have those unintended pregnancies."

MCCOY supports this bill and believes that contraceptives of all kinds should be made as easily available to Hoosiers who need or want them.

The bill has been held and the committee is expected to take a vote on the bill next week.

Handgun Training for Teachers

A controversial bill that we have seen for the past couple of years is back. HB 1177, "Handgun Training for Teachers," passed 9-4 out of the House Education Committee earlier this week. This bill would create an optional firearms training course for school employees. Districts will be able to decide to have the training-- Under current Indiana law districts can already adopt policies authorizing employees to carry firearms on school campuses.Opponents of the bill are concerned about where teachers would secure their guns in their classrooms, while supporters
said it would lead to more training among school employees who do carry firearms on campuses. 

MCCOY opposes having any guns in schools and opposes adding the responsibility of gun handling to teachers. However if districts currently allow school employees to carry guns, we want to make sure that they are properly trained to use them.

The bill will now be sent to the full House chamber for further review. 

Moms Demand Action Advocacy Day

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 10:00 AM -  2:00 PM ET

Volunteers from across the state, along with students and survivors of gun violence, will come together to demand Indiana lawmakers take meaningful action on gun safety. Please join Indiana Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action at the Statehouse for Advocacy Day. They will gather on the 4th floor to hear from law makers, survivors and special guest speakers. After, you will have the opportunity to take to the halls of the Statehouse to meet with legislators to advocate for change!


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Contact Us

Marion County Commission on Youth, Inc.
1375 W. 16th Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

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