Hi there, Friend!

Earlier this week was the "third reading deadline" for both the House and Senate-- meaning if bills did not pass before the full chamber that they were in, they will be considered "dead." Likewise, conference committees began- these happen when selected legislators from both parties and both chambers come together to come to an agreement on bills that were changed. 

Surviving and agreed-upon bills are then sent to Governor Holcomb's desk for him to sign into law, or in this case of an emergency powers bill, he can veto a bill he does not agree with. (Though the House voted yesterday to override the veto, so now we are looking at a potential court battle over the Governor's emergency powers)

The 2021 legislature is set to end on Wednesday or at least go into recess until November when they will meet again to discuss redistricting congressional and legislative districts.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Indiana's State Budget 

On Thursday, a conference committee met to discuss amendments to the State BudgetAdvocates from all over Indiana came to make one final ask for added funding to their respective sectors. Legislators now have until Wednesday to come to an agreement on the final budget that will cover state funding over the next two years.

Included, is a significant expansion of Indiana's school voucher program. It will expand voucher access even further, in some cases to families earning over $100,000 per year for a family of four. The plans would also eliminate partial vouchers, granting even middle-income families full scholarships — which average more than $5,800 per student.

While supporters say that this is one step closer to universal school choice, critics are concerned that this will take much needed funding away from public schools who need the funding more and from public school educators who are long overdue for an increase in their compensation.

Juvenile Justice

After passing unanimously out of the full House of Representatives, SB 368, Juvenile Justice returned to the Senate where the full Senate voted to agree to the House amendments to the bill. Now that this bill has passed both chambers with bipartisan support, this exciting bill will be sent to Governor Holcomb's desk to be signed into law. 

When this bill is signed into law, it will ensure children aren't housed in adult jails, establish standards to make sure children are competent to stand trial, and create a system of automatic expungement for juvenile records.

We join our colleagues in the Indiana Coalition for Youth Justice in celebrating this exciting legislative win and we thank all of our MCCOY advocacy supporters for their hard work helping us pass this bill!

Landlord Tenant Relations

You may recall that earlier this year, the Indiana General Assembly voted to override Governor Holcomb's veto on a controversial housing bill. HB 1541, "Landlord-Tenant Relations," was then introduced to fix some of the problems that came up from that veto. Earlier this week, HB 1541 passed both chambers and is on its way to the Governor's desk to sign into law.

HB1541 will nix language generally restricting local governments from regulating any landlord-tenant relationship matter not specifically described in Indiana code. Additionally it will prohibit landlords from asking tenants to sign away their rights to the anti-retaliation protections under state law. While these are important fixes, there is still more work to be done to protect Hoosier families who are renting their homes. 

Parents with Disabilities

SB 259, "Parents with Disabilities" passed out of the House earlier this week with amendments and has returned to the Senate. We expect the Senate will concur with the amendments and pass the bill over to the Governor to sign into law.  

We are pleased to see this bill move forward, however the bill was recently amended with much watered-down language. MCCOY will continue working with our colleagues who are advocating for disability rights to ensure the momentum continues to support all children and families regardless of disability.

2021 Legislative Wrap-up Power Hour

The 2021 Indiana legislative session is wrapping up in less than a week! Join us to learn about what bills crossed the legislative finish line at the State House and what they will mean for children and families once they become law. We will also talk about what bills did not pass and what we can do together to make sure good legislation for children and families will be a top priority for legislators as we prepare for 2022.

  • DATE: April 28th
  • TIME: 11am-Noon
  • COST: Free
  • LOCATION: Online via Zoom

Marion County Commission on Youth, Inc.
1375 W. 16th Street  | Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
317-921-1266 | info@mccoyouth.org

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