Friday, January 25, 2019

MAJOR NEWS! During the first meeting of the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee, lawmakers heard over three hours of testimony on SB104 to cap payday loans at 36%. Senior Policy Analyst Erin Macey led the testimony in support, sharing the Institute’s research on the payday lending business model and what other states have done to curb the cycle of debt and distress created by payday loans. She concluded, “In short, we have learned a great deal about payday lending, its consequences, and the reforms implemented in other states. And we are here to ask Indiana to join the Department of Defense and 16 other states in offering Hoosiers the strongest and best protection against predatory lending – a cap of 36%.”

Then, fifteen Hoosiers from all corners of the state representing military associations, faith groups, civil rights organizations, and non-profits – including two Indiana Community Action Agencies - testified in support of the bill. Senator Walker, one of the bill’s lead authors, closed by observing, It would be shocking to me to have this volume of testimony and talk about the negative impact on Hoosiers if this is merely a contextual problem or the fact that we can’t compare apples and oranges when we talk about APR. Those are the mechanics of what we’re dealing with, but they’re not the root of what we’re dealing with that has brought together this coalition of support for looking at this solution.”  

The fate of the 36% rate cap is yet unknown. At the end of the hearing, Senator Bassler, chairman of the committee noted, “my gut tells me that the status quo will not be maintained” but did not commit to a vote on SB 104. 

Last week, Senior Policy Analyst Erin Macey testified in support of SB338, a bill that will expand access to On My Way Pre-K. This week, the Senate Education and Career Development Committee amended the bill to ensure that the changes in the bill would not result in any loss of federal funds, and also directed the agency to apply for available waivers that would allow them to implement the changes if necessary.  The committee then voted unanimously to pass the measure and the bill is now set to receive a hearing in Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy. We will include the date and time of this hearing in a future Inside the Statehouse as soon as it is announced.

During the first week of session, the Institute voiced its support for SB210, a bill that will reduce penalties to reinstate driver’s licenses. This week, the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee discussed and voted on several amendments. The Institute will continue to follow the bill as it moves on to Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy. If passed, SB210 will reduce barriers to economic self-sufficiency for Hoosiers across the state by removing exorbitant fees associated with driving uninsured. The reduction in fees will remove barriers to receiving insurance, which will ensure that working families have the ability to drive to work, and successfully navigate through their day to day lives.

The Institute would like to thank Senators Grooms & Stoops for joining Sen. Jon Ford as authors, and Senator J.D. Ford for co-authoring SB440, a TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Family) eligibility bill. We are looking forward to a hearing on SB440 in Senate Family and Children Services in mid-February. If passed, SB440 would adjust the income eligibility requirements so that more working families are able to access the support that they need, and will ensure that TANF payments are annually adjusted to be consistent with the cost of living in Indiana.

There are many other exciting bills we’re following, including:
·           HB 1288, which creates a state-level child and dependent care tax credit
·           HB 1073 and SB 590, which require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers
·           HB 1032, which creates a statewide paid family and medical leave program providing 6 weeks of leave
·           And several bills to raise the minimum wage in Indiana.

Do you love one of these bills? Ask your state rep or senator to sign on as a coauthor! Find your lawmaker here.

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Here are our tracked bills being heard this week.
Reach out to get engaged if something on this list interests you!

HB1440   LOAN BROKERS (HEATON R) Reorganizes current provisions regulating loan brokers and moves the reorganized provisions to a new article, including: (1) the loan broker regulation account; (2) licensure and notice requirements; (3) education and examination requirements for licensure; (4) requirements for loan broker offices, personnel, and conduct of business; and (5) violations and enforcement. Makes conforming amendments. Repeals the current law regulating loan brokers.
               Current Status:          1/29/2019 - House Financial Institutions,
                 Time & Location:  10:30 AM, Rm. 156-C
               State Bill Page:           HB1440

HB1447   FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND CONSUMER CREDIT (BURTON W) Makes various changes to the statutes concerning: (1) first lien mortgage lenders; (2) persons licensed under the Uniform Consumer Credit Code (UCCC); (3) rental purchase agreements; (4) debt management companies; (5) banks; (6) credit unions; (7) pawnbrokers; and (8) money transmitters. Repeals a provision in the statute concerning rental purchase agreements that specifies that any up-front payment made by the lessee: (1) must be treated as an initial rental payment; (2) is subject to the disclosure requirements under the statute; and (3) may be in a sum larger than a regular rental payment. Repeals a provision in the UCCC that provides that civil proceeding advance payment transactions (CPAP transactions) are subject to the UCCC. Strikes all provisions concerning CPAP transactions from the UCCC. Repeals provisions in the UCCC that define certain terms relating to CPAP transactions. Moves language in the UCCC applicable to the licensing of civil proceeding advance payment providers to the existing statute concerning civil proceeding advance payments and makes conforming amendments.
               Current Status:          1/29/2019 - House Financial Institutions,
                 Time & Location:    10:30 AM, Rm. 156-C
               State Bill Page:           HB1447

SB99       WAGE ASSIGNMENTS FOR CLOTHING AND TOOLS (BOOTS P) Provides that a wage assignment may be made to pay for the rental or use of uniforms, shirts, pants, other job-related clothing, equipment, or tools necessary to fulfill the duties of employment.
               Current Status:          1/30/2019 - Senate Pensions and Labor,
                  Time & Location:   9:30 AM, Rm. 233

SB231     DIRECT SALES (MESSMER M) Excludes a direct seller from the definition of "employee" for purposes of the minimum wage law. Excepts, under certain conditions, an individual engaged as a direct seller from receiving unemployment benefits. Excludes services by direct sellers from the definition of "employment" under the unemployment compensation system.
               Current Status:           1/30/2019 - Senate Pensions and Labor
                 Time & Location:    9:30 AM, Rm. 233

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