Friday, February 17, 2017

Payday bill defeated!
We had an exciting victory to end a busy week as SB 245, which would have expanded predatory payday lending products, failed in committee with a bipartisan 4-5 vote. Your calls to legislators on the committee made a difference. Thank you! Please call these legislators and thank them for their NO vote on this legislation. 

Sen. Rodrick Bray  317-234-9426
Sen. Eddie Melton 317-232-9491
Sen. Frank Mrvan 317-232-9532 
Sen. John Ruckleshaus 317-232-9808
Sen. Greg Walker 317-232-9984

This week:

The Institute started the week in Senate Family and Children Services committee. SB 154, a bill that removes the asset limits for SNAP eligibility, passed 6-1 with an amended start date of January 1, 2018. The Institute is excited this bill will move to the full Senate.

This committee also had no vote hearings - meaning that public testimony was given, but the committee did not vote on the bill - on SB 485 an SB 527. The former is a bill creating a pilot loan program for low- and moderate-income families who need to make modifications to their homes to aid the independent functioning of family members with disabilities living in the home. The latter is a bill changing the income eligibility of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to not more than 50% of the federal poverty level and removes the statute that sets the dollar amount of need payments. The Institute spoke about the data supporting these changes, pointing out that the dollar amount in statute has not kept up with inflation which fails Hoosiers who need this assistance.

SB 312 Use of criminal history info in hiring (Boots) had quite a bit of public testimony on Wednesday. The Institute was joined in opposition by groups including RecycleForce and IndyCAN. The bill would allow state intervention to preempt local Ban the Box and 'fair chance' hiring ordinances to help employ people with records. Employment helps individuals become more economically self-sufficient, which we want for all Hoosiers. Unfortunately the bill passed through the committee 8-3.

As mentioned above, SB 245 Long term small loans (Holdman) was heard in Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions on Thursday. An amendment was offered that would include reducing the loan amount to $1750, the definition of minimum loan term, reducing the loan term to 18 months, eliminating the ability to charge delinquency fees, and reducing the interest rate to 18% per month and 216% APR  on the unpaid balance among other things. The Institute and 18 other individuals and groups, including members of the faith community, former payday borrowers, a former payday lending employee, veterans, and other non-profits who advocate for low-income Hoosiers, spoke to the dangers of this industry and the expansion of any payday products.Thank you for calling your legislators and thank you to the five committee members who voted NO on this bill.
Some other bills that saw movement in committee this week include:
SB 515 Tax administration (Hershman) passed out of committee 13-0. HB 1308 Various Prof licensing matters (Zent) passed out of committee amended 10-0. SB 276 Early education grant program (Holdman) had an amendment added that strengthens quality requirements, expands parental engagement requirements, and has 10% of funds used to increase capacity of the Level 3 and 4 programs. It passed as amended 8-3 and is recommitted to appropriations.

Bills on the House and Senate floor this week:
  • SB 34 Background checks for school employees (Merritt) passed out of the Senate 49-1, unamended. 
  • SB 59 Reciprocity in professional licensing (Head) passed the Senate 48-0. This bill establishes reciprocity in licensing for some mental health professionals, making it easier for these Hoosiers to get back to work after a move to the state. 
  • SB 277 Healthy food matters had an amendment added that removed the fiscal part of the bill. However, Sen. Kenley, who proposed the amendment, assured the author and the rest of the Senate that he would keep the appropriations from this bill in consideration when creating the budget.
  • SB 440 Various tax matters (Holdman) passed 47-1.
  • SB 507 Economic development (Head) passed the Senate 48-0.
  • SB 558 Leases and sales of real property (Holdman) had an amendment added on Monday that tries to address rental occupancy limits that conform to the Keating Memorandum. Though there was discussion about the bill's language that could limit political subdivisions ability to include affordable housing  as a portion of new developments, the measure passed 29-19.
  • SB 9 SNAP and drug convictions is still on 3rd reading. We hope to see a vote on this before the deadline for bills to cross over (February 28).
  • SB 253 Study of voluntary paid family and medical leave passed the Senate 35-14! The Institute is excited to speak to Representatives about the importance of this study as this bill crosses over. Paid family and medical leave can change the course of a family's financial situation. The Institute is eager to be part of the conversation going forward. You can read more about paid family and medical leave here.
  • HB 1386 Competency based education (Behning) had an amendment proposed by Rep. Vernon that would include two urban schools in the competency based education pilot program, but it did not pass. The measure passed 68-21.
  • HB 1470 Government information (Ober) and HB 1523 Search fee for public record request (Richardson) are being tracked because the Institute does extensive public policy research and needs access to data and government records. We want to make sure this is still affordable and available. HB 1532 passed 62-25 with concerns that charging for public records is a bad precedent.
  • HB 1002 Transportation infrastructure funding (Soliday) had several amendments offered, a few proposed by the Democrats would transfer some of the tax burden off low- and middle-income families, but they were defeated.

Next week: 

HB 1008 Workforce development (Huston) will be heard on Monday, February 20 in House Ways and Means.
SB 8 Forfeiture (Boots) will be heard on Tuesday, February 21 in Senate Corrections and Criminal Law.
SB 242 Indiana Housing First Program (Merritt) will be heard  on Tuesday, February 21 in Senate Local Government.
HB 1178 Voter registration opportunity for all motor vehichle transactions (Kersey), HB 1308 Various professional licensing matters (Zent), HB 1470 Government information (Ober), and HB 1626 Study of universal service for telecommunications (Negele) will be on third reading on Monday, February 20. 

These dates are accurate as of Thursday, February 17, 2017. It is always best to check the General Assembly website as these dates and times can and do change. 

Bills relating to our legislative policy agenda can be found below. You can find a complete and regularly updated list here

  • A PATH TO SELF-SUFFICIENCY: Put families on a path to self-sufficiency by protecting them from high-cost payday loans and predatory lending products. Support asset-building and financial literacy training by increasing funding for individual development accounts (IDAs). 
    • SB 245: Long term small loans (Holdman) Oppose
    • SB 474: Small loans (Melton) Support

  • INVESTMENT IN TWO-GENERATION SOLUTIONS: Investments in Head Start, preschool and the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) ensure that young children continue to learn and grow while their parents work or seek further education. 
    • SB 276: Early childhood grant pilot program (Holdman)
    • SB 325: Voluntary prekindergarten program (Stoops)

  • REMOVE BARRIERS TO ADULT EDUCATION & WORKFORCE TRAINING: Allow for better coordination of skills training, higher education and necessary support services. Increase support for the Indiana Adult Student Grant and the WorkINdiana training program, and create Indiana’s first fund for job-driven adult literacy.
    • HB 1008: Workforce development (Huston) Support
    • HB 1281: Various higher education matters (Sullivan) Support
    • HB 1464: Work sharing unemployment benefits (Carbaugh) Support

  • ASSISTS &REBOUNDS: Help Hoosiers rebound more quickly from tough times by removing the asset test from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility requirements and raising Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) eligibility to 50 percent of the federal poverty level.
    • SB 9: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and drug convictions (Merritt) Support
    • SB 154: Removal of asset limits for SNAP eligibility (Merritt) Support
    • SB 527: TANF eligibility (Stoops) Support
    • SB 528: Removal of asset limits for SNAP eligibility (Stoops) Support

  • QUALITY OF LIFE & QUALITY OF WORK: Ensure that all working Hoosiers can balance work, family and household budgets through policies that promote fair scheduling, paid leave and high-quality, well-paying jobs. 
    • HB 1183: Employee paid sick leave (Lawson) Support
    • HB 1442: Paid sick and safe leave (Porter) Support
    • SB 3: Paid personal leave (Randolph) Support
    • SB 253: Paid family and medical leave program (Tallian) Support
    • SB 318: Minimum wage (Mrvan) Support

  • BUILD A MORE JUST HOOSIER ECONOMY, STARTING WITH EQUITABLE BUDGET CHOICES: Make equitable budget choices that remedy Indiana’s regressive tax structure, increase economic mobility for working families and promote a more just economy for all Hoosiers.
    • HB 1001: Biennial budget (Brown) Monitor
    • HB 1002: Transportation infrastructure funding (Soliday) Monitor


Leave a Reply

Subscribe to Posts | Subscribe to Comments


Blog Archive

Calculate the living wage for 70 different family types in all 92 counties

Powered by Blogger.

- Copyright © Indiana Institute for Working Families -Metrominimalist- Powered by Blogger - Designed by Johanes Djogan -