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Indiana Republicans are proposing a number of bills that would pull power from the local government of Indianapolis.

Meanwhile Prosperity Indiana is calling attention to an effort to override Governor Holcomb veto of SEA 148 which would prohibit cities from enforcing rules on landlords, even after complaints from tenants. We have the details on what Prosperity Indiana is asking Hoosiers to do to fight back, as well as the details on each senate bill we are watching.

Open Lines with Cameron Ridle airs Sunday Mornings at 8AM on HOT 96.3 and 106.7 WTLC Indianapolis.

 

 

BILLS WE ARE WATCHING

SENATE BILL 168, 141, 392, AND 148 (2020)

 

SENATE BILL 168 – IMPD TAKEOVER

Ø Jack Sandlin, Scott Baldwin, Aaron Freeman

Indianapolis metropolitan police department. Provides that effective January 1, 2023, the Indianapolis metropolitan police department (police department) is administered by a five member state board of police commissioners (board) consisting of: (1) four members appointed by the governor; and (2) the mayor of the consolidated city. Provides that the board’s powers include: (1) exercising the power, authority, and responsibility of the executive and legislative body of the consolidated city to adopt, amend, and enforce ordinances, resolutions, and rules relating to the administration of the police department; (2) serving as the merit board for the police department; and (3) appointing a police chief for the department who is responsible only to the board. Provides that the legislative body of the police special service district retains the power to modify and approve the police department’s budget.

 

SENATE BILL 141 – INDYGO

Ø Aaron Freeman, Michael Young, Jack Sandlin

· Central Indiana public transportation projects. Requires the budget agency to withhold local income tax revenue from an eligible county if the eligible county fails to raise certain revenues for a public transportation project. (Current law requires eligible counties to raise: (1) 10% of the annual operating expenses of the project from sources other than taxes and fares; and (2) 25% of the annual operating expenses of the project from fares and charges.) Specifies that the amount of local income taxes withheld from an eligible county may not diminish the amount of money distributed to the eligible county for deposit in the eligible county’s public transportation fund below the amount required to pay its debt service obligations for bonds issued for purposes of a

public transportation project. Prohibits Marion County from creating additional IndyGo bus rapid transit lines if the revenue requirements are not met.

 

SENATE BILL 392 – REZONING MARION COUNTY

Ø Michael Young, Aaron Freeman, Kyle Walker

· Marion County zoning and road funds. Provides that an excluded city in Marion County may use 100% of the distributions from the motor vehicle highway account for various road and street projects. (Currently the law provides that a municipality must use at least 50% of the distribution for municipal highway projects). Provides that with regard to Marion County planning and zoning, the legislative body and the board of zoning appeals of: (1) Lawrence, Speedway, Southport, or Beech Grove (excluded city) has exclusive territorial authority within the excluded city; (2) a township (excluding Center Township) has exclusive territorial authority within the area of the township located outside an excluded city; and (3) the city of Indianapolis, has exclusive territorial authority within the boundaries of Center Township.

 

SENATE BILL 148 2020 SESSION – LANDLORDS, TENANTS, MOBILE HOMES

Ø Blake Doriot, Linda Rogers, co-sponsor Michael Young

· Zoning and housing matters. Amends a statute concerning manufactured homes (manufactured home statute) to provide, with respect to a manufactured home located outside of a mobile home community, as follows: (1) A comprehensive plan or zoning ordinance adopted by a unit of local government may: (A) specify aesthetic standards and requirements concerning the manufactured home’s permanent foundation system; and (B) require compatibility of the manufactured home’s permanent foundation system with surrounding residential structures. (2) A unit of local government may not require: (A) a permanent foundation system that is incompatible with the structural design of the manufactured home; or (B) more than one permanent foundation system for a manufactured home. Specifies that the changes to the manufactured home statute do not affect a requirement applicable to property that is subject to the jurisdiction of a preservation commission. Provides that a unit of local government may not adopt or enforce certain ordinances, regulations, requirements, or other restrictions that mandate size requirements for a manufactured home that is placed in a mobile home community. Provides that, subject to certain conditions, an industrialized residential structure may be located in a mobile home community. Requires a mobile home community operator (operator) to provide all owners of mobile homes, manufactured homes, or industrialized residential structures in a mobile home community with written notice not less than 180 days before the mobile home community’s closure. Provides that an operator who violates the notice requirement commits a deceptive act that is actionable by the attorney general or a consumer. Prohibits a unit of local government from regulating certain aspects of a landlord-tenant relationship with respect to privately owned real property located in the unit unless the regulation is authorized by the general assembly. Prohibits a landlord from taking certain retaliatory actions in response to a tenant’s engaging in one or more enumerated protected activities. Prohibits a local unit from adopting or enforcing any ordinance or regulation concerning retaliatory acts by landlords. Makes conforming changes.

FROM PROSPERITY INDIANA:

Coalition urges Indiana’s Senators not to override the veto of eviction bill SEA148 during ‘white flag’ winter conditions

The Indiana Senate has placed a vote to override the Governor’s veto of eviction bill SEA 148 on the calendar for Monday, February 8 at 1:30 p.m. Because the bill would go into effect immediately with a simple majority vote in each house, that means new evictions would begin under ‘white flag’ conditions with subzero temperatures in the forecast for next week.

The Coalition is urging partners that THIS IS THE MOMENT TO TAKE ACTION to urge the Senate that they must not vote to threaten housing stability for Hoosier families in the dead of winter! The Coalition asks Hoosiers to:

CALL YOUR SENATOR at (800) 382-9467. Leave a message and call again until you reach them.

SEND A MESSAGE using this Action Alert [urldefense.com]. Tell your Senator how evictions would harm your community.

GATHER AT THE STATEHOUSE with socially-distant homelessness prevention advocates and concerned Hoosiers. Meet at 9 a.m. on Monday, February 8 at the corner of Market and Capitol outside the Indiana Statehouse.

“SEA 148 is up for an override vote at a time when we are entering the coldest weeks of the year,” said Coalition member Laura Berry, Executive Director of Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc.  “This is known as ‘white flag’ conditions when the temperature or wind chill is expected to be at 35 degrees or below for at least four hours overnight. But Indiana homeless programs are already at capacity due to increased homelessness, reduction in capacity as a result of COVID-19, and fewer volunteers to provide resources and facilities to individuals at risk of homelessness. Legislators are putting the health and safety of Hoosier families at risk with SEA 148.”

Beyond the immediate danger of new evictions during these winter conditions, the Coalition urges Senators to consider the following when making a decision on the vote:

  • Language negatively affecting the rental housing needs of that third of our state, about 2 million Hoosiers, was added to an unrelated Senate bill at the end of the 2020 session with no meaningful opportunity for input, vetting or negotiation.
  • This language, which ended up in SEA 148, was added on the last day for House Judiciary committee hearings at the end of the second half of session. This language was never filed as legislation and never posted for hearing before a standing Senate or House committee.
  • A letter was sent to legislative leadership opposing this language, signed by about 200 faith communities; local governments; charitable, service and other organizations; and by about 100 additional individuals. These voices have not yet had the opportunity to have their perspectives and experiences be considered in formulating legislation.

SEA 148 is harmful to tenants because it:

  • Pre-empts all past and future ordinances by local governments relating to any aspect of the landlord-tenant relationship, tying the hands of localities to address local rental housing needs and issues.
  • Expands the process for expedited evictions, allowing less opportunity for negotiation or voluntary relocation, leading to greater homelessness, instability, and harmful health and societal outcomes.
  • Replaces local anti-retaliation ordinances with language that falls short of protecting tenants.

Gov. Holcomb vetoed only one bill from the 2020 session, SEA 148, specifying that his objection was to the language added relating to the landlord-tenant relationship.

In his veto message, Governor Holcomb stated: “the language in the bill is overly broad…preventing almost any type of local control over landlord-tenant relationships.”

The Governor further stated that a public health emergency “was not the right time for such language to become law,” given the need to “protect Hoosiers from the spread and effect of COVID-19.”

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