Legislative News

Last year’s public protests across our country and throughout our state are a response not only to unjust policing of Black people but are a cry for action to our public officials for structural change.

As part of this initiative, IBE is closely following bills and proceedings within our state legislature regarding this initiative. On this page, you will find both the bills we are closely following and important resources to help you both understand, and participate in this important movement.

Important Resources

GIPC Recommendations

A report released by Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee presented the findings of its Structural Reform Team, aimed at recommending police reforms in our city. The work was undertaken by members of GIPC’s Race and the Legal Process Working Group.

You may read the full report of the committee’s recommendations by clicking the following link.
Read the Report >

Indiana Black Legislative Caucus

Indiana’s minority communities share a long and proud history, a history that has provided hope and inspiration to generation after generation. Unfortunately, it is a history also marked by pain, struggle, and even bloodshed. The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC) is working to overcome the wrongs of the past as we pursue the social and economic initiatives that make up our work at the Indiana Statehouse.

The members of the IBLC hold fast to the following principles as we work to develop policies and pass laws that will positively impact minority communities throughout the state.
Read the Agenda >

Get Involved

One of the simplest ways to let your voice be heard is to contact your legislative representative to let him or her know how you feel about the proposed bills.

If you do not know the name of your representative, click here: and enter your address.

The website will provide you with the names of your state legislator and state representative. In the case of your state legislators, you can click on their names and the website will also show you a list of the bills they have authored or sponsored.

Policy Initiatives We're Following

Policies We Support

HB1006 – Law Enforcement Officers

Introduced on January 7, 2021 – 25% progression
Pending: House Ways & Means Committee
Sponsors: Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R), Rep. Wendy McNamara (R), Rep. Steve Bontels (R), and Rep. Robin Shackleford (D)

IBE supports the following reform policies included in HB 1006: the decertification of bad officers under less stringent requirements; penal consequences for intentionally turning off body and vehicle cameras; more expansive employment data from officers’ employers during the pre-hire phase; minimum standards for de-escalation training; and a ban on the use of chokeholds. We believe that these changes will further advance trust and fairness in the criminal justice system and improve relations among police officers and the communities they serve.

Update: 2021-02-18 – First reading: referred to Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law

Learn More About This Bill
Read IBE’s Testimony Supporting This Bill

SB0368 – Law Enforcement Officers 

Introduced on January 7, 2021 – 25% progression
Pending: House Ways & Means Committee
Sponsors: Sen. Karen Tallin (D), Sen. Jean Breaux (D)

This bill has been passed in committee

IBE supports the following reform policies included in SB 0368: Juvenile justice. Provides for the automatic expungement of certain juvenile offenses. Prohibits a juvenile arrestee who meets certain requirements from being housed with adult inmates prior to trial, with certain exceptions. Establishes a procedure for determining juvenile competency. Makes conforming amendments.

Update: 2021-02-18 – First reading: referred to Committee on Homeland Security and Transportation

Learn More About This Bill
Read IBE’s Testimony Supporting This Bill

Policies We Oppose

SB0311 – Use of Force

Introduced on January 11, 2021 – 25% progression
Pending: Senate Corrections & Criminal Law Committee
Sponsors: Sen. Scott Baldwin (R), Sen. Jack Sandlin (R), Sen. Chris Garten (R), Sen. Eric Koch (R), Sen. Blake Doriot (R), Sen. Linda Rogers (R)

Hearing: February 16, 2021, 9:00 AM in Room 130

Update:  2021-02-18 – Committee report: amend do pass, adopted

Allows an officer to disregard the use of force continuum and determine the use of force option based on what is reasonable and necessary; prohibits any ordinance that restricts the use of force option provided by this statute.

Learn More About This Bill

HB1033 – Residency of Police Officers and Firefighters

Introduced on January 4, 2021 – 25% progression
Pending: House Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee
Hearing: January 28, 2021, 8:30 AM in IGCS Chamber

Update: 2021-02-18 – First reading: referred to Committee on Homeland Security and Transportation

Removes the requirement that an individual residing in a county that is noncontiguous to a county in which a city is located live not more than 50 miles from a boundary of the city to be a member of that city’s police or fire department.

Learn More About This Bill
Read IBE’s Testimony Opposing This Bill

HB1070 – Police Department Budgets

Introduced on January 4, 2021 – 25% progression
Pending: House Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee
Sponsor: Rep. Randall Frye (R)

Requires public safety data to the criminal justice division of state police. Prohibits the reduction of the police department’s budget.

Learn More About This Bill

HB1327 – Public Safety Funding

Introduced on January 14, 2021 – 25% progression
Pending: House Local Government Committee
Sponsors: Rep. Jeff Ellington (R) and Rep. Jake Teshka (R)

This proposed bill, if enacted, would prevent the fiscal body to reduce law enforcement budget absent a legitimate fiscal reason.

Learn More About This Bill

SB42 – Local Government Budgets

Introduced on January 4, 2021 – 25% progression
Pending: Senate Local Government Committee
Sponsor: Sen. Mike Bohacek (R)

Hearing: January 28, 2021, 9:00 AM in Room 233

Update: 2021-02-15 – Third reading: defeated; Roll Call 105: yeas 9, nays 37

A local government unit may not reduce its annual budget for public safety, police, or fire services for a fiscal year by an amount in excess of the levy reduction by the unit for the fiscal year unless the unit is subject to a revenue shortfall for the fiscal year.

Learn More About This Bill

SB 168– Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

Introduced on January 12, 2021 – 25% progression
Pending: Senate Corrections & Criminal Law Committee
Hearing: February 16, 2021, 9:00 AM in Room 130
Sponsors: Sen. Jack Sandlin (R), Sen. Aaron Feeman (R), Sen. Scott Baldwin (R), Sen. Linda Rogers (R), Sen. Ronald Grooms (R), Sen. Michael Young (R), Sen. Andy Zay (R), Sen. Erin Houchin (R), Sen. Mike Gaskill (R), Sen. Blak Doriot (R), Sen. Chris Garten (R), and Sen. Eric Koch (R)

IBE believes community involvement is critical to enhancing trust between police departments and the communities they serve. IBE opposes SB 168, HB1427, and SB 394 because they are all aimed to eliminate community involvement by stripping away local control of IMPD.

Update: 2021-02-18 – Committee report: amend do pass, adopted

Learn More About This Bill

HB1427 – Police Department Administration

Introduced on January 14, 2021 – 25% progression
Pending: House Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee
Sponsor: Rep. Mike Speedy

Learn More About This Bill

SB394 – Police Department Administration

Introduced on January 14, 2021 – 25% progression
Pending: Senate Corrections & Criminal Law Committee

Hearing: February 16, 2021, 9:00 AM in Room 130

SB168, HB1427, and SB394 would make the Marion County General Orders Board void by establishing the police department administration to be under the authority of the chief of police or town board of metropolitan police commissioners. We believe citizen participation in policymaking for local law enforcement is necessary to transform organizational culture and to improve police and community relations.

Learn More About This Bill

IBE opposes the following anti-protest bills
as they are unnecessary and/or their effect will deter free speech.

SB198 – Rioting

Introduced on January 12, 2021 – 25% progression
Pending: Senate Corrections & Criminal Law Committee
Sponsors: Sen. Michael Young (R) and Sen. Ronald Grooms (R)

This bill, if made law, would grant concurrent jurisdiction to the AG in instances of rioting.

Update: 021-02-17 – Referred to the House

Learn More About This Bill

SB96 – Rioting

Introduced on January 7, 2021 – 25% progression
Action: Withdrawn on January 25, 2021
Sponsor: Sen. Ronald Grooms (R)

If this bill is enacted, a person convicted of battery against a law enforcement officer will serve from 30 to 90 days without earning good time or time suspended.

Learn More About This Bill

SB34 – Unlawful Assembly

Introduced on January 4, 2021 – 25% progression
Pending: Senate Corrections & Criminal Law Committee
Sponsors: Sen. James Tomes (R) and Sen. Michael Crider (R)

The bill, if enacted, would make it a felony for a protester and demonstrator to obstruct vehicle traffic, unless authorized by a permit, and a state or local government employee convicted for rioting after July 1 would be fired from their job and lose their benefits. It is our understanding that this bill will not be scheduled for a hearing.

Learn More About This Bill

HB1205 – Rioting

Introduced on January 14, 2021 – 24% progression
Pending: House Courts and Criminal Code Committee
Sponsors: Rep. Wendy McNamara (R), Rep. Gregory Steuerwald (R), Rep. Steve Bartels (R), and Rep. Heath VanNatter (R)

A person arrested for rioting would serve a mandatory minimum of 30 or 90 days for battery against a law enforcement officer, prohibits camps being erected in certain areas, penalties for graffiti, and increase fines/penalties based on the monetary damage.

Learn More About This Bill

SB194 – Provocation and Obstruction

Introduced on January 5, 2021 – 25% progression
Pending: Senate Corrections & Criminal Law Committee
Sponsors: Sen. Scott Baldwin (R), Sen. Eric Koch (R), Sen. Jack Sandlin (R), and Sen. Mike Bohacek (R)

Increases the penalty for provocation if committed against a public safety official in the course of performing their duties and enhances the penalty for obstruction of traffic under certain circumstances.

Learn More About This Bill
IBE’s written testimony

HB1376 – Charitable Bail Organizations

Introduced on January 14, 2021 – 25% progression
Pending House Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee
Sponsor: Peggy Mayfield (R)

Requires a charitable bail organization to register with the Department of Insurance, hire a bail agent, pay fines, fees & costs, only eligible to assist in misdemeanor bail and capped at $2,000 or less; charitable bail organizations are prohibited to pay bail for more than two individuals in any 180-day period.

Learn More About This Bill