Indiana’s 2023 Legislative Session: A Preview
Indiana’s legislative session started on January 9, but it took several more weeks before the public knew which bills had been introduced in the State House and Senate.
The legislative process in Indiana can be complicated. If you would like a detailed explainer on Indiana’s legislative process, check out this informative resource. Of particular importance right now are the committee reports. The deadline for voting bills out of a senate committee this year is February 23. And for house committees it is February 21.
With many bills being introduced, we’ve compiled a list of proposed bills that we’ve been watching this session. You’ll find an overview of them below.
More on the Bills We’re Currently Watching
SB 335: Establishing a Climate Solutions Task Force:
The effects of climate change are felt throughout Indiana’s economy, communities, and infrastructure. Senate Bill 335 would establish a state-level climate solutions task force that would work to make recommendations on how Indiana can reduce its greenhouse emissions, support the development of a clean energy economy, and protect Hoosiers from the effects of climate change.
Many of you have responded to our recent Action Alert and contacted your senators, asking them to support SB 335. More senators have signed on, and it is scheduled for a hearing with the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee on February 20. You can check for the date and time of the hearing here.
If SB 335 is a bill you would like to see pass, be sure to sign our petition asking your legislators to support this bill, as well as its companion bills in the House—HB 1453 and HB 1604.
SB 339 and HB 1190: Protecting Hoosiers from Toxic Coal Ash:
Coal ash is the toxic waste produced from burning coal for electricity—containing a mixture of forever pollutants extremely harmful to human health. Indiana has more coal ash pits
than any other state, and many are leaking into groundwater, rivers, and Lake Michigan.
Under the Coal Combustion Residuals Rule (CCR) established by the EPA in 2015, coal ash sites must be closed in accordance with the federal rule. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) controls the enforcement of the rule across the state. However, under their supervision, numerous closures have been approved with coal ash pits left behind to permanently threaten drinking water.
Indiana needs a permanent solution to assist IDEM in tackling this crisis head-on, and ensuring the state has a plan to safely close and clean up these toxic sites.
Senate Bill 339 and House Bill 1190 both attempt to address this issue. SB 339 is a bipartisan bill that calls for the regulation of coal combustion residuals. HB 1190 calls for the closure of coal combustion residuals surface impoundments.
SB 254: Utility Consumer Protections:
Senate Bill 254 would help to protect Hoosiers from the abuses of Indiana's monopoly utilities.
SB 254 would place numerous consumer protections into law, including:
Payment plans for overdue balances based on customers’ ability to pay.
Prohibit utilities from requiring a down payment or a deposit in order for a customer to enter into a payment plan.
Require utilities to report important consumer data, such as number of disconnects and number of customers with overdue balances, on a quarterly and ongoing basis.
Be sure to sign up for Faith in Place Action Alerts if you’d like to be informed about upcoming opportunities to support these bills and future bills.
If you have questions on the bills we’re monitoring, or on Indiana’s legislative process, please contact our Indiana Policy Coordinator Christine Glaser: firstname.lastname@example.org.