Indiana's 2024 legislative session has begun, and there's a buzz of anticipation in the air. Scheduled to end on March 14, everything is expected to unfold swiftly.
With a short timeline and crucial decisions on the horizon, it's essential to stay informed about the legislative developments that could shape the future of the state. Here’s what our Policy Team is currently keeping an eye on this session:
House Bill (HB) 1193
Faith in Place is particularly thrilled about one groundbreaking initiative – HB 1193, authored by State Rep. Carey Hamilton, which focuses on community solar facilities.
Community solar involves shared solar facilities owned by independent entities, providing electricity to the local utility's grid. Subscribers, including homeowners, renters, businesses, schools, and more, receive credits on their electric bills, leading to potential savings of 5-20 percent.
This initiative is especially beneficial for those unable to install rooftop solar due to financial constraints, shaded roofs, or rental living situations. Notably, low-income communities stand to gain from federal tax credits and grants available for community solar projects in qualifying areas.
Indiana has faced reluctance from utilities to connect independent community solar projects to their grids. HB 1193 aims to change that by mandating electric utilities allow the interconnection of community solar facilities and credit subscribers for solar electricity produced. The bill also calls for the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to establish rules for an efficient, fair, and transparent rollout.
The first crucial step to this effort is ensuring HB 1193 receives a hearing. As of Jan. 15, the bill has not been scheduled, making it imperative to advocate for its consideration. Voice your support for this crucial community solar bill by signing our petition here.
More Bills on the Horizon
Beyond community solar, Faith in Place is closely monitoring several other bills related to climate change, environmental health, wetland protection, and phasing out coal:
HB 1172 establishes a committee to study the impact of climate change in Indiana.
HB 1085 addresses PFAS water safety standards by requiring the Indiana Department of Health to establish state maximum contaminant levels for PFAS, also known as “Forever Chemicals,” in public water systems.
HB 1229 centers on lead testing in schools, requiring inspections by local health departments when a child is discovered with elevated blood levels. Additionally, it mandates the support of lead abatement by identifying applicable grants and resources for property owners.
HB 1382 addresses the retirement of electric generating units, potentially slowing down the phase-out of coal-fired power plants. Similar bills have done so in other states, so it’s imperative that we keep this bill from progressing.
Stay tuned for updates on these bills as they progress through the legislative process, and be sure to sign up for Faith in Place Action Alerts to stay informed and engage in timely advocacy.
Indiana's future is in motion, and your involvement can make a significant impact!
For more information about these bills or Indiana's legislative process, please contact our Indiana Policy Coordinator, Christine Glaser, at email@example.com.