From our lobbyist's desk:
The 2020 Indiana General Assembly is heading into the final stretch. Although state law requires the legislative session to end no later than Saturday, March 14, legislators are expected to wrap up their work and head back to their districts by March 11.
This week will see a flurry of activity at the Statehouse. Monday (March 2) was the final day for floor amendments, and Tuesday is the last day for bills to pass from the second chamber. After that, House-Senate conference committees will get underway, as legislators work to reconcile differing versions of the same bill passed by the House and the Senate.
Because 2020 is not a budget year, state lawmakers have steered clear this session of proposals that require state funding. Instead, much of the activity has focused on proposals aimed at increasing transparency in health care pricing and protecting patients from unexpected medical bills. With the end of session fast approaching, however, lawmakers and stakeholders remain deeply divided on the details.
Lawmakers are also split on two recent proposals that take aim at efforts in Indianapolis to increase access to mass transit and provide protections to renters. HB 1279, a bill addressing transportation planning in northwest Indiana, was amended on the floor by Sen. Aaron Freeman with language to enforce a provision in the Central Indiana mass transportation law that requires IndyGo to establish a nonprofit to raise matching funds for the expansion. Under the amendment, 10% of the local income tax for public transit would be withheld from IndyGo starting on July 1, 2020 unless at least 10% of the annual operating expenses are paid from sources other than taxes and fares. The loss in funding would severely limit IndyGo’s plans for the blue and purple lines and related infrastructure improvements.
Under an amendment to a different bill, local ordinances providing protections to renters would be pre-empted by a new, less strict state law pushed by the Indiana Apartment Association. At this point, it’s unclear whether either amendment will make it through to final passage.
Although unexpected amendments can crop in conference committee reports, it appears that the 2020 General Assembly will adjourn without taking any action on redistricting reform, civil rights, or protections for immigrants. Further, a bipartisan bill that would have established a program to incentivize investment in affordable and workforce housing projects died without a hearing in the second chamber. However, because SB 123 passed the Senate earlier this session, its provisions are eligible for inclusion in a conference committee report on a related bill.
To view a brief summary of the bills that have been on IMAN Associates' radar this session, please check out the website. With the exception of SB 123, all of the bills died without a hearing in the first chamber.
Inflamed rhetoric calls for action
On the heels of the Islamophobic rhetoric that surfaced on the facebook page of Kokomo City Councilor, IMAN Associates Executive Director, Hiba Alami, joined a meeting that brought together the Islamic Association of Kokomo (IAK) leadership with Kokomo Mayor Tylor Moore on February 25, 2020 at the IAK.
The meeting focused on exploring different initiatives that IMAN Associates could foster to help building bridges between the Kokomo Muslim community and elected officials. Such initiatives will help provide visibility for Kokomo Muslims in the local political arena, denounce misconceptions about Islam and strengthen the political engagement of the Kokomo Muslim community.
IMAN Associates renews its commitment to serve as the liaison between the Indiana Muslim community and elected officials to bring positive political changes to the state of Indiana.
Are you interested to serve as a State Delegate?
IMAN Associates strives to amplify the political voice of Muslim Hoosiers. One way to bring that voice to the table is to have Muslims from different counties serve as delegates to the Indiana Democratic party as well as the Indiana Republican Party.
This is a temporary position and duties of delegates end on the day of the State Convention. Do you see yourself as 2020 State Delegate?
Here are some information about the role and responsibilities of a delegate:
1. State delegates are either elected on the May 5, 2020 primary ballot or by appointment after the primary by the county chair (if vacancies exist).
2. During the 2020 State Conventions, state delegates will elect statewide candidates (such as Attorney General), pass the party’s platform, and elect the delegates to the party’s National Convention.
3. After you get elected or appointed as a state delegate, National Convention Delegates will most likely contact you to meet or talk over the phone to garner your support.
There are two requirements to consider before applying:
1. You must demonstrate your affiliation to that party (voted in a primary for a Republican/ Democrat or registered as a Republican/Democrat).
2. You must attend the State Conventions for the party you are filing for:
- Democratic Convention on June 13 in Indianapolis downtown.
- Republican Convention on June 6-7 in Fort Wayne.
Although the filing deadline was on February 7, 2020, some counties still have vacancies and County Chairs are appointing people on a first come, first-serve basis. If you are interested in serving as a state delegate, please complete this form and we will be in touch with you.
Have questions? email us here.
Past Events: Fundraiser for Dr. Fady Qaddoura
On February 15, 2020, Supporting Friends of Fady held a fundraiser for Dr. Fady Qaddoura to benefit his political campaign. Vying to represent Senate District 30, Dr. Fady Qaddoura has been officially nominated by the Democratic Party as the party's nominee for the Indiana State Senate in the 2020 election. When elected, he will be the first Muslim American Senator to serve in Indiana's 200 year history!
Attendees had the opportunity to meet and greet Dr. Qaddoura and learn about his political priorities. They also had the chance to check their registration and/or register to vote at the voter registration table provided by IMAN Associates. The event was well-received, and surely propelled the attendees for a hot election year.
Supporting Friends of Fady is a PAC formed by IMAN Associates to raise funds to help elect Dr. Qaddoura to the Indiana State Senate. To learn more about the PAC and Dr. Qaddoura's campaign, please visit the PAC webpage.
Interested to host a fundraiser for Dr. Qaddoura? Email us here.
Excited to take part in this historic candidacy? Donate to the campaign!
Check our newsletters for the latest updates at the Indiana Statehouse and upcoming events in the Muslim community.