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2024 Indiana legislative bills that affect minorities

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The 2024 Indiana legislative session kicked off with nearly 130 bills introduced. Several bills would directly and indirectly affect Black and minority Hoosiers.

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus’ (IBLC) 2024 legislative agenda is focused on fair housing. Throughout this year’s legislative session, members of the IBLC will prioritize making housing in Indiana more accessible, affordable and equitable.

State Rep. Earl Harris Jr.’s (D-East Chicago) key piece of legislation for the housing agenda is House Bill 1176. This would establish a housing down payment assistance fund to help more Hoosier families afford a home.

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“The ability to have a house to call your own is an integral part of the American Dream. Homeownership is a steppingstone that allows an individual and their families to plant their roots and build their lives,” said Harris.

“Owning a home is about far more than having a roof over your head; it’s about giving Hoosiers a sense of security and the ability to save up for upcoming milestones, like sending their kid to college or heading into retirement.”

2024 Indiana legislative bills

House Bill 1112, authored by State Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis), is a revival of her previous bill to ban biases in home appraisals.

House Bill 1128, authored by State Rep. Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis), would prohibit foreclosure of a family or individual’s home due to a medical debt.

Senate Bill 243, authored by Sen. Andrea Hunley (D- Indianapolis), enhances tenant protections by requiring landlords to deliver written notice of intent to sell a property. It also requires the buyer of a rental property to honor the written lease between the previous owner and their tenants.

The Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network is focused on its concerns regarding HB 1002, which defines “antisemitism.”

It specifies that the state’s public policy is to provide educational opportunities free of religious discrimination. Also, that antisemitism is discrimination based on religion. The Network is voicing its concerns around this affecting freedom of speech.

Indiana University Bloomington and University of Indianapolis students have said they received pushback because of their support of Palestine.

More bills affecting minorities to look out for

Lindsay Littrell, adjunct faculty member at Indiana University, testified in opposition of the bill, saying it shuts down discourse.

“In order to have a state where all people are safe and well, we must have these conversations. We must be able to name harm, no matter where it comes from. House Bill 1002 does not do that for us,” said Littrell during initial testimony on the bill.

Other unique bills include a push to ban hair-based discrimination (SB 94). Written by Sen. Fady Qaddoura (D-30th District), it would prohibit discrimination based on traits like hair texture and protective hairstyles that have been historically associated with race.

Another bill would make Juneteenth a state holiday (SB 42).

There were also four different gun control bills introduced: SB 24 would increase the minimum age to carry a gun from 18 to 21; SB 26 would prohibit firearms at all polling places; SB 95 would allow cities to create their own gun control policies; SB 66 would outright ban dealers from selling semiautomatic assault weapons. 

To view all bills for 2024’s legislative session click HERE.

Contact staff writer Jade Jackson at (317) 762-7853 or by email JadeJ@IndyRecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @IAMJADEJACKSON. 

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