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Indiana lawmaker awarded Legislator of the Year

House District 94 Representative Cherrish Pryor was awarded Legislator of the Year by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators Nov. 30

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At the 47th annual National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) Conference in Tennessee, Representative Cherrish Pryor was awarded Legislator of the Year.

The award is given to legislators across the country for demonstrating extraordinary leadership. This, along commitment to the advancement of NBCSL’s legislative agenda. 

“Throughout my years of public service, I have remained steadfast in my determination to improve the quality of life for Black Hoosiers, passing policies that help the Black community help all communities across Indiana,” said Pryor.

RELATED: State Rep. Cherrish Pryor to hold town hall

Pryor received her award alongside Representative Vivian Flowers (Arkansas), Representative Toni Rose (Texas), Representative Harold M. Love Jr. (Tennessee), Senator Raumesh Akbari (Tennessee), Senator Gerald Neal (Kentucky) and Senator Pat Spearman (Nevada).

Legislator of the Year

“This award is given annually to recognize the outstanding legislative achievements and contributions made by a current member of NBCSL,” said a representative with NBCSL to the Indianapolis Recorder.

“Renamed the Thomas S. Boyland Legislator of the Year Award in 1983 in memory of the later New York Assemblyman, the award is given to a legislator who has exhibited extraordinary leadership and dedication to the advancement of NBCSL’s legislative agenda.”

Indiana State Rep. Earl Harris Jr. (D-East Chicago) is also the Chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus.

Since Pryor was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 2008, he said she demonstrated dedication to her constituents. This dedication extends all Hoosiers through her legislation. It is because of her willingness to reach across the aisle to get things done.

“From improving public health outcomes to lowering housing costs, Rep. Pryor has consistently worked to address the kitchen table issues that affect all Hoosiers throughout the state,” said Harris.

“This honor from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators reflects her years of hard work and dedication to making Indiana a better place to live, work and raise a family. We in the IBLC are honored to work with her and so proud of her for this significant recognition,” said Harris.

Pryor also co-sponsored Senate Enrolled Act 46 that allows for the creation of Neighborhood Enhancement Districts (NED). This provides a circuit breaker tax credit on homesteads for Hoosier families.

She said establishing NEDs is a critical step in the fight against gentrification. This comes as dramatic increases in assessed home values may force families out of their long-term home.

Indiana lawmaker

Providing tax relief to low-income communities allows Hoosiers of all races to stay in their homes. More particularly Black Hoosiers as they are disproportionately impacted by this issue. 

Pryor also testified on behalf of her constituent against AES Indiana’s proposal to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC). They wanted to increase consumer rates by 13%, or $17 a month. Additionally, she sent a letter to the chairman of the IURC urging him to deny the outrageous request.

After months of outcry from consumer advocates, community leaders, and residents, the utility company agreed to a 7.3% increase.

This will be approximately $9.52 a month for the average energy user.

“Thank you to everyone who spoke out against this injustice. Whether you were at the field hearing or submitted public comment, it is public participation like this that pressured AES Indiana to reduce their request. It is time for utility companies like AES to learn that enough is enough,” said Pryor.

This current settlement is pending approval by the IURC. Rep. Pryor she said she was still hoping to see an even larger reduction.

Pryor emphasized that she is committed to continuing to fight for Hoosiers in 2024 and beyond.

“While I am proud of this recognition, I prepare to head into the legislative session in January with an even stronger resolve to fight for the wellbeing, representation and social advancement of Black Hoosiers,” said Pryor.

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

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