Jan 16, 2024 - News

State lawmakers are going after Indy this session

Illustration of the Indiana state flag and the Indianapolis city flag with "vs" in between them.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Dozens of bills will start moving through the Indiana Statehouse this week, including several that aim to exert more control over the city of Indianapolis.

Driving the news: Bills to derail IndyGo's bus rapid transit plans, repeal a new downtown fee and interfere with its supplier diversity program are scheduled for legislative committee hearings.

Why it matters: The success of any of these measures could impact major city goals and projects.

Be smart: A committee hearing is just the first step in the legislative process, but it's often a sign that leadership either supports the bill or wants to vet the issue.

  • A bill could fail — or be amended — at many later points before becoming a law.

State of play: It's become something of a tradition for lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Statehouse to meddle in the affairs of Indiana's Democratic-led capital city. This year is no different:

🤑 House Bill 1199 is scheduled for a hearing at 1:30pm Wednesday.

  • It would repeal a provision of last year's state budget bill that allows Indianapolis to impose a fee on downtown properties to fund increased public safety, operation of a new low-barrier shelter and other services.

🚍 Senate Bill 52 is set for 9am Thursday.

🏗️ Senate Bill 133's hearing is scheduled at 9:30am Thursday.

  • The bill from Sen. Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne), which would require local governments to use state standards for certifying minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses, is being opposed by Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis).
  • Taylor says it targets Indy by requiring it to adopt less stringent standards and undermines efforts to increase supplier diversity in city contracts.
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