May 10, 2021

Council Allocates Money For Community Justice Campus And Legal Assistance For Immigrants

Jill Sheridan/WFYI

Jill Sheridan/WFYI

Indianapolis City-County Councilors put money behind two issues of high interest to the public.

The council approved an additional $46 million for the Community Justice Campus that is under construction.  The campus is part of a local move to address crime justice in a more holistic way. 

The council also approved a measure to pilot a new $100 thousand dollar legal protection fund for immigrants.

In a statement sent to WFYI before the meeting, the Immigrant Welcome Center said it believes this support is essential, "These community members also face difficulties accessing legal services because of their language and cultural barriers. They may also have legal issues that are different than other legal service clients."

Republican council members pushed back on that vote to allocate money for the assistance. District 18 Councilor Michael Paul Hart said that money should be used for other services.

“From fixing streets and potholes, to addressing public safety to addressing mental health,” Hart said.

Democrat Councillor Jessica McCormick spoke in favor of the financial support.

“Our immigrant members of our community are residents of our community,” McCormick said.

The council also voted to uphold public health orders made before an override of Governor Holcomb’s veto restricting local health departments from issuing public rules in health emergencies.

Marion County Public Health Director Virginia Caine requested the ratification of the county's existing public health orders.

“So that we can keep our residents safe and our city on track,” Caine said.

The Council had a full docket Monday, and other measures included a smoking ban in public Indianapolis parks, which passed along party lines.

The meeting started with special resolutions to remember the victims of the mass shooting at a FedEx facility last month. It also recognized the work of those who provided food assistance during the pandemic.

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