The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus’ agenda for the 2017 session is nearly as much about bills they want to halt as measures they hope to pass.
The caucus’ agenda includes bias crimes legislation, a measure to ban private prisons, a healthy food initiative and a bill to improve student discipline and behavior.
And while Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) acknowledges the difficulty in getting many of those bills passed, he says the caucus constantly seeks common ground.
“We may not get a whole loaf of bread. But I think, at this point, if we get a half a loaf, that’s a step in a positive direction,” Porter says.
The caucus’ agenda also includes so-called “bills of concern,” including measures on selecting Marion County judges and a bill that would force Lake County – and Lake County alone – to consolidate its smaller voting precincts. Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary) says it’s wrong to target a single county.
“That will be our endeavor – if not to derail the legislation totally – to make it a statewide application,” Brown says.
Brown says the measure would also disproportionately affect areas of Lake County with higher minority populations.