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Indiana Black Legislative Caucus Holds First Town Hall Meetings

Jill Sheridan/WFYI

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus held its first in a series of virtual town hall meetings Thursday night.  

The meeting highlighted wins and losses for the IBLC this past legislative session. The caucus discussed bills related to criminal justice, economic issues, education and health.  Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) said an early win was police reform.

“For the first time in Indiana there is going to be a curriculum and require deescalation training as part of ongoing training for law enforcement officers,” Taylor said.

The group also highlighted a number of public health bills that passed in light of the pandemic.  Sen. Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) said expansion of telehealth stands out.

“Beyond just the pandemic,” Breaux said, “it makes it now a common practice as part of the health care routine.”

There is also a new grant program to address health disparity and moves to decriminalize HIV.

State Rep. Renee Pack (D-Indianapolis) highlighted a bill that passed and will provide support for service members who have been discharged.

“Who gets discharged the most, it’s disproportionately soldiers, active duty members of color,” Pack said. “So we need to look a little closer and give our brothers and sisters, our veterans that help they need, that one time.”

Lawmakers pointed out legislation that did not pass including moves to ban on racial profiling and no-knock warrants.

The group also responded to community questions about the interaction with some Republican lawmakers who booed some IBLC membersthis year and if any marijuana legislation had moved.

Two more virtual town hallsare planned in the coming months. The next is Aug. 12 and the third will be Oct. 14.