Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has detailed the city’s legislative priorities for the upcoming 2023 session of the Indiana General Assembly. Hogsett says the city’s priorities will center around several key areas, including infrastructure, housing, public safety, and public health.
Earlier this month, the Indy Chamber also released its 2023 legislative agenda, featuring similar goals. The chamber’s agenda includes five focus areas: Funding Indiana’s Roads, Investing in Hoosier Health, Bridging the Talent Opportunity Gap, Outperforming on Economic Development, and Advancing the Vitality of Downtown.
“As the Indiana General Assembly begins another important budget session, we intend to advocate for the interests of Indianapolis residents and collaborate with legislators to improve quality of life in our state’s economic engine,” said Hogsett. “I look forward to continued conversations with our partners at the other end of Market Street on these critical issues.”
Funding needs, which includes inequities in current state funding, as well as options for state-local partnership in updating aging infrastructure, are among the city’s main infrastructure-related priorities.
The city says it will advocate to (1) adjust the funding formula around the full population of the city, as opposed to the fire service territory; (2) re-structure the criteria for the Community Crossings grant program to better scale with the infrastructure needs of more populous counties; and (3) refinance older bonds to invest debt service into local road funding.
The city will request additional support for housing, which will include “legislation to prevent displacement of longtime homeowners living in neighborhoods undergoing rapid changes in assessed value (and therefore property taxes).” The city also plans to ask for new resources to address the findings of the state Housing Task Force, as well as additional funding for anti-displacement initiatives.
The city is requesting to restore its ability to enforce local regulations around tenant-landlord relationships, including the Tenant Bill of Rights. Additionally, the city says it is also requesting statewide funding to support the findings of the state Low-Barrier Shelter Task Force, including resources for master leasing of apartment units, supportive services, and shelter operations.
The city is requesting state action to address 3D-printed converters, which transform a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic weapon. In addition, the city says it will support additional measures to reduce access to firearms for young people, those with mental health issues, and convicted felons.
The city says it will focus on support for local entities to prepare for the next public health crisis, as well as resources for individuals suffering from addiction and lack of access to food. The city will request funding for additional resources to improve food access, encourage healthy foods, and reduce food deserts.