Category Archives: Campaign for Hoosier Families

C4HF Minimum Wage Survey Results

Members of our own community weigh in with their opinions

In a previous newsletter, we offered our readers a chance to voice their opinions on the issue of minimum wage and how it impacts them personally in our community.  We appreciate all of our respondents taking the time to share their thoughts, and for giving us a cross section of where people stand on the matter locally. We discuss in this article some trends in responses when parsing the results.

A robust 95% of respondents believe that the current minimum age is not enough income to maintain a stable living.  As discussed in previous articles, the math checks out in support of this result as well.  The current minimum wage in Indiana has not kept up with inflation and increases in costs which have occurred since the last increase in 2009. This result appears to correlate with real-life experiences.  94% of respondents reported having worked a minimum wage job during their lifetime and almost the same number of respondents (90%) of respondents supported raising the minimum wage in Indiana.

We also asked respondents how an increase of $1 to their hourly wage would make an impact for them.  Some respondents conceded that this would make only a small difference, but many were adamant that that even a $1 increase would provide significant help in keeping up with bills, their ability to save, and reduce overall financial stress in their day-to-day lives.  Those who did support an increase were asked what the state minimum wage should be,  and most respondents favored increasing the minimum wage to a rate between  $10.00-$11.00 an hour.   This result falls reasonably in line with most of the legislation which has been proposed in this year’s General Assembly session.

A majority of responses also indicated that an increase would have a positive impact on the local economy, allowing more people to have more spending power which would support local businesses.  While the majority of respondents favored a increase in the minimum wage, some respondents believed that an increase would have a detrimental impact by raising prices on various goods and services and therefore negatively affect employment rates.  Recent studies indicate that this has not been the trend in locales where there has been significant increases in the minimum wage.

Overall, our survey results sheds light on strong support for an increase in the state minimum wage within the Lafayette community where Campaign for Hoosier Families is based.  Legislation currently introduced in the General Assembly needs our continued support to move forward. Remember to visit iga.in.gov for contact information to reach out to committee chairs and legislators who have the power to move these bills forward and make sure they are aware of your support of this issue.  Please also continue to submit your responses to our survey, the link to which can be found in this issue, and let us know where you stand.  And, as always, keep an eye on the Campaign’s Legislation Tracker, included in each issue going forward, to stay up to date on the status of not only these bills but all legislation related to topics covered in our newsletter.

by Rob Krasa, LUM Intern


1 U.S. News, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2018-09-07/minimum-wage-increases-didnt-impact-jobs-in-6-us-cities-study-shows

2 The Effect of Minimum Wages on the Total Number of Jobs: Evidence from the United States Using a Bunching Estimator, https://www.sole-jole.org/17722.pdf


C4HFMinimum Wage Survey

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Increasing minimum wage has been an ongoing issue in the State of Indiana. The majority of Indiana residents have stated that they believe our minimum wage is not enough and needs to be increased. The Campaign for Hoosier Families is interested in your opinion regarding the status of minimum wage in Indiana. We seek this information to guide our efforts in regards to the upcoming Indiana General Assembly Session. The Campaign for Hoosier Families strives to best represent those for whom it advocates and would greatly appreciate your input. Please complete this survey by clicking here.

by Angela Weaver, Intern for the Campaign for Hoosier Families

Redistricting Reform – The Latest News

Gerrymandering in Indiana

A redistricting standards bill authored by Senator Greg WalkerSenator Randall HeadSenator Mike Bohacek (Senate Bill 105) , and co-authored by Senator John Ruckelshaus, passed through the Elections Committee on February 4 in a 5-2 vote, meaning it now will move to the Senate floor for consideration. In its current state, the bill would require legislative action at the state and federal levels to ensure that minority voices are represented and at the same time minimize divisions in areas which are likely to share common interests, including neighborhoods and school districts. Deviations from these standards would be required to be disclosed. While Senate Bill 105 establishes redistricting standards which is a good start, it does not specify how the commission is to be comprised. As the Indiana Institute apply points out, “Who is drawing the district maps is just as important as the standards by which the maps are drawn.”  The Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting All in 4 Democracy which Campaign for Hoosier Families is a member, would prefer Senate Bill 91 and House bill 1011 (Senate and House companion) as vehicles for Redistricting Reform since they call for an independent commission to be appointed by the legislative leadership.

by Eli Heindricks, Purdue Political Science student

IN General Assembly TANF Reform Bill – 2019

Learn More & Help Make A Change

Several state senators have authored a bill which seeks to begin much-needed reform to the TANF program. As highlighted in our previous newsletter, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families provides much-needed temporary financial assistance benefits for families as well as individuals which find themselves in dire financial situations. It is intended to ensure some sense of stability for those in such situations, but as we discussed, has been in need of reform for quite some time.

Senate Bill 440 aims to expand the eligibility requirements for receiving such benefits – based on the family’s income in relation to the federal poverty level. The bill would gradually increase the maximum allowable income to qualify for benefits under TANF up to 50% of the federal poverty level by July of 2021. The new threshold would be an increase of 17% providing access to benefits for many more Hoosiers in need. In addition, the bill aims to increase the payments made under the TANF program for most qualifying individuals and families, and would require these benefit amounts to continue to be monitored and adjusted according to increases in the Social Security cost of living adjustment. New payments would range from $248 monthly for most qualifying individuals and $409 monthly for families.

While the new payment amounts are not nearly enough to provide stability for qualifying people on their own, this is an encouraging move in response to awareness efforts by advocates such as yourselves to make the need for reform known. Expanding eligibility requirements is also a positive move forward for reforming this program and addressing the needs of those most impacted. To track the progress of this bill, as well as all bills moving forward in the 2019 session related to topics covered in the Campaign for Hoosier Families newsletter, see our Legislation Tracker (click HERE).

by Rob Krasa, LUM intern

Solving Food Deserts: One Bill at a Time

Families Need Healthy Food Locally

House Bill 1143 (http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/bills/house/1143#digest-heading), authored byRepresentative Robin Shackleford and co-authored by Representative Steven Davisson, Edward Clere, and Vanessa Summers seeks to combat the prevalence of food deserts in the state, establishing both a healthy food financing fund and a healthy food financing program under the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). The new fund will act to provide financing, in the form of loans and grants, for projects that will help increase the availability of fresh food in underserved communities. This is an important step in ensuring the health of Hoosiers across Indiana.

The bill has not moved since it was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means in the Indiana House of Representatives on January 7th. While the bill has yet to be heard by committee, its presence in the state’s legislative agenda illustrates legislators is encouraging since it signals that legislators are aware of food security problems within the state.  This map of Indianapolis illustrates the prevalence of food deserts,indicated by purple block groups, in Indianapolis. This map is courtesy of Savi, one of the nation’s first and largest community information systems.

by Eli Heindricks, Purdue Political Science student

Highlighted Legislator – Carey Hamilton

Indiana State Representative Carey Hamilton

Representative Carey Hamilton recently authored House Bill 1098, a bill to cap the interest rates on payday loans. The cap on payday loans interest rates will make it so families are able to pay off the loans without having to worry about astronomical interest rates. (See the article above titled “Targeting Low Income Families & Children” for more information about the threat posed by the predatory lenders and Representative Hamilton’s bill.)

State Representative Carey Hamilton has done tremendous things during her time in office. Representative Carey Hamilton currently serves as the Democratic whip in the Indiana House of Representatives and represents Indiana House District 87 in Northeast Indiana. Representative Hamilton serves as the ranking minority member of the Financial Institutions Committee as well as serving on the Environmental Affairs and Ways and Means Committees.

Representative Hamilton has quite the impressive background before she was even elected into the Indiana House of Representatives in 2016. For nine years, Representative Hamilton served as the executive director of the Indiana Recycling Coalition. Furthermore, she worked as a nonprofit executive for over 20 years.

On behalf of the Campaign for Hoosier Families, we would like to thank Representative Hamilton for all she has done to push back against unscrupulous payday lenders. We will continue to follow and support House Bill 1098.

by Angela Weaver, Klinker-Alting Family Advocacy intern

Cap Payday Lending Interest Rates

Targeting Low Income Families & Children

The fight to cap the interest rates charged by payday loans is all the talk around the Indiana State Capitol. The Indiana Coalition for Human Services of which LUM is a member has been has been fighting vigorously for this cap. The cap has gained a lot of traction and attention by advocates such as yourselves spreading the hashtag “#36IsTheFix.” Many of the payday lenders that market themselves to low income families charge anywhere from 390% – 790%. Given the severe economic harm to the most vulnerable in our state, it is vital that interest rates be capped at 36%. Since the last newsletter, Senator Breaux, Senator Stoops, and Senator Ruckelshaus have been added as co authors on Senate Bill 104. Senate Bill 84 has been referred to the Insurance and Financial Institutions committee. House Bill 1098 has been referred to the Financial Institutions committee, as well. On behalf of the Campaign for Hoosier Families, we would like to thank Representative Carey Hamilton, Senator Eddie Melton, Senator Greg Walker, and Senator Mark Messmer for authoring these bills. We would encourage them to send them a note thanking them as well. Their names and email addresses are listed below:

If you have ever been personally affected by payday loans, please share your story below to help the Indiana Institute for Working Families increase awareness on this predatory lending. If you would like to show your support for these bills, please contact your legislators today.

To share your story, click HERE.

by Angela Weaver, Klinker-Alting Family Advocacy intern

Redistricting Reform – The Latest News

Gerrymandering in Indiana

A redistricting standards bill authored by Senator Greg WalkerSenator Randall HeadSenator Mike Bohacek (Senate Bill 105) , and co-authored by Senator John Ruckelshaus, passed through the Elections Committee on February 4 in a 5-2 vote, meaning it now will move to the Senate floor for consideration. In its current state, the bill would require legislative action at the state and federal levels to ensure that minority voices are represented and at the same time minimize divisions in areas which are likely to share common interests, including neighborhoods and school districts. Deviations from these standards would be required to be disclosed. While Senate Bill 105 establishes redistricting standards which is a good start, it does not specify how the commission is to be comprised. As the Indiana Institute apply points out, “Who is drawing the district maps is just as important as the standards by which the maps are drawn.”  The Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting All in 4 Democracy which Campaign for Hoosier Families is a member, would prefer Senate Bill 91 and House bill 1011 (Senate and House companion) as vehicles for Redistricting Reform since they call for an independent commission to be appointed by the legislative leadership.

by Eli Heindricks, Purdue Political Science student

Check Out the “Legislation Tracker”

Dear Advocates –

To make it easier for you to know the status of bills that we are following, our team has created the “Legislation Tracker.” To view, click HERE or the image to the right. This document includes the bill number, the author(s), the content and the current status. It will be updated regularly; so, keep the link below handy.

Thank you for your willingness to be an advocate for Hoosier families and children.
All the best,

Rev. Susan Brouillette, Director
Campaign for Hoosier Families 

IN General Assembly Minimum Wage Bills – 2019

Stay Informed About Income Inequality

In editions of our newsletter leading up to the start of the 2019 Session of the Indiana General Assembly, we made a call for change highlighting the impact of income inequality in our state and community as well as the current status of the minimum wage in Indiana. It has become apparent that many members of the Indiana State House and Senate have recognized that need as well, as a total of four bills related to the issue have been authored and introduced into the Assembly in this session to date. We are pleased that members of the legislature recognize the positive impact an increased minimum wage would have on Hoosiers. For those who have advocated for a change, it is encouraging. As voters and members of the communities that would be affected by these changes should one of these bills be passed into law, it is important to stay informed and in the know as far as what each of these bills specifically would mean for the future of minimum wage in Indiana. The Indiana General Assembly operates a user-friendly website where you can track these and other bills, but learn about the various committees, and review the up to date Indiana Code. And all of this is available including the ability to watch live streams of legislative sessions and more — by going to this link: iga.in.gov. In this article we’ll take a brief overview of each minimum wage bill currently active in the General Assembly and examine the similarities and differences of each.

The first of three bills introduced into the Senate, SB 214, was authored by Sen. Karen Tallian (D, Dist. 4) and added Sen Mark Stoops (D, Dist. 40) as a co-author on January 31st.  This bill calls for a one-time increase of the state minimum wage to $11.12 per hour starting on July 1, 2019. This increase would impact tipped employees just the same – as the law stands now, employers of tipped workers are allowed to utilize a tip credit, meaning that if workers make at least the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour when factoring in tips with their base wage, these employers are allowed to pay a minimum wage of $2.13 per hour instead.  If tips do not get the employee up to $7.25 per hour, the employer must pay the difference. If this bill were passed, the tip credit would be eliminated and would mandate the $11.12 minimum across the board.

The other two Senate bills were authored by Sen. Frank Mrvan (D, Dist. 1) and aim to propose two different paths to the same end.  SB 262 also calls for a one-time increase to the minimum, but proposes a jump to $15.00 per hour starting July 1, 2020.  This bill would retain the tip credit as described above, which would reduce the perceived impact of the significantly larger increase on employers of tipped employees.  The bill goes on to propose that each year thereafter, starting on July 1, 2021, the minimum wage would change by a percentage equal to the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the preceding year.  The CPI is a measurement taken by the U.S. Department of Labor of the average change in prices paid by consumers for an assortment of needed goods and services over a given time.  In other words, this bill would propose that the minimum wage in Indiana continue to be altered over time based on how much we actually must pay for the things we need to support ourselves and our household, rather than setting a fixed minimum amount which does not keep up with inflation, price increases, and the like over the course of years.

On the other hand, SB 355 would enact a stepwise, incremental approach to reaching the same goal of $15.00 per hour.  This bill proposes a series of smaller increases over time – $10.00 per hour effective July 1, 2020, $13.00 per hour effective July 1, 2021, and $15.00 per hour effective July 1, 2022 – rather than a single large jump.  Much like in the other bill Sen. Mrvan authored, this bill also retains the tip credit for tipped employee wages, and would also be subject to review and change based on the CPI each year starting in 2023.

The State House of Representatives also find themselves with a bill to review and debate.  HB 1081 was authored by Rep. Karlee Macer (D, Dist. 92), co-authored by Rep. Chris Campbell (D, Dist. 26), and shares some similarities with each of the Senate bills.  This bill aims to ultimately raise the minimum wage across the board to $12.00 per hour by January 1, 2023. However, there would be some differences to the means by which this would occur for tipped and non-tipped employees.  Non-tipped employees would see increases to $8.20 per hour on September 1, 2019, $9.15 per hour on January 1, 2020, $10.10 per hour on January 1, 2021, $11.05 per hour on January 1, 2022, and $12.00 per hour on January 1, 2023.  This non-tipped wage of $12.00 per hour would then be subject to change based on the CPI as well starting on January 1, 2024. Tipped employees, on the other hand, would see their minimum wage increase to $4.00 per hour on September 1, 2019, $6.00 per hour on January 1, 2020, $8.00 per hour on January 1, 2021, $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2022, and finally $12.00 per hour on January 1, 2023.  These increases would retain the tip credit currently in place, but would not be subject to the CPI-based increases that non-tipped employees would experience.

Regardless of the details and differences in these bills, it is clear that legislators are working to respond to the issues of income inequality that our current minimum wage contributes to, and are calling for change.  However, these bills remain stuck in committee and without enough backing they may never even make it to the floor for a vote. It remains important as always to make your voice heard and let your legislators know that you support (or disagree with) their efforts.  Let the committee chairs know your opinion and urge them to expedite these bills to promote real action: contact House Committee for Employment, Labor and Pensions Chair Rep. Heath VanNatter and Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor Chair Sen. Philip Boots to voice your concern.  To find contact information for these legislators, learn who represents you and your community in the Indiana General Assembly, and to reach out to them in regards to your support of these or any other bills, visit http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/


  1. http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/bills/senate/214
  2. http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/bills/senate/262
  3. https://www.bls.gov/cpi/
  4. http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/bills/senate/355
  5. http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/bills/house/1081

Meet the LUM Interns – Spring 2019


Evie Griffin 

Evie is a naturalized US citizen from Estonia, grew up in Marion County and now lives in Cutler, Indiana with her husband, Timothy, and their 20-month old son. After high school, Evie enlisted in the US Marine Corp and served for five years in various locations including southeast Asia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from IUPUI and is currently enrolled in the Master of Social Work program at the Indiana University School of Social Work (Indianapolis).

At LUM, Evie is working as an intern with the LUM Tax Assistance Program.


Robert Krasa 

Rob is from Toledo, Ohio and now lives in Lafayette with his wife, Jessie, who also grew up in Toledo. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Toledo and and is currently enrolled in the Master of Social Work program at the Indiana University School of Social Work (Indianapolis). Rob also worked for nine years in community mental health counseling and group program development.

At LUM, Rob is an intern with the Campaign for Hoosier Families and the LUM Dream Team Fund.


John Schumann 

John is from Lafayette and now lives in West Lafayette with his wife, Karen. They have four grown children. He earned a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Purdue University and is currently enrolled in the Master of Social Work program at the Indiana University School of Social Work (Indianapolis). John is also the owner of Schumann Custom Building & Landscaping.
At LUM, John is an intern with the LUM Emergency Shelter and Winter Warming Station.


Angela Weaver

Angela grew up in Wheatfield, Indiana and now lives in West Lafayette with her husband, Kyle, and their beagle, Bailey. Angela & Kyle grew up together and are both students at Purdue University. She will complete her degree in three years this May with a bachelor’s in Law & Society.

At LUM, Angela is the LUM Klinker-Alting Family Advocacy Intern working with the Campaign for Hoosier Families.