Tag Archives: campaign for hoosier families

Kathryn & Patti – The LUM Public Policy Team


Campaign for Hoosier FamiliesA strong, public voice for Hoosier families and children in need


LUM Legislative & Social Justice Updates


The Campaign for Hoosier Families engages local, state, and federal officials on behalf of low income families and children. Since LUM was incorporated in 1972, “advocacy” has been a part of the mission. As a part of the Campaign for Hoosier Families, Kathryn Williams is the new LUM Public Policy Advocate.

Kathy Williams graduated from Northeastern University School of Law and was admitted to practice law in both Indiana and Massachusetts. She is a registered lobbyist with the State of Indiana and has represented clients in civil cases through the Indiana Legal Services Organization in matters including family issues, housing, government benefits, and constitutional rights. Kathy is a long-term public policy advocate at the Indiana General Assembly, representing many different organizations that provide human services and/or advocate for social justice, which now includes LUM. Kathy is currently monitoring key legislation at the Indiana Statehouse.

Patti O’Callaghan, who serves as the LUM Volunteer Legislative Liaison, submitted testimony on Indiana bills related to the following:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • Earned Income Tax Credit – supporting an increase in the state EIC. LUM was instrumental in getting this established, and it inspired the LUM Tax Assistance Program.
  • Township Homeless Assistance and Preventing Homelessness that occurs due to eliminating local control of rental properties

On the Federal level, LUM supports:

  • COVID-19 Relief for Hoosiers who are hungry, unemployed or at risk of eviction
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance
  • Minimum Wage increase to $15 per hour

LUM is thrilled to have the experience of Kathy & Patti advocating for Hoosier families. They are well-respected and are the best at representing LUM where the decisions are being made at the State Capitol and beyond.


FIND YOUR Your State Legislators

Follow this link to find out: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/. Every phone call and email makes a difference as we work to protect the interests of Hoosier Families!


To find out more information about bills that are being watched by the Campaign for Hoosier Families go to www.lumserve.org/bill-watch-list/.


Campaign for Hoosier Families is an alliance of faith-based organizations that engages local, state and federal officials on behalf of low-income Hoosier families and children. To find out more information about bills that are being watched by the Campaign for Hoosier Families, please click HERE.

Thank you for helping to support Hoosier Families!


If you wish to make a donation to the LUM Social Justice Ministry, click HERE.

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Social Justice Ministry

Campaign for Hoosier Families—A Legislative Update


Campaign for Hoosier FamiliesA strong, public voice for Hoosier families and children in need


Action Alert: Support Pandemic Relief


Ask Indiana’s Lawmakers not to overturn
Gov. Holcomb’s Veto of Housing Bill – SEA 148 

With a long COVID-19 winter settling in, the Campaign for Hoosier Families urges you to reach out to Indiana’s state legislators NOW to tell them why it’s important not to overturn Governor Holcomb’s veto of SEA 148 this session.

Indiana families can’t afford a veto override that would negatively affect rental housing and could expand homelessness. To get started, click HERE.


Urge Congress to Pass Bipartisan Pandemic Relief Bill

Also, please contact your senators and representatives in Congress to urge them to enact newly-released legislation NOW that includes $25 billion for emergency rental assistance and a one-month extension of the federal eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To get started, click HERE.


Other Legislation to Watch & Support

  • STATE – House Bill 1136 Paid family & medical leave program. For more information, click HERE. Share the bill and thank the authors on social media (on Twitter, @campbellh26 and @DavissonforHD73). Connect with your legislators to ask for their support
  • FEDERAL – National partners are circulating a letter to Congress urging support for the FAMILY Act. It is very similar to the Indiana bill, providing 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents, serious health conditions, and family care. To sign on, click HERE (even if you signed a similar letter in 2019, you will need to sign again to be included)

FIND YOUR Your State Legislators

Follow this link to find out: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/. Every phone call and email makes a difference as we work to protect the interests of Hoosier Families!


To find out more information about bills that are being watched by the Campaign for Hoosier Families go to www.lumserve.org/bill-watch-list/.


Campaign for Hoosier Families is an alliance of faith-based organizations that engages local, state and federal officials on behalf of low-income Hoosier families and children. To find out more information about bills that are being watched by the Campaign for Hoosier Families, please click HERE.

Thank you for helping to support Hoosier Families!


If you wish to make a donation to the LUM Social Justice Ministry, click HERE.

Make a Donation Button
Social Justice Ministry

The Right to Drive – Possible Legislation Coming

An estimated 4.5 million undocumented immigrants nationwide are driving regularly, most without licenses. In 2019, legislators in several states introduced legislation to provide driver’s licenses to undocumented residents including Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. Legislation in New York passed in the State Assembly and is now in the State Senate. At the moment only twelve states issuing licenses without proof of legal residence in the United states; those states being: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Vermont and Washington.


It is our understanding that State Representative Chris Campbell, who represents a large portion of Lafayette/West Lafayette, will be authoring legislation that will allow persons residing in Indiana, who do not possess the necessary immigration documents to otherwise qualify for a standard drivers’ license, to receive a driver’s card


Many states have adopted tough new laws to prevent illegal immigrants from driving, while expanding immigration enforcement by state and local police. The Department of Homeland Security figures show that at least 30,000 undocumented immigrants who were stopped for common traffic violations in the last three years have ended facing deportation. The numbers are rapidly increasing, and as a result are aggravating tensions in the national debate over immigration.

What has been asked of Indiana, multiple times, is for the state to approve a permit for undocumented residents. This permit would allow individuals to fearlessly travel to work, take their children to school, and to give them a peace of mind. In this day and age it is difficult to live depending on public transportation. The permit being discussed would provide reliable transportation to undocumented residents. Sadly, time and time again that legislation establishing a permit for undocumented residents to drive has been proposed it has quickly been rejected.


by Brenda Barrera, Campaign for Hoosier Families Intern

Capping Payday Loan Interest Rates

Hoosier Are In Need

by Angela Weaver, Klinker-Alting Family Advocacy intern

It is a sad day for all of us at Campaign for Hoosier Families.  Senate Bill 104, which capped interest rates on payday loans, was defeated in the third reading with a vote of 22 yeas and 27 nays and will not continue any further this session. Consequently, the bill which we all had high hopes for is now dead. Originally authored by Senator Greg Walker and Senator John Ruckelshaus, this bill seemed to have the support needed at the State Capitol in order to pass both houses and become law. At the time of third reading, SB-104 had eight co-authors.Senate Bill 84 and House Bill 1098 which also addressed small loan finance charges did not make it passed the first reading.

To share your story, click HERE.

by Angela Weaver, Klinker-Alting Family Advocacy intern

Indiana Minimum Wage Update

As you know raising the minimum wage is a priority for Campaign for Hoosier Families. While the minimum wage bills introduced in this current session did not move through the Indiana General Assembly this year, we encourage you during the off session to let your State Representative and State Senator know that you support raising the Indiana minimum wage as well overall income equality so that they may be persuaded to address it next year.

To find your legislators, click HERE.

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

Highlighted Legislator – Mark Messmer

Indiana State Representative Mark Messmer

Senator Mark Messmer recently authored Senate Bill 104, a bill to cap the interest rates on payday loans. This bill will help low income families everywhere that need help from payday loans occasionally to cover their bills and to be able to pay off the loan at lower interest rates.
Senator Messmer is a state Senator for District 48 in Southern Indiana and is the Republican Majority Floor Leader. During the 2019 Session, Senator Messmer will be serving as the Chair in the Environmental Affairs Committee, as well as the the Chair in the Joint Rules Committee. He is the Ranking Member in the Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee. Senator Messmer also serves as a member in the Public Policy Committee and the Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee. Graduating from Purdue University with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Senator Messmer is the owner of Messmer Mechanical, INC. He is also a member and music minister for the Holy Family Catholic Church.

by Angela Weaver, Campaign for Hoosier Families intern