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Pryor announces her own 2022 legislative agenda

IBLC, News & Media

INDIANAPOLIS - House Democratic Floor Leader and member of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus, State Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis), recently announced her agenda for the 2022 Legislative Session. 

Pryor has introduced legislation to address some of our state's most pressing issues including affordable and equitable housing as well as criminal justice reforms.

 

Affordable and equitable housing

House Bill 1325 will protect long-time residents in neighborhoods undergoing revitalization or subject to gentrification. Under the bill, locals will be able to pass an ordinance that provides relief from increases in property taxes to specific vulnerable long-time homeowners with a homestead for at least ten years and an assessed home value less than $200,000. 

House Bill 1326 will ensure families are protected from racial bias and receive a fair value on their home by requiring cultural competency and bias training for appraisers and finally putting into statute that redlining is illegal. It will also establish a fund through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) that will provide mortgage down payment assistance for families.

“These bills send the message that we will not settle for policies that perpetuate historical housing discrimination,” said Pryor. “The lack of equity in the housing market continues to deprive families of generational opportunities. Fair appraisals, property tax protections and outlawing redlining are changes that are long overdue in our state.”

 

Criminal and juvenile justice reforms

House Bill 1155 will reduce the number of people in jail by allowing officers to issue a summons for that individual to appear before the court if the individual has committed a nonviolent misdemeanor in the presence of a law enforcement official. The bill will also allow prosecutors to offer a pre-trial diversion program for nonviolent crimes.

“During the pandemic we saw law enforcement officers successfully use this framework across the state. Requiring law enforcement officials to utilize summons to appear will keep Hoosiers out of jails for petty crimes and address the state's jail overcrowding issue,” Pryor said. “This bill is simply about keeping working Hoosiers with families from needlessly being kept in jail while awaiting trial.”

House Bill 1324 would set the minimum age for juvenile detention and prosecution at age 12. There would be exceptions for ten to eleven year-olds where actions taken by the child resulted in the loss of a life.

“When it comes to children, the law needs to focus on offering second chances. Many children who have early experience in the criminal justice system are often victims themselves. Indiana should focus its resources on rehabilitation through counseling and education, instead of punitive measures,” said Pryor.

House Bill 1323 will prohibit racial profiling and pre-textual stops by law enforcement officers. 

“According to a 2019 study of 100 million traffic stops nationwide, Black and Latina/o drivers were more likely to be stopped and searched even though they are no more likely to carry contraband than their white counterparts,” Pryor explained. “Tackling implicit bias in pretextual stops is an important step towards reducing racial disparities in our criminal justice system.


“I look forward to championing these long overdue policy changes in the 2022 Legislative Session,” Pryor added. “True justice requires us to evaluate our current practices and have a willingness to take action in abandoning the status quo.”

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