Shackleford announces 2023 legislation

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 State Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis) has announced her legislation for the 2023 session of the Indiana General Assembly. Shackleford's legislative priorities this year span from small business development to supporting students in their classrooms.

House Bill 1047 would appropriate available federal funds to the office of small business entrepreneurship to aid minority-owned small businesses. This bill has been referred to the Ways and Means Committee.

“If we want to maintain that we are a state that works, we have to do everything we can to ensure that small businesses can flourish in Indiana,” Shackleford said. “Currently, roughly 10.8% of Indianapolis businesses are minority-owned, and we need to be supporting them as best we can. A strong local economy is paramount to a successful community, and we create that by supporting the residents who have put in the work to open a business in our city.”

House Bill 1070 is intended to change the reporting protocols regarding domestic violence convictions within nonprofit organizations. This bill has been referred to the Courts and Criminal Code Committee.

“Domestic violence is a growing problem in Indiana and throughout the country,” Shackleford said. “Reports skyrocketed in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and have not yet returned to pre-pandemic numbers. We have an obligation to make nonprofit organizations that aid survivors and victims of domestic violence as safe and secure as possible.”

House Bill 1071 would require the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana to require physicians and physician assistants to complete implicit bias training before they receive a license or have their license renewed. This bill has been referred to the Public Health Committee.

“In Indiana, your health outcomes are largely dependent on the color of your skin,” Shackleford said. “Too many Black Hoosiers – especially Black women – have died because of biases among health care professionals. This bill would ensure that health care providers understand their own inherent biases and help them work to understand the various cultural components that can cause individuals to approach their health care in different ways. No one should be faced with inadequate treatment or death when something as simple as training health care providers in this area could mitigate so many of the risks that African Americans and people of color face when they receive treatment.”

House Bill 1094 establishes the Comprehensive Student Support Program to help fund and staff student support teams, improve staffing ratios in Indiana schools and enhance school safety and emergency preparedness. This bill has been referred to the Education Committee.

“If we want our children to succeed in life, we have to set them up for it by investing in their schools,” Shackleford said. “Making sure that students have the support they need to do well – including a safe school environment – and that teachers are inundated with overcrowded classrooms will help create schools that better prepare our young Hoosiers for the world.”

House Bill 1095 prohibits an individual's incarceration, hospitalization or substance use history from barring them from various health care plans.  This bill has been referred to the Public Health Committee.

“Access to health care is one of the most basic needs for a human being,” Shackleford said. “It is unconscionable that we would keep anyone from health care because of their past. When people are reentering society or recovering from a substance abuse disorder, the last thing they need is judgment. What they need, instead, is access to resources that can help them be the best version of themselves. If we want a healthy state, we have to open as many avenues as we can to help Hoosiers find health insurance.”

House Bill 1096 establishes residential emergency services to help qualifying elderly Hoosiers repair their homes. This bill has been referred to the Government and Regulatory Reform Committee.

“Senior citizens are some of the most vulnerable folks in Indiana,” Shackleford said. “This bill would provide grants to help elderly Hoosiers with needed home repairs to ensure their safety and comfort. Thankfully, people are now living longer, and that means that we need to be prepared to assist our aging populations as best we can.”

House Bill 1097 would create the Healthy Food Incubator Program to ensure communities have adequate access to healthy foods. This bill has been referred to the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.

“In Indianapolis and throughout the state, food deserts are a growing problem,” Shackleford said. “A lack of grocery stores, high prices and accessible transportation forces many to be dependent on gas stations and convenience stores for food, which severely hinders them from having a balanced diet. We know that diet is a large component of overall health, and this bill would give more Hoosiers access to the food they need to boost their health.”

House Bill 1328 renews Shackleford's traffic amnesty program. The bill was referred to the Roads and Transportation Committee.

“Lowering the fees to have a license reinstated following suspension will ultimately allow more people to get their licenses back,” Shackleford said. “While we should always prioritize safety on the roads, helping folks be able to drive again will help them get to and from work and take their children to school.”

House Bill 1481 would adjust the age range concerning juvenile delinquency so that it wouldn't apply to children under the age of 11, unless the child is alleged to have committed murder. This bill was referred to the Courts and Criminal Code Committee.

“Creating pathways for children to avoid the criminal justice system should be a priority,” Shackleford said. “While we want to address behavioral issues that could be dangerous to the child or others, there are avenues for that which don't involve charging minors in a court of law.”

House Bill 1571 creates the reading specialist certification grant fun, allowing eligible teachers to apply for grants to obtain a science of reading-based specialist certification. This bill was referred to the Ways and Means Committee.

“Just over one in three Hoosier children are reading at their grade level,” Shackleford said. “I know we can do much better than this. While reading exposes children to different ideas and worlds, illiteracy can hinder people from succeeding academically and professionally. This bill would help teachers create instruction plans for students struggling to read and write. Not only will this bill help individual children, but it will ultimately help Indiana's educational standing in the long-run.”

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