Indiana Community Action Network E-newsletter
March 2017 issue

 

NEWS

An Update from IIWF: Halfway Through the 2017 Legislative Session

An Update from the CAPLAW Board of Directors

COMMUNITY IMPACT

Fourth Session of “Boys and Beyond” Program in Full Swing at Pace

Area IV BEED Program Helps Client Start a Successful HVAC Business

CAPWI Employment and Training Success Story: Mandy Takes on Subaru

Submission information

 

An Update from IIWF:
Halfway Through the 2017 Legislative Session

The 2017 legislative session is now more than half over. All bills that are moving forward have advanced to their opposite chambers so the committee and floor process can begin again.

The Indiana Institute for Working Families takes this as an opportunity to review the slate of proposed working-family friendly bills, noting both the bills that are successfully moving forward (potential victories) and the bills that have died (missed opportunities). 

If your legislator authored one of the "missed opportunities" bills, you might consider thanking that member for proposing the legislation and encouraging that legislator to bring the issue forward again in the 2018 session.

SNAP & TANF
(Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program & Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
Ensuring families have the ability to rebound after difficult times is a priority for the Institute. Two bills are moving forward that will provide the assistance families need.

We look forward to working with the House to get these to the governor's desk:

  • SB 9 will make SNAP benefits available to those who have certain drug convictions (similar to how those benefits are open to other former offenders), as long as they are in compliance with parole or probation.
  • SB 154 will raise the asset limits in determining SNAP eligibility to $10,000, allowing families to save while still receiving the assistance they need.

While it is encouraging to see these bills move on, there were several missed opportunities in this area, including:

  • HB 1151 SNAP Benefits (authored by Rep. Joe Taylor, III)
  • HB 1399 Low-cost Food Plan (authored by Rep. Linda Lawson and Rep. Robin Shackleford)
  • SB 527 TANF Eligibility (authored by Sen. Mark Stoops)
  • SB 528 Removal of Asset Limits for SNAP Eligibility (authored by Sen. Stoops)

Paid Leave
The following bills are missed opportunities relating to paid leave:

  • HB 1183 Employee Paid Sick Leave (authored by Rep. Lawson)
  • HB 1442 Paid Sick and Safe Leave (authored by Rep. Gregory Porter)
  • HB 1528 Personal Leave for Employees (authored by Rep. Ryan Dvorak)
  • SB 3 Paid Personal Leave (authored by Sen. Lonnie Randolph)

These bills would have required a method for granting sick or personal time or, at the least, a study committee. Thankfully, SB 253, which urges a study committee on paid family and medical leave, has moved forward and will hopefully start a meaningful conversation among legislators about how Indiana can support employees and their careers during challenging personal times.

Payday Lending
SB 245, a bill that would have expanded dangerous, high-interest payday products, was defeated in committee, thanks to the work of the Institute and 18 others who came to testify against the bill. Unfortunately, the language from SB 474, which would have provided increased disclosures and a low-amount, extended-payment plan for payday loans, was amended into that bill and died with it.

Child Care Tax Credit
SB 364 Child Care Tax Credit (Stoops) would have provided a non-refundable credit, while the SB 526 Child Care Tax Credit (Stoops) would have provided a refundable tax credit. The former saw some movement and had the support of the Institute, but it did not make it out of committee. We hope this issue can be addressed in future sessions as child care is increasingly expensive in Indiana.

Workforce Development
HB 1267 Former Offenders (Shackleford) is legislation on a statewide “Ban the Box.” Instead, the state is going the opposite direction as SB 312 moves forward, banning local fair-hiring ordinances.

Some other missed opportunities include several bills that would have provided grants or tax credits for workforce development, making portable credentials more attainable for high-wage, high-demand jobs:

  • HB 1322 Employee-training tax credits (authored by Rep. Edward Clere & Rep. Todd Huston)
  • HB 1397 Work-opportunity grant program (authored by Rep. Wendy Mcnamara & Rep. Porter)
  • SB 141 Tax credit for hiring certain individuals (authored by Sen. Randolph)
  • SB 330 Career-readiness improvement committee (authored by Sen. John Ruckelshaus)
  • SB 560 Work-opportunity grant program (authored by Sen. Douglas Eckerty)

However, HB 1008, which includes some workforce-development grants, is advancing.

Pre-Kindergarten
Two pre-kindergarten bills are moving forward - HB 1004 Pre-kindergarten Education (authored by Rep. Robert Behning) and SB 276 Pre-kindergarten Education (authored by Sen. Travis Holdman, Sen. Eric Bassler and Sen. Randall Head). These bills expand upon the Pre-K pilot that is currently running in Indiana. As these move forward, the Institute will keep the importance of Head Start funds and services in the conversation.

One missed opportunity is SB 325 Voluntary Pre-kindergarten Program (authored by Sen. Stoops), which would have repealed the pilot and invested millions in Pre-K for the state.

Wrapping it Up
To see what the rest of the 2017 Legislative Session holds, join our mailing list. You’ll receive weekly updates, including a link to our weekly Inside the Statehouse blog post where these issues are covered in detail. You’ll also receive action alerts to help potential victories become true victories!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Pictured above: Members of the CAPLAW Board of Directors meet on Feb. 16-17 in Albuquerque, N.M.

An Update from the CAPLAW Board of Directors

The Community Action Program Legal Services, Inc. (CAPLAW) Board of Directors recently met in Albuquerque, N.M., to discuss new business and continue the transitioning of new board members.

Updates included:

CAPLAW offers legal and financial resources for more than 1,000 Community Action Agencies across the nation. Through its in-house staff and a network of private attorneys, CAPLAW provides consultations, training and resources on a wide variety of legal, governance and management topics. This assistance enables CAAs to operate legally sound and well-governed organizations, thereby enhancing their ability to affect positive change in their communities.

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Fourth Session of “Boys and Beyond” Program in Full Swing at Pace

The Boys and Beyond program, launched at Pace Community Action Agency in 2015, is now in its fourth season of success.

With initial funding from the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA), the innovative program teaches fourth- and fifth-grade boys life skills through experiential learning. Pace now funds this program through fundraising efforts, local grants and private donations, as well as Community Services Block Grant support.

Boys learn how to:

  • Tie a tie
  • Change a tire
  • Save money
  • Use proper table manners
  • And more!

Community volunteers facilitate each of the seven sessions.
At the end of the program, if the boys have met attendance requirements, they are each provided with a $25 savings account to begin saving their own money.

The outcomes are great, and everyone loves the program!

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Area IV BEED Program Helps Client Start a Successful HVAC Business

Jeremy Facemyer left his job at Subaru-Isuzu in 2008 to work for another company doing HVAC work. Shortly after, during the 2008 recession, Jeremy became unemployed. While unemployed, Jeremy obtained an HVAC Certification from Ivy Tech and went to work for Twin City Heating and Cooling. In 2015, the owner of Twin City decided to retire, turning over the HVAC business to Jeremy. Jeremy was given the customer list from Twin City, and, with family support and a $10,000 Business Expansion and Entrepreneurship Development (BEED) loan from Area IV Agency on Aging and Community Action Programs, Jeremy was able to start Boiler Heating and Cooling, LLC.

In 2016, Boiler Heating and Cooling tripled its revenue from the prior year.

“The growth has been great!” Jeremy says.

The business hired two additional workers this year and now employs four full-time and one part-time worker, while operating three vehicles. Boiler Heating and Cooling has also qualified to be a contractor for Area IV’s Weatherization Assistance Program.

The Area IV Agency BEED Program, led by program coordinator Stan Minnick (on right in photo with Jeremy), offers up to $10,000 for start-up businesses or up to $25,000 for expansion loans to low- and moderate-income households in Carroll, Clinton, Tippecanoe and White counties. It is a revolving fund, meaning as loans are re-paid, funds accumulate to be loaned again to other entrepreneurs.

Since Area IV and the community have given Jeremy this opportunity to run his own business, Jeremy says he believes he needs to pay it forward. Boiler Heating and Cooling participates in events for Habitat for Humanity and Lafayette Transitional Housing. The company also serves as a sponsor of the American Cancer Society Golf Outing and various youth sports programs.

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CAPWI Employment and Training Success Story: Mandy Makes a Career for Herself at Subaru

Ready to Work is a program that helps unemployed people learn new skills and secure manufacturing employment. Program participants receive classroom training and receive their advanced manufacturing standardization work certificates from Purdue Polytechnic-Lafayette.

Mandy Shares Her Story
"I was a part of the Ready to Work program, class four. I'd heard about the program through a lady who knew someone in class three. I had just moved to Lafayette about a month before I got to start the class, and everything about the program sounded perfect for me. I went to the orientation class and received a phone call that same day, saying I made the cut.

They offered us all many different forms of help to get started – help with day care, clothing, boots, gas cards and bus passes. When I started the program, I didn’t even have a car. My classmates were all very helpful with their willingness to pick me up and take me home. The Ready to Work program even reimbursed them with gas money for doing so. Honestly, without the program’s help and the classmates' help, I doubt I would have been able to get half as far as I have now.

I graduated the class at the end of October 2015, and I did a paid internship for Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) through a temp service called CTI Personnel, before SIA hired me full-time. I got lucky again and was placed in the body shop on first shift – a preferred area with the most amazing, generous people. I went full-time on July 18, 2016. Currently, I’m working second shift in the body shop. I just received my second attendance bonus, earned my PTO days just this month and was able to lease a brand new 2017 Subaru Legacy. I love my job and the people I work with!

I’ve recommended the Ready to Work program to multiple people and have had a few friends go through the program. I still receive emails from staff members checking up on me every now and then, making sure I’m working and don’t need any more assistance. I’ll always be very grateful for the Ready to Work program and all the opportunities they gave me."

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