Members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus unveiled an agenda today that includes criminal justice reform as well as the state picking up the full costs of student textbooks.

Caucus members say their proposals will uplift Hoosiers across the state.  The following is the list of items the ILBC plans to pursue.


  • Recidivism reduction pilot project (Senate Bill 300): Authored by State Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis), this measure would enable 10 counties across Indiana to participate in a three-year project designed to see what can be done to reduce the number of repeat offenders.
  • Study of former offender employment barriers (House Bill 1612): Authored by State Rep. Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis), this legislation would create an interim committee to study the problems faced by offenders who are attempting to find employment after their release from prison.


  • Small Business and Grocer Investment Program (HB 1256): Authored by State Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis), the bill would establish a program that enables the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to provide grants or loans to food retailers that increase local access to fresh foods, vegetables and other healthy foods in underserved communities.
  • Professional Development Sports Commission (HB 1376): Authored by State Rep. Earl Harris (D-East Chicago), the bill would establish a commission to explore the feasibility of attracting a professional sports franchise to northwest Indiana.


  • State payments for school textbook costs (SB 340): Authored by State Sen. Earline Rogers (D-Gary), the legislation would require that public schools provide curricular materials at no cost to students.
  • School discipline (HB 1558): Authored by State Rep. Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis), the measure would ask the Indiana Department of Education to develop a model evidence-based plan for improving behavior and discipline in schools across the state.


  • Bias motivated crimes (HB 1330): Authored by State Rep. Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis), the proposal would enhance the penalties for such crimes as battery, robbery, arson, and harassment if they are based on an individual’s race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or disability. It also would require law enforcement officers to receive training in identifying, responding to, and reporting bias motivated crimes.
  • Racial profiling (HB 1284): Authored by State Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis), the bill would prohibit a law enforcement agency from engaging in racial profiling or conducting pretextual stops.
  • Self-defense (SB 46): Authored by State Sen. Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis), the legislation would specify that a person is not justified in using force against someone else if the person using force is the initial aggressor, has reached a safe place and immediately returned to the location of the attack, or is pursuing an attacker or trespasser who has retreated and no longer presents a threat.