- 1 Ways to Resist
- 2 Updates
- 3 Actions Taken by the State Government
- 4 Key Upcoming Elections
- 5 Obamacare / ACA
- 6 Policing
- 7 Immigration
- 8 Voting Rights
- 9 Mass Incarceration
- 10 Benefits / Tax Cuts
- 11 Housing/Infrastructure
- 12 Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
- 13 LGBTQ+ Issues
- 14 Educational Justice
- 15 Consumer Protections/Workers' Rights
- 16 Climate / Environment
- 17 Disability Rights
- 18 Organizations
- 19 Local News Sources
- 20 Relevant City and County Information
Ways to Resist
Contact your elected officials:
- Governor, Eric Holcomb (R)
- Secretary of State, Connie Lawson (R)
- Speaker of the House, Brian Bosma (R)
- Get involved with local organizations.
- Find organizations with state and local presences working in your area.
- Check out our Tools of Resistance.
- Look for upcoming state and local events.
Actions Taken by the State Government
Legislation that Supports Equity and Justice
Important bills proposed by Indiana lawmakers this legislative session that should be supported:
- No bills have been identified.
Harmful bills proposed by Indiana lawmakers this legislative session that should be opposed:
- HB 1361 is an anti-transgender bill that would ban changing genders on birth certificates.
- SB 285 would allow "any force necessary" to move people from blocking roadways when 10 or more are gathered.
- HB 1128 Requires doctors who perform medical abortions to tell their patients about a procedure that could “reverse” the process halfway through. There is almost no scientific evidence that this procedure is effective. 
See also the main policy pages for federal legislative tracking.
Key Upcoming Elections
Click here to find out if you are registered to vote.
- Senator Joe Donnelly (D) is up for reelection in 2018.
- If there is a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, 532,000 people in Indiana (or 8% of the population) are estimated to lose coverage, whereas 566,000 people (or 8.6% of the population) will lose coverage with a partial repeal. (Retrieved 1/26/2017 from ACA Repeal Impact, state-by-state.) Not covering preexisting conditions will disproportionately affect people with disabilities.ACA Repeal Impact, state-by-state
- Indiana is among the states that lost the ability to place lifetime limits on coverage, because that practice is banned by the ACA; those limits are likely to be reinstated under a full repeal.. If there is a full repeal, it is projected that in 2021 Indiana will have 1,061,000 people uninsured, which is an 87% increase over the population who would be uninsured in 2021 without a repeal. (Retrieved from Table A1 at )
- The uninsured population in Indiana is particularly vulnerable because of the state’s current drug addition epidemic. More than 1,200 Hoosiers died of drug overdose in 2015. Medical professionals who treat addiction are concerned with their patients’ ability to continue treatment if the ACA is repealed, as this would cause a loss of coverage from Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0.
- Given that a repeal of the ACA would also change payment structures and subsidies, 55,000 jobs could be lost in Indiana under a repeal. When federal funding is cut, it creates a ripple effect that affects local and state revenue, thus creating losses in economic activity and employment.
- Under the ACA Repeal-and-Delay strategy, young adults in Indiana could pay $550 more in 2018.
- Governor Holcomb wants to end the law that allowed access to needle exchanges, which helped Indiana combat the 2015 outbreak of HIV in Scott County.(1). Limiting access to clean needles would put people's lives in danger and is a matter of public health.
- 76 people have been killed by police in the state of Indiana from the years 2013 through 2016.
- 32% of the people killed by police were black.
- Black people are 3.6 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts.
- Indianapolis and Fort Wayne are the state's largest cities with the highest rates of police killings per capita.
- In 2013, Indiana had 314,501 immigrants, making up 4.8% of the population.
- There are estimated to be 110,000 undocumented immigrants in Indiana, making up 1.6% of the population.
Rights of Non-Citizens
- Indiana does not allow undocumented immigrants to get drivers’ licenses.
- Indiana bars undocumented immigrants from attending public college at the same in-state tuition rate as legal residents and citizens.
- In 2012, President Barack Obama signed an executive order (DACA) that defers deportation for children who were brought to the country as children. The action allows them to work lawfully but does not create a pathway to citizenship or give them legal status in the United States. In Indiana, 15,840 individuals have benefited from this executive action.
- 3.5% of K-12 students in Indiana had undocumented parents in 2014.
- Undocumented immigrants in Indiana made up 2.2% of the labor workforce in 2014.
- If all undocumented workers were removed from Indiana, the state would lose $2.8 billion in economic activity.
- Undocumented immigrants paid $108.9 million in state and local taxes in Indiana in 2012.
- Indiana state law allows police to check immigration status based on “reasonable suspicion.”
- Indiana does not have any cities or counties with sanctuary policies.
- In 2014, Indiana resettled 1,613 refugees.
Indiana is a voter-ID state, requiring that people show an ID issued by the state of Indiana or a federal ID (military ID or passport) in order to vote. The name on the ID is required to conform to the name on the person's voter registration, but it does not have to match exactly (meaning that if one says "Robert" and the other says "Bob," the person would still be legally allowed to vote). People who are blocked from voting at a polling place are supposed to be given a provisional ballot and have until 10 days after the election to follow up with the county election board and either provide the necessary documentation or claim an exemption from the ID requirements. Alternatively, people in Indiana are allowed to vote absentee-by-mail without a photo ID. A 2013 law allows additional party-nominated election officers to demand that voters provide proof of identification. This requirement has the potential to increase discrimination against certain groups of voters unless precinct election officials always enforce the voter ID requirement in a uniform manner.
The Indiana General Assembly approved online voter registration in May 2009, and officials launched the new system in July 2010. Indiana previously considered legislation to allow same-day registration and voting, and in 2016 considered bills to allow for automatic voter registration for drivers' license applicants. The bills died in committee.
- There were 45,861 incarcerated individuals in Indiana in 2014, including 29,261 individuals in prison and 16,600 in jail.
- 123,261 individuals were on probation, while 10,340 were on parole.
- 0.9% of the prison population was serving life sentences and 0.4% of the population was serving life sentences without parole.
- 339 white individuals per 100,000 were incarcerated in 2014, compared to 1,616 per 100,000 for black individuals and 302 per 100,000 of Hispanic individuals.
- 0.59% of the Indiana population was disenfranchised due to felony convictions in 2016, compared to 2.32% of the black Indiana population.
- Indiana spent $769 million on corrections expenditures in 2014.
Benefits / Tax Cuts
- Indiana residents who face a tax increase under Trump’s plan:
- Households: 204,000
- Adults and children: 674,000
- Children: 414,000
- In 2015, an average of 379,929 households and 831,740 individuals received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) in a given month in Indiana. In 2011, approximately 13% of the population of Indiana was receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps). The average monthly benefit per Indiana household was $270 per household and $122 per person in 2016.
- In 2016, an average of 15,951 households, including 8,023 families and 14,322 children, received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is direct financial assistance, in a given month. The average monthly benefit for a single parent with three children residing in Indiana was $288 in 2014. Average benefits in Indiana have fallen in value by 34.4% since 1996.
- In 2016, an average of 34,506 women received funds from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in a given month.
- In December 2015, there were 5,443 Social Security recipients in the "aged" category who received an average of $338.23 per person, for a total of $1,841,000.
- 175,900 low-income families spent more than half of their income on housing.
- In 2014, Indiana had 30 units of affordable and available housing for every 100 households categorized as “extremely low income” (at or below 30% of area median income.)
- In Indiana, there were 5,798 homeless people in 2016.
- Of the homeless population, there were 609 families, 663 veterans, 328 unaccompanied young adults (18-24), and 589 people experiencing chronic homelessness.
- Indiana received $509 million in federal rental assistance funding in 2014.
- In Indiana, more than 92,000 families relied on federal rental assistance in 2014.
- Nearly all Indiana households using federal rental assistance included children, elderly people or disabled people.
- Indiana’s infrastructure received a score of D+ from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2010.
- This study identified dams, railroads, wastewater, and drinking water as being in “poor” condition.
- In 2013, the Department of Transportation found that 22% of Indiana’s bridges were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and 17% of Indiana’s roads were in poor or mediocre condition.
- Driving on these roads leads to an additional $225 per motorist per year in increased vehicle repairs and operating costs.
- According to former Governor (current Vice President) Mike Pence (R), roads, bridges and ports are major infrastructure goals for Indiana.
- Indianapolis will be starting work this year on a new bus rapid-transit line that will run on dedicated lanes for 60% of its 13.1 miles.
Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
- Indiana has 18 Planned Parenthood centers.
- In 2015, 12 centers were in rural, medically underserved, or health provider shortage areas.
- On average, there is one Planned Parenthood for 72,556 women of reproductive age.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- There were 11 abortion providers in Indiana in 2015.
- In 2014, 16.3 out of every 1,000 women of reproductive age in Indiana had an abortion. The national abortion rate is 14.6.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- There is a 18-hour waiting period required after mandatory counseling.
- Parental consent is required for minors.
- Ultrasound requirements exist.
- Abortion is prohibited after 20 weeks except in cases of life or health endangerment.
- Mandated counseling includes misleading information.
- Medical abortion is limited.
- Private insurance coverage is limited.
- State Medicaid does not fund most abortions.
- TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws exist.
The Indiana legislature wants to ban abortion completely. House Bill 1134 would define a fertilized ovum as a human being. If the bill passes, effective July 1, 2017, an abortion would be considered murder.
Women and Wages
- In Indiana, 14.5% of women live in poverty. The national average is 13.4%. Single mothers make up 43.2%, while women aged 65 and older make up 8.7%. The national averages are 36.5% and 10.3%, respectively.
- For every dollar made by men, women are paid $0.76, which is four cents below the national average of $0.80.
- African American women are paid $0.66 for every dollar paid to white men, while Latina women make $0.54 for every dollar made by white men. The national averages are $0.63 and $0.54, respectively.
Domestic Violence in Indiana
- In a single day in 2014, Indiana domestic violence programs served 1807 victims/survivors.
- On that same day, there were 182 requests for services that went unmet due to lack of resources.
- Between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, 67 Indianans died in domestic violence homicides.
- Over half of domestic violence homicides in Indiana are committed with a gun.
Religious freedom law
Religious freedom laws protect the right of people to practice their religion and limit laws imposing on that right, and were initially intended to protect religious minorities. However, in Indiana, the state's very wide Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed in 2015 has been accused of allowing discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals, and companies quickly responded to this risk by pulling businesses out of the state. A week after it became law, then-Governor, now Vice-President Mike Pence signed a revised version explicitly banning businesses from denying services to someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, among other criteria.
Indiana does not have laws protecting LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, adoption, foster care, insurance, credit, or jury selection. It does have a nondiscrimination policy for state employees. Indiana considered a so-called “bathroom bill” (forcing trans individuals to use the public toilets matching their gender at birth and not their gender identity) in 2016, but it was not passed.
Indiana has passed laws on second-parent adoption, parental presumption for same-sex couples and de facto parent recognition. The State prohibits surrogacy, does not protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination in foster care, and does not have laws on consent to inseminate (meaning that in case of the insemination of one member of a female same-sex couple, the partner not carrying the child is not automatically recognized as a parent).
Hate crime laws
Indiana does not include LGBTQ+ people in its hate crime laws as a protected group, but does require reporting of hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people.
Indiana has passed anti-bullying laws covering cyberbullying, but they do not explicitly mention LGBTQ+ youth. It does not have laws promoting transgender inclusion in sports, nor laws requiring school suicide prevention policies or protecting LGBTQ+ youth from conversion therapy. The State does not have laws addressing LGBTQ+ youth homelessness, nor promoting inclusive sex education, and does not have LGBTQ+ inclusive juvenile justice policies..
Health and Safety
Indiana does not include LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections in ACA exchanges and does not ban insurance exclusion for trans health care. It does not include transgender health care in state Medicaid and does not provides inclusive health benefits for trans state employees. Indiana does, however, allow gender marker changes on drivers’ licenses (but not on birth certificates), and collects information on LGBTQ+ health. It has passed HIV/AIDS criminalization laws.
- HIV criminalization laws are those that make it illegal for an HIV-positive person to “knowingly expose” another person to HIV—in some states, this means that it is illegal not to disclose HIV-positive status to a sex partner, but many laws criminalize behaviors that are unlikely to lead to transmission. Because the laws focus on disclosure, not actual transmission, they serve no real purpose. All states have other, non-HIV-specific laws that can be used to prosecute transmission of HIV, so these laws just needlessly single out and stigmatize HIV-positive people and reinforce the image of them as “dangerous.” It also allows the saliva or blood of an HIV-positive person to be classified in court as a “deadly weapon.” HIV criminalization laws also disproportionately target people of color, mainly African Americans, and gay men.
- Indiana is ranked 33rd in per-pupil spending as of 2013, with an average expenditure of $5,517 per student.
- As of 2013, Indiana ranked 25th in teacher pay, with teachers earning an average of $51,456 per year.
- 87% of students in Indiana attend public schools. As is the case in other states, students who attend private schools come from wealthier families, with private school families earning an average 54% higher income.
- As of 2014, public charter school enrollment accounted for 3.4% of total public school enrollment.
- Indiana's overall graduation rate is 88%, which is above the national average. By subgroups, four-year graduation rates are as follows:
- White: 90%
- Latino: 83%
- Black: 75%
- Asian/Pacific Islander: 89%
- American Indian: 84%
- Economically Disadvantaged: 85%
- Limited English Proficient: 80%
- Students with Disabilities: 73%
Under Governor Pence, Indiana expanded the school voucher program. The initial goal under the previous governor was to give parents more power over their school choices.(1) The problem is that the vouchers are now primarily being used by middle- and high-income families to send their children to private and religious schools.(2a)(2b) The program has taken $345 million away from public schools.(3) The increase in "choice" has resulted in an unequal education system.
Consumer Protections/Workers' Rights
- Indiana’s minimum wage is $7.25, which is the same as the federal minimum wage but lower than Indiana’s living wage of $9.92.
- Indiana has no state law for paid sick leave.
- Indiana has no state law for paid family leave.
- Indiana has Right-to-Work laws, which means that the state can prohibit unions, that collectively bargain on behalf of both members and nonmembers, from requiring union fees for the services they provide to all workers they represent. They are designed to reduce unions' income and power.
- Indiana is a state with an at-will exemption. "At-will" means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason, without breaking the law. Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason with no adverse legal consequences.
- Indiana also has a public policy exemption, meaning that an employer may not fire an employee if it would violate the state's public policy doctrine or a state or federal statute, including refusing to perform an act that state law prohibits (e.g., refusing an employer's request to commit perjury at a trial), reporting a violation of the law (e.g., reporting an employer's fraudulent accounting practices or use of child labor), engaging in acts that are in the public interest (e.g., joining the National Guard or performing jury duty) and exercising a statutory right (e.g., filing a claim under the state workers' compensation law).
- Indiana does not allow for implied contract exemptions.. An implied contract can be created in several different ways: oral assurances by a supervisor; or handbooks, policies or practices as written assurances by the employer. This means that if there is no written contract between the employer and employee, that employee may have an exception of fixed term or even indefinite employment based on an employer's statements. As a general rule, courts disregard language promising long-term, lifetime or permanent employment as aspirational and consider the relationship to be at-will.
- Indiana does support the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing. Courts have interpreted this in different ways, from requiring just cause for termination to prohibiting terminations made in bad faith or motivated by malice.
Climate / Environment
- Fossil fuels account for more than 91% of electricity generation in Indiana. Around 7% comes from non–hydroelectric renewables.
- Indiana has 39 sites on the National Priorities List.
- In 2014, Black populations had the highest air pollution exposure indices—45—compared to an overall index of 33 and a White index of 31.
- In 2012, Mixed/other and Black adults in Indiana were most likely to have asthma (Mixed/other 14.4%, Black 12.9%), compared to 9.3% overall and 9.1% of the White population.
- The relevant environmental agency in Indiana is the Department of Environmental Management.
- There's a highly controversial bill, SB 309, that would create punitive, significant roadblocks to the development of solar, wind, and other renewable forms of energy (Vote No).
- Bill HB 1494 would weaken regulations on pollution from Indiana's factory farms. The bill was amended after its first and second readings and will be voted on in the House Environmental Committee on February 27, 2017.
- In 2016, then-Governor Mike Pence vetoed an anti-environmental bill that would have affected environmental experts paid with federal funds.
- Indiana has the 19th-highest percentage of disabled people in America: 13.8% of Indiana’s residents are disabled, compared with the national average of 12.6%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1810]
- Hoosiers with disabilities have the 26th-lowest employment rate in the country, at 35.6%, compared to the national average of 34.9%. The overall employment rate in Indiana is 59.8%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1811]
- Approximately 17.7% of eligible voters in Indiana have one or more disabilities, compared to a national average of 15.71%.
- Of adults with disabilities in Indiana, 26.7% live in poverty, as opposed to 11.6% of non-disabled adults. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B23024] The poverty rate for disabled children under 5 is 53.8%, as opposed to 23.5% for non-disabled children.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B18130)
- In Indiana, 5.2% of adults between 18 and 64 receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income), compared to the national average of 5.4%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B19056]
Find state/local chapters of national organizations here.
- ACLU of Indiana
- Center for Working Families
- Common Cause Indiana
- Freedom Indiana
- Indiana Coalition for Human Services
- Indiana Progressive Liberals
- Moms Demand Action, bipartisan gun reform
- NOW Indiana
Environmental justice groups
- Environmental Justice Indy
- Hoosier Environmental Council
- Improving Kids’ Environment
- Indiana NAACP Environmental Climate Justice
- Indiana Wildlife Federation
- Sierra Club, Indiana Chapter
Disability Rights Organizations
- Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (at Indiana University Bloomington)
- State of Indiana Disability Rights, Indiana's Protection & Advocacy (P&A) organization; they also have a Facebook page
Local News Sources
- ABC Northwest Indiana
- Courier Press
- The Herald-Times
- The Indianapolis Star
- The Indy Channel
- The Journal Gazette
- The Lafayette Journal & Courier
- News and Tribune
- Nuvo Alternative News Source
- South Bend Tribune
- Tribune Star