INDIANAPOLIS – On Wednesday, Senate Republicans approved Senate Bill (SB) 148, a proposal that was amended to prohibit the ability of local government to regulate landlord-tenant relationships. SB 148 makes clear the goal of Republicans to invalidate an ordinance meant to protect tenants from bad landlords and was recently approved by Indianapolis City-County Council members. State Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) had the following response to the approval of this legislation:
“There are so many things wrong with the landlord-tenant language in this proposal, beginning with the undemocratic way it was secretly slipped into the bill to bypass the legislative process and avoid public input. This legislation was an intentional effort by Statehouse Republicans to override a decision made by Marion County’s local government that aims to protect tenants. Decisions made by local governments, whom residents voted for to serve their community’s best interests, should not be undone without Hoosiers being granted the opportunity to give public testimony.
“It’s blatantly wrong for Republicans in the Statehouse to undo measures approved of by voters in local communities. This legislation is going to impede several cities’ efforts to help residents find stable housing, including Jeffersonville, Fort Wayne, Evansville and Indianapolis. Even more egregious, the supermajority took this action on the same day the Indianapolis City-County Council voted to approve their measure to provide better rights to residents. Our city has the second-highest eviction rate in the country, and my community is trying to take the necessary steps to address that issue. Unfortunately, with SB 148, local efforts to do these things have been undone by legislators that city residents never even voted for.”