March 12, 2024

The Big Issues


  • There were multiple bills that passed that are meant to help cities and towns operate more efficiently and effectively. Aim hopes to continue the momentum and build upon several of these items during the 2025 legislative session.
  • Public Notices: Several bills passed this session that are meant to modernize and improve the required public notices for local governments:
    • HB 1204 (Meltzer, Brown): Allows public notices to be advertised on an eligible newspaper’s website if the website is regularly updated. If it is not, the unit can advertise on their own website.
    • HB 1328 (Snow, Bassler): Allows additional appropriations to be advertised on the state’s Gateway website instead of being published in a newspaper.
    • SB 252 (Buck, Miller): Changes the definitions for which locality newspapers qualify for publishing public notices which is meant to increase the available newspapers in which local units can publish.
  • HB 1197 (Manning, Alting): Aim supports modernizing alcohol regulations to allow for more local amenities and events. HB 1197 allows craft breweries to be the designated permittees for a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area. It also allows alcohol to be sold in parks or public recreation areas that contain permanent event or entertainment spaces if the governing body secures the necessary permits.
  • HB 1320 (Zimmerman, Baldwin): Aim supports efforts to clarify and improve a unit’s planning and zoning authority over mobile and manufactured homes. This bill addresses mobile and manufactured homes to the unsafe building law and clarified that they are subject to residential design standards. Aim will continue to work on this in the future, but HB 1320 was a step in the right direction.
  • HB 1385 (Barrett, Johnson): Originally, found in SB 10 language establishing the Community Cares initiative grant pilot program was added to HB 1385 during the last week of session. Aim supports efforts to provide sustainable funding to paramedicine and mobile integrated health programs. The Community Cares program is meant to assist local units with the costs of starting or expanding mobile integrated health care programs and mobile crisis teams in Indiana.


  • Conversations around property taxes continued this session but ultimately no major changes passed in the final version of HEA 1120. Some topics that were up for discussion this year included:
    • Extending the 4% cap on the MLGQ (the factor that determines growth in property tax levies) one additional year so levy growth would be capped through 2026 was also considered. Without the cap, the MLGQ would be above 5%.
    • Adjusts language that passed in HEA 1454 from last session dealing with assessments on apartments. The new language ensures that assessors can use the trending factors and adjustments in the DLGF assessment manual to clear up issues raised by assessors on apartment assessments that could have had a large fiscal impact to some communities.
  • Neither of these provisions were included in the final version of the bill. However, the State and Local Tax Review Taskforce (SALTR) is tasked with studying these issues over the interim.
  • The bill did create a new process for challenging controlled projects where the scope of the project changes after going through the petition and remonstrance process.
  • HB 1120, authored by Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) and sponsored by Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) passed the House with a vote of 96-0 and the Senate with a vote of 42-5.


  • The 2024 legislative session promised to be short and relatively non-controversial with the largest issues being reexamined during the 2025 session. With a few exceptions, this session lived up to that promise.
  • Both the State and Local Tax Review Taskforce (SALTR) and the Funding Indiana’s Roads for a Stronger, Safer Tomorrow Taskforce (FIRSST) were extended another year to prepare for 2025. Most of the controversial issues for local government finance that were discussed this year were added for study at SALTR. Local road funding, including the distribution of funding and how to deal with electric vehicles in the road funding formula will be discussed at FIRSST.
  • Neither of these taskforces had recommendations for the 2024 session but both are expected to generate recommendations for the 2025 session that impact local government finance and road funding.
  • Aim has already met with legislators on a variety of topics that legislators want to work on in 2025, including issues around annexation, public safety, public rights-of-way, and public notice. As these conversations continue, Aim will continue to work with municipal members and stakeholders to provide feedback to members of the General Assembly.


  • SB 256 allows the IEDC to designate an Innovation Development Districts (IDD), which function very much like TIF allocation areas, to be designated on top of existing allocation areas if the budget committee and executive(s) of the unit(s) currently controlling the allocation areas agree. If there is an agreement, the local unit would be prohibited from extending or expanding allocation areas within the IDD until its expiration and prohibited from additional debt issuances on their own incremental assessed value.
  • Language appeared in two bills this session that would have prohibited removing a parcel from an existing TIF and then adding it back. The way this language was drafted caused confusion and did not move forward in any bill this year. It will be studied in the State and Local Tax Review Taskforce (SALTR) this interim.
  • SB 256, authored by Sen. Ryan Mishler (R-Mishawaka) and sponsored by Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton), passed the House with a vote of 57-39 and passed the Senate with a vote of 45-2.


  • HB 1338 clarifies law enforcement authority to remove disruptive individuals from public buildings and offices if they are in violation of the functioning of those buildings. It also reinforces the ability of local units to establish policies governing the conduct and decorum of public meetings.
  • Aim supported this bill because it provides additional clarity for law enforcement to enforce public order in public buildings. It also will help councils in their efforts to conduct public meetings in a safe and orderly manner.
  • Language was added to the bill late in session that makes the Public Access Counselor serve at the pleasure of the Governor (previously appointed to 4-year terms) and requires PAC opinions to use strict construction of existing state and federal statutes.
  • HB 1338, authored by Rep. J.D. Prescott (R-Union City) and sponsored by Sen. Scott Baldwin (R-Noblesville), passed the House with a vote of 58-36 and passed the Senate with a vote of 40-8.


Listen to more about this week on the final episode of the 2024 Market Street to Main Street Podcast Series, Aim’s legislative episodes of the Hometown Innovations Podcast and a supplement to this e-newsletter. In this episode, Jennifer, Matt, and Jenna discuss pizza ratings, the last hours of session, and anticipated big issues for the 2025 session. Thanks for listening, Mainstreeters!

To listen to Market Street to Main Street, please visit The Terminal post and click the “play button” on the audio player. Or you can subscribe to Aim Hometown Innovations Podcast on Podbean, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.

Our Legislative Summary Sponsors
Please click on the logos below to learn more about our sponsors.

The Terminal