Policy Update, October 13, 2017 
Thank you for your interest and support. Indiana United Ways provides its Policy Update on "even Fridays" (2nd and 4th Fridays). Contact us  if you have any questions or comments about content (past, present or desired for the future).  
Income Priority Area The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalizes rule aimed at stopping payday debt traps Past Due Notice with Piggy Bank with Bandage
On Thursday, October 5 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized a rule that requires additional consumer protections for products including payday loans, auto title loans, deposit advance products and longer-term loans with balloon payments.  Payday loans and these other products often lead borrowers into a cycle of debt due to high interest rates, fees and the quick repayment period. In Indiana, the annual percentage rate (APR) for payday loans is capped at 391% and 82% of payday loan borrowers take out another loan within 30 days of paying off the first. The CFPB issued this rule to help prevent the payday debt trap.

The rule requires lenders to determine the borrowers ability to repay the loan by taking into account their budget, current financial obligations and basic living expenses. The rule caps the number of loans that can be made in quick succession and includes a "debit attempt cutoff" for any short-term loan, balloon-payment loan, or longer-term loan with an annual percentage rate higher than 36 percent that includes authorization for the lender to access the borrower's checking or prepaid account.  The rule takes effect 21 months after it's published in the Federal Register.  View a summary of the rule or the full text version.

View comments from Indiana United Ways and our partners advocating for safe and affordable financial products for all Hoosiers.  View local coverage by the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
Charitable Sector Priority Area - Take Action
Indiana Coalition for Human Services and Children's Coalition of Indiana team up to offer fall learning opportunities
ICHS and CCI have partnered to host fall learning opportunities in Indianapolis.  The sessions are open to members and guests free of charge.  The meetings will cover a variety of topics throughout October and November.  Register now to attend sessions that interest you and view the flyer for additional event details.
  • Tuesday, October 17: Update on Fair Housing and Combating Hate presented by Amy Nelson of Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana and the Central IN Alliance Against Hate project. 
  • Tuesday, October 24: Gun Violence and Suicide Prevention presented by Beth Sprunger of Moms Demand Action and Mindi Goodpaster of MCCOY. 
  • Tuesday, November 14:  New Census Data and the Wage and Wealth Gap in Indiana presented by Andrew Bradley and Erin Macey of the Indiana Institute for Working Families. 
  • Tuesday, November 28:  Home Rule presented by Justin Schneider of Indiana Farm Bureau.
At the Statehouse
Legislative Study Committees State Capitol
During the legislative session many interim study committee topics are recommended by the General Assembly.  The meetings allow experts in the field and state agencies to share information about the current state of issues in Indiana in preparation for the next legislative session.  In late May, the Legislative Council announced the topics to be studied in the interim before the 2018 session.  

View the House and Senate interim study committee assignments. Check the interim committee calendar for updates. A sample of current meetings on the calendar include:
Charitable Sector Priority Area - Take Action Indiana United Ways testified on the topic of uniform property tax assessment of nonprofit entities on October 2nd for the Interim Study Committee on Fiscal Policy.  View our comments weighing in on the inconsistencies that we've observed from community to community.
Education Priority Area ExCEL Network brief on challenges and opportunities in summer programs for rising kindergarten students
Four Boys Reading
There is a growing belief that access to academic opportunities during the summer can help close the achievement gap between low-income students and their higher-income peers. But while significant research is emerging on summer programs for school-age children, information on the preschool period is limited. The Expanding Children's Early Learning (ExCEL) Network is examining the potential benefits of a summer enrichment program to promote school readiness skills for children about to enter kindergarten. The ExCEL Summer Project initiated a learning network of practitioners, policymakers, and researchers with the aim of connecting theories about the promise of summer programs preceding kindergarten, existing research about features of effective summer programs for school-age children, and the day-to-day realities of implementing these programs for rising kindergarten students. One of the featured programs they looked at was  Kindergarten Countdown Camp, a kindergarten readiness "boot camp" that several of Indiana's United Ways run locally.  This brief introduces the ExCEL Summer Project and summarizes lessons learned about three implementation issues - recruitment, attendance, and family involvement - that affect all summer programs but may pose unique challenges and opportunities for programs for rising kindergartners.
Health Priority Area - Take Action
Help promote the upcoming healthcare marketplace open enrollment period November 1 - December 15
Open Enrollment for 2018 health plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace starts next month.  If you don't have health insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source of qualifying coverage, the Marketplace can help you get covered.  Use these outreach and enrollment tools to promote the open enrollment period with clients, community partners and more.  Important dates to note for outreach and enrollment activities include:
  • November 1, 2017: Open Enrollment starts - first day you can enroll, re-enroll, or change a 2018 insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2018. 
  • December 15, 2017: Last day to enroll in or change plans for coverage to start January 1, 2018. 
  • January 1, 2018: 2018 coverage starts for those who enroll or change plans by December 15.
  • January 31, 2018: Last day to enroll in or change a 2018 health plan. After this date, you can enroll or change plans only if you qualify for a special enrollment period.  

Indiana 211 coordinates information about healthcare events all over the state. Whether you need information on your health insurance options, want someone to walk you through enrollment, or just have questions, 211 is here for you. Use the map to find an enrollment event near you or simply dial 2-1-1.

At the Statehouse - Take Action
Weigh in on issues important to you!
Submitting comments during rulemaking periods is an important way to shape policy.  State and federal agencies appreciate specific comments about possible impacts and ways to improve proposed rules.  Below are a few open comment periods in Indiana.
  • FSSA Division of Aging is seeking public comment on its Home and Community Based Services Report.  Learn more and weigh in before the November 1 deadline.
At the Statehouse
IUW Public Policy 
IUW is a nonpartisan organization that works to advance policy principles and compromise solutions for the common good. Our policy priorities are developed and guided by our Public Policy Committee and our members, based on their programmatic work in Hoosier communities.
  • Education, so that children are prepared for and succeed in school;
  • Income/Financial Stability, so that individuals and families may achieve and sustain financial stability;
  • Health, so that individuals may access quality healthcare; and 
  • Strong Communities, where a statewide 2-1-1 network and a strong charitable sector help communities thrive.
Review our  public policy documents , including fact sheets, testimony and bill summaries. 
Frequently Requested Links / Documents
 iuw.org  - Learn about Indiana United Ways, current trainings and conferences and the ways we support local United Ways/Funds, partners and communities.

 IUW Policy / Advocacy info - Review and download IaUW Policy Priorities, Third House calendar, bill lists, fact sheets, talking points and testimony.
Federal Advocacy Action Center - Contact your member of Congress provided through our partnership with United Way Worldwide.

IUW Policy Update Archive - Read prior issues, special articles and key documents produced by IaUW related to public policy and advocacy.

Community Report Card - Check out key indicators in Education, Income and Health for your neighborhood, county or region.

IN211.org - S earch for human service information available through the referral database or by calling 2-1-1. Download reports about resources, needs, gaps and trends from Indiana 211 Partnership.
NRN Calendar - Register for high-quality and affordable training for nonprofit staff and volunteers by the Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network.

Funding and Other Opportunities  Explore current requests for proposals, funding and recognition opportunities.

Indiana General Assembly  - Check the hearing or floor schedule, watch a live or recorded hearing or floor session and look up your legislators. 

Congress.gov   - Look up bills introduced or passed in Congress.