2023 Indiana General Assembly

CAC remains committed to fighting for affordable utility bills, a clean environment, and a renewable energy policy that addresses climate change.


2023 IGA statsNow that the 2023 Indiana General Assembly (IGA) is finished, we want to send out a huge THANK YOU to everybody who has taken action this session to tell state legislators to protect Hoosier consumers! 


Even if they don't always listen, legislators need to hear from constituents over and over throughout the session. They need to understand how the utility affordability crisis is impacting families all over Indiana, and how the legislation they're passing continues to make it worse.


This has been one of the toughest sessions we've had in recent memory. Below you can find the status of much of the legislation we worked on this session, with more detail in our Consumer, Energy, & Utility bill watch list, and in our Agriculture, Environment, & Natural Resources bill watch list.



Anti-Consumer Legislation

The utilities pretty much got all the handouts they wanted this session, and it is going to hit Hoosier families hard in the coming months and years.


HB1421 grants Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) to the electric utilities for expensive, dirty fossil gas plants. CWIP allows utilities to charge customers for power plants before they produce ANY electricity, and even if they NEVER produce any electricity. HB1421 was signed into law by Gov. Holcomb on 4/20/23.



SB9 was amended in the House Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Committee on 3/14/23, and then rushed through the rest of the process and signed into law by Gov. Holcomb a week later. Now state law, SB9 is a huge bailout for Duke Energy, as well as a blank check for all Indiana electric utilities to spend enormous amounts of your money on projects which may or may not be necessary, with no requirement for pre-approvals from any Federal or State agency.


Weeks before this amendment was offered to SEA9, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a decision from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and found that Duke Energy could NOT charge its customers $212 million in costs they incurred while cleaning up their dirty coal ash mess. The amendment’s intent was to reverse that Court decision. 


In their opinion, the Court of Appeals followed the lead of the Indiana Supreme Court who previously ruled against Duke Energy regarding charging customers for cleaning up coal ash saying it was "retroactive ratemaking" because Duke didn't get preapproval from state utility regulators to collect those extra costs. 


After the Governor signed SB9, Duke immediately petitioned to have their case reheard to charge customers for the $212 million they've been denied. You can read more about this in the Indiana Capital Chronicle and the Indiana Daily Student.



HB1417 also deals with charging ratepayers for coal ash cleanup costs. It was introduced because of the Supreme Court decision against Duke Energy mentioned above. HB1417 effectively allows utilities to self-approve just about any expenditure they make and virtually guarantees that they will recover those costs plus a profit from customers in a future rate case, with or without pre-approval from the IURC. CAC helped secure an amendment in the House that makes this bill a little less dangerous for consumers, but we still opposed this legislation. It is simply stunning that Duke Energy loses twice in the Courts and has the political influence to muscle through two new laws - SB9 and HB1417 - which promise to override those court decisions. HB1417 was signed into law by Governor Holcomb on 4/20/23. 



Kerwin Olson's testimony on HB1420 before the Senate Utilities Committee on 4-13-23At the end of the session, HB1420 was the only bill left that Indiana's monopoly electric utilities asked for that hadn't yet passed, and they ratcheted up their lobbying to get it rammed through in the final days of the session.


HB1420 was signed into law on 5/1/23, and it will further undermine competition against monopoly utilities by blocking competitive bidding on highly expensive transmission projects that customers ultimately have to pay for. This is called the "right of first refusal," or ROFR.



Pro-Consumer Legislation

Unfortunately, two of the bills that CAC was championing - SB40 and SB254 - did not make it through the first half of the session.

  • SB40 would have added a summer disconnect moratorium for low income households (similar to the winter disconnect moratorium that currently exists) to protect vulnerable households during the hottest time of the year.
  • SB254 would have put protections in place so that Hoosiers have a better chance of paying off utility debt. It would also have prevented utilities from charging deposits and down payment fees to enroll in a payment plan. 


Despite over 4,400 emails to legislators and Senate Utilities Committee members encouraging them to hear these bills, the Chair of the committee - Sen. Eric Koch - refused to give either of these bills a vote, so they never made it out of committee.



Three positive bills all unanimously passed their chamber of origin during the first half of the session - HB1290 and HB1138 in the House, and SB265 in the Senate.



Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)

SB176 changes the rated electric generating capacity for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) from 350 megawatts to 470 megawatts, begging the question "what is small?" At what point are they just nuclear reactors rather than SMRs?


Last year the IGA passed SEA271 (2022) at the behest of NuScale and Duke Energy. That legislation gave Indiana utilities Construction Work In Progress (CWIP) for SMRs, allowing utilities to charge customers for SMR plants while they are under construction, before they are producing any electricity, and even if they NEVER produce any electricity.


No public utility in the U.S. has built any SMRs, and there are no operating SMRs in the U.S. at all. More background on SMRs here.


SB176 was introduced this year at the behest of Rolls Royce, to include the SMRs they are trying to get off the ground in Britain. SB176 was signed into law on 4/20/23.

Campaign Tools



2023 Weekly Statehouse Reports


2023 Bill Watch Lists

These are the comprehensive lists of the legislation that CAC is working on at the Indiana Statehouse




To look up and/or e-mail your Indiana legislators, visit: 



The very best way to get a message to your State Senator and Representative is to call and leave a message with their Legislative Assistants. 

These PDF documents have the direct numbers and e-mail addresses for all of our Indiana State Legislators:


Indiana Senate

200 W. Washington Street

Indianapolis, IN 46204-2768

(800) 382-9467


Indiana House of Representatives

200 W. Washington Street

Indianapolis, IN 46204-2768

(800) 382-9842



Help us fight for Hoosiers at the Indiana Statehouse!



Why CAC Lobbies at the Indiana Statehouse

Monopoly utilities and large corporations have the resources to ensure their interests are well represented at the Indiana Statehouse. They have high-paid lobbyists in every corner of the Statehouse, they give massive campaign contributions to legislators, and they give lots of gifts to legislators like meals and event tickets. This enables these industries to “get what they want with little or no questions asked,” as our Executive Director Kerwin Olson stated in the Journal Gazette. 

2022 energy and natural resources campaign contributions


In contrast, CAC remains dedicated to advocating for the needs of all Hoosiers throughout the legislative session. We monitor dozens of bills, testify at committee hearings, and lobby legislators for consumer friendly policies. We also work to give Hoosiers the information and tools they need to make their voices heard - a powerful and important way of countering the influence of big money.



Carbon Capture & Sequestration: SB451

Wabash Valley Resources was back at the Statehouse once again, pushing SB451, which authorizes WVR to condemn property with no notification to the property owner. This legislation forces Hoosier property owners - whether it be families, farmers, or businesses - to allow toxic, highly pressurized carbon dioxide waste to be stored long-term underneath our properties without our consent. It also puts Hoosiers on the hook for the long-term costs and liabilities associated with any problems which can occur as a result of storing toxic carbon dioxide waste underground.


Despite over 1,200 emails to legislators opposing this legislation, WVR finally got what they wanted after four years of trying. SB451 was signed into law on 4/20/23.



Coal Ash: HB1623

HB1623 is a rulemaking bill for all state agencies, and it specifically targets IDEM's draft coal ash rule.  It prohibits IDEM (Indiana Department of Environmental Management) from writing a coal ash rule "more stringent than" the EPA's federal rule, and it prohibits IDEM from including anything in Indiana's coal ash rule that is not in the federal rule.


An amendment was offered in the Senate to remove the coal ash provisions from the bill, but despite 320 emails to senators to support that amendment, they voted it down by a vote of 20-28. HB1623 was signed into law on 5/4/23.


Current Campaigns

These are the issues of immediate importance we are working on right now.