INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A local senator is hoping to get more access to a federal assistance program for local families.

Senator Jon Ford authored a bill that would expand the income eligibility for the TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program.

The bill changes the eligibility for a family to take part in the program from 16% of the federal poverty rate to 50%.

Sen. Ford explained how much of a need there is for this expanded eligibility among Hoosier families.

“The reality is this program hasn’t been updated in 30 years,” Ford said. “So when you think about, if a family of three makes $400, they cannot qualify for the program. $400 a month or more and they can’t qualify. To think of a family living off of $400, it’s scary.”

The bill passed through the Senate and was referred to the House.


Another proposed bill would help lessen the amount teachers pay for classroom supplies.

The bill, co-authored by Representative Tonya Pfaff, increases the maximum amount of the income tax credit for classroom supply expenses to $500. The current amount is maxed out at $100.

This would be for each taxable year, so it would be something teachers could take advantage of on an annual basis.

The bill is under review in the House Ways and Means committee.


Another bill proposed in Indianapolis cracks down on certain firearm storage.

The bill would bar Hoosiers from keeping or storing a loaded gun on any premises under their control if they know a child is likely to gain access to that gun.

The legislation also elevates the charge for finding a child in possession of a gun and any injury or death related to a child’s use of an unsecured firearm.

Retail gun dealers would also face certain sign requirements to help uphold the law.

This bill is under review in the House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code.

To find more information on the legislation being proposed in Indianapolis, you can visit the Indiana General Assembly’s website.