News Releases

Merritt: Legislation to assist homeless Hoosiers moves to governor’s desk

STATE HOUSE (April 18, 2019) — A bill authored by State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) that would help homeless youth in Indiana today passed the Senate by a vote of 36 to 10.

Senate Enrolled Act 464 would allow certain representatives of homeless youth to have access to their birth certificate, photo identification, learner’s permit or driver’s license. This action would not require the consent of a parent, guardian or custodian.

Additionally, the bill would require the representative who could access these critical documents to be a McKinney-Vento liaison or representative of a government entity, school corporation or nonprofit organization. The representative would also be required to accept the delivery of mail and have a fee and consent waiver for the youth.

“The focus of this piece of legislation is to remove barriers and better support homeless youth in Indiana,” Merritt said. “As a state, we can assist these individuals by giving them the ability to obtain identification documents, which could help them receive a higher education, enter the workforce and break the cycle of homelessness.”

This legislation would also require the Indiana Department of Workforce Development to allow a representative of a homeless youth who presents a fee and consent waiver affidavit to register the homeless youth to take the high school equivalency exam.

SEA 464 will now move to the governor’s desk for final consideration.


For a high-resolution photo of Sen. Merritt, click here