2015 Legislative Update

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015
6:30 -  8:30 p.m.  
Carmel Clay Public Library 
55 4th Avenue Southeast, Carmel, IN 46032
The library is across the street from Carmel High School


Wondering what your elected state officials are doing to make your world a better place?  Join us for an update of key energy & environmental issues being voted on during this legislative session.  Representatives of the Hoosier Environmental Council and the Sierra Club will talk about the issues that most concern the environment.  Learn what you can do to make positive changes a reality.

Panel of Speakers
  • Jesse Kharbanda, exec. director, Hoosier Environmental Council
  • Mark St. John, Legislative Liaison, Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter
  • Phil Teague, solar company owner, Rectify Solar, Inc.

The bills we're watching are:

  • SB 412 - energy efficiency bill
  • HB 1320 - anti-solar bill
  • HB 1351 - anti-regulations bill
  • SJR12 - factory farm constitutional amendment

Here are general resources:

Thanks to our partners & sponsors!



Hamilton County Green Congregations

Carmel Green Initiative and the Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light hipl_logo_transparentpartnered in 2014 to connect the faith community in Hamilton County on the issue of Creation Care through education and network opportunities, and to help congregations actively care for Creation with green project ideas and support from congregations doing similar work.  Hamilton County Green Congregations was formed in April 2016.

Hamilton County Green Congregations is an interfaith coalition of individuals from a variety of congregations to help people of faith care for Creation. The coalition provides information and networking to foster the sustainability of the environment.

Please join in the ongoing discussion about how Hamilton County congregations can act on behalf of God's Creation, the poor, and future generations.



Sunday, January 29, 2017, 3-5 p.m.    St._Peters_Solar_Panels_2016
St. Peter's United Christian Church
3106 East Carmel Drive, Carmel, IN 46033
Carmel Drive and Keystone

The topic for the evening will be on solar power for buildings of worship and homes. Then network and share what's happening in your congregation.

Harnessing the sunshine at your congregation or home is a great way to reduce your environmental footprint and free up financial resources that can be re-directed to meaningful ministries in your faith community.  Even if your congregation might not be ready for solar right now, this is a great way to get an introduction to solar energy so that you can begin planning.

Learn about St. Peter's new solar panels and what it takes to install and finance solar power.  Phil Teague, owner of Rectify Solar, Inc. will describe the solar project at St. Peter's and other commercial and residential projects. Craig Penquite, with St. Peter's Solar Team, will describe the installation from St. Peter's perspective, maintenance concerns, the performance of its new solar panels, and the amount of money saved. Cindy Whitaker, who helped get the grant for St. Peter's, will address the costs, the grant application process and the fundraising requirements. Cindy will also talk about solar power at her Zionsville home.

Following the panel discussion, anyone interested in networking and learning about what other congregations are doing to go green is invited to stay for a group discussion.

To get the most out of this program, we recommend that your pastor, a board or parish council member, the building or facilities manager, the person who pays the bills, members of your Creation Care ministry, and any interested parishioners attend.  Please contact Leslie Webb at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

This energizing workshop is co-sponsored by St. Peter's UCC green ministries, Hamilton Country Green Congregations and Carmel Green Initiative.

Click here to RSVP


Click here to see other faith-based events.



Thanks to all who came to HCGC's presentation - How to Save Energy at Your Congregation.  It was really wonderful to have 12 local congregations represented.  Saving energy is one of the most effective ways to reduce your congregation's environmental footprint and care for God's Creation.   By conserving energy, your congregation will free up financial resources that can be re-directed to meaningful ministries in your faith community. Many thanks to Holy Trinity for hosting, Diane Hamstra and Paula Sutton for organizing and Ray Wilson for sharing his expertise.  Special thanks to Father Bill for the tour of Holy Trinity's beautiful mosaics and iconography frescoes.



Thanks to all who came to Hamilton County's first multi-faith environmental conference - How to Green Your Congregation.  It was really wonderful to see so many denominations & 19 congregations represented!  As you know, many faith traditions call on us to care for God's creation.  Pope Francis' encyclical calls on people of all faiths to come together to care for our common home - Our Earth.  We're off to a great start.  Many thanks to Grace Church and Project Eden for hosting the conference, to our partner Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light, to our guest speakers, and to everyone who worked so hard to put the conference together.  Everyone's contributions are greatly appreciated!!!  Read more.




Thanks to St. Peter's for hosting and to everyone who attended for sharing your ideas and concerns about caring for God's Creation.  Special thanks to Ginger for the tour of the award-winning native landscaping.


Thanks to all who attended the May 2015 meeting and thanks to Grace/Project Eden for hosting.  Your energy and enthusiasm for caring for Creation is inspiring. Special thanks to Sara and Greg for the tour of Project Eden gardens and orchard.




Thanks to Hamilton County faith leaders who joined us in March 2015 to explore ways in which we can form a faith based group in Hamilton County to address environmental issues.



If you are a clergy or a lay person with an interest in earth stewardship and would like to connect with the broader interfaith community on caring for God's creation in Hamilton County, please let us know at this website.


2013 Mass Transit Bill

Carmel Green Initiative has joined a broad coalition of municipalities, Indy_Connect_NOW businesses and organizations in support of the Indy Connect Now regional mass transit campaign for Central Indiana.  Please visit Indy Connect Now for additional information about the transit plan.

Benefits | Supporters | The Plan | Map




Public Meetings

Public meetings will be held at various locations in Central Indiana. This is a great opportunity to learn about the Indy Connect plan in greater detail, as well as share your thoughts on routing, vehicles, station locations and more.

Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Carmel Clay Public Library -  READ MORE
Wednesday, August 17, 2013 at 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Monon Center - An informational meeting to discuss the proposed Red Line.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about the transit plan as it relates to Carmel as well as provide your input


Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 6 - 7:30 p.m. 
Noblesville City Hall, 16 S. 10th St., Noblesville.  
An informational meeting to discuss the proposed Green Line.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about the transit plan as it relates to Fishers and Noblesville as well as provide your input.


Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. 
Carmel High School Freshman Cafeteria, 520 E. Main St., Carmel


Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
Fishers Train Station, 11601 Municipal Dr., Fishers
GreenRTL-logo-CMYK.png .

.Complete listing of public meetings . | .Youtube video of Indy Connect Plan, 4Public Meeting Materials min.




MassTransitMapNorthDuring the 2013 legislative session, your State representatives will have an opportunity to pass a bill that would allow you to have a vote on mass transit funding through a County referendum.  As an active participant of the regional transportation initiative, our goal is to keep Carmel and Hamilton County citizens up-to-date on the transit legislation as it relates to Hamilton County legislators.  This legislation is a key step in achieving a comprehensive regional transportation system and is thus a significant opportunity to achieve ‘greener’ transportation options for Carmel and Hamilton County residents.

2013 Legislative Session

In the House

  • The bill was assigned to the House Roads & Transportation Committee. On Wed. Jan 23, Carmel Green Initiative joined transit advocates - Indianapolis Mayor Ballard, Westfield Mayor Cook, Noblesville Mayor Ditslear, IUPUI Chancellor Bantz, the Indiana and Indianapolis Chambers of Commerce, American Institute of Architects, Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors, Indiana Economic Development, Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, the Hoosier Environmental Council, the Sierra Club and many other organizations and individuals - in a strong show of support for the transit bill at a hearing before the House Roads & Transportation Committee.  A week later, on Wed. Jan 30, the Indiana House Roads and Transportation Committee voted 11-1 in support. Some legislators voted in favor because they support mass transit for the region. Others voted yes in support of giving local governments control over local funding issues.  Representative Speedy (R-Indianapolis) was the lone dissenter. The committee also voted to amend the bill to delay the date of a county referenda to no earlier than Nov 2014. This would avoid costs of a special election by adding the referenda to the regular election cycle. The bill now moves to House Ways and Means.  Updated Feb 2, 2013
  • Having cleared the House Roads and Transportation Committee, the transit referendum bill moved on to the House Ways & Means Committee for consideration of financial implications, amendments and vote. On Wed. Feb 13, the transit bill passed out of  Ways&Means  with overwhelming support - 20-2!  Rep. Eric Turner (portions of Westfield, northern Hamilton County) was only one of two NO votes.  The bill now moves on to 2nd reading for amendments and a full House vote. Updated Feb 13, 2013
  • Rep. Turner's amendment to exempt rural areas was adopted on Second Reading. While it is not ideal, it is workable. Read more. Posted Feb 22, 2013
  • The Indiana House voted 56-39 in favor of House Bill 1011.  All 6 Hamilton County representatives voted YES. View House Bill Read News Release.  The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.  Posted Feb. 28, 2013   
    In the Senate
  • On Wed. Mar 20, the Senate Committee on Local Government passed the transit bill: 7-2 Eckerty & Smith were the NO votes; Wyss didn't vote. Posted Mar24, 2013
  • Having cleared both chambers, the Senate version and the House versionwill be reconciled in Conference Committee. Posted Apr 13, 2013
  • Representative Torr has filed his dissent with the Senate version of the bill which includes the Study Committee amendment, and hopes to restore the original intent of the bill without the Study Committee language since mass transit has been studied enough already.  Posted Apr 22, 2013
  • House Conference Committee to Meet on Mass Transit as Community Builds Support
  • Open Letter to the Indiana General Assembly
  • The Conference Committee is scheduled to discuss HB1011 Tuesday, April 23, 9:30 a.m. in State House Room 156B.   House Conferees are Torr and Porter, with advisors T. Brown, Pryor and Hale.  Senate Conferees are Pat Miller and Breaux, with advisors M. Young, Taylor, Merritt and Waltz.  Advisors do not have a vote.  Posted Apr 22, 2013
  • Senate opponents skeptical about funding did not budge in conference committee, forcing the House to vote on the Senate version of the bill which passed with a vote of 59-35 on April 26, 2013.  “The Senate decided that 40 years of studying the issue isn’t quite enough;” said Jerry Torr, R-Carmel, the bill’s author. “They wanted to study it at least one more year. They also put in a provision just to be absolutely certain that nobody in local government did anything without their permission, they put in a prohibition about entering into any interlocal agreements to set up anything on their own.”  - from IndyStar Chris Sikich articlePosted Apr 26, 2013
  • The study committee is expected to meet in late July or early August to discuss the issues. Though not the ideal outcome, a study committee does provide an opportunity to continue the conversation. Posted July 2013.

2013 Summer Study Committee

  • The Indiana General Assembly chose members for the Central Indiana Transit Study Committee created by HEA 1011 during this year's legislative session.  This committee was created to provide members of the Indiana legislature with the opportunity to evaluate the Indy Connect regional transit plan and current Central Indiana transit operations, as well as study local funding options and the regional governance model as it was proposed in HB 1011.   Posted June 2013
  • The members of the Central Indiana Transit Study Committee are:
    Sen. Patricia Miller, Chairperson
    Sen. Brent Waltz
    Sen. Jean Breaux
    Sen. Greg Taylor
    Sen. Luke Kenley
    Sen. Michael Crider
    Sen. Brandt Hershmann
    Sen. Timothy Lanane
    Rep. Michael Speedy
    Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer
    Rep. Jeffrey Thompson
    Rep. John Price
    Rep. Jerry Torr
  • The mass transit study committee held its first meeting on Aug 5, 2013.  Mayors Ballard, Brainard (testimony begins at 1:28)  and Ditslear (testimony begins at 1:46) testified in support of a transit system raising many of the issues cited during the legislative session.  Ron Gifford's testimony begins at 2:28.  See listing of speakers on the agenda
    View archived webcast.  Read Nuvo articleRead WIBC article Posted Aug 8, 2013
  • The second meeting was held on Sept. 10, 2013. MPO testimony begins at 41 min. Anna Tyszkiewicz and Sean Northup of the Indianapolis MPA explain the transportation planning process of the proprosed transit system. This is a great way to get a better understanding of how the MPA works.  Hamilton County Commissioner Christine Altman's testimony begins at 1:40.  Commissioner Altman said the population in Hamilton County is expected to double by 2050 and that an effective strategy to accomodate this growth requires a transit solution in our transportation system.  Ron Gifford addresses funding as well as the pros & cons of income tax vs sales tax revenues beginning at 1:56.  See listing of speakers on the agenda.   View archived webcast.  Posted Sept 2013
  • The third meeting was held on Oct. 3, 2013.  Mo Merhoff of the Carmel Chamber of Commerce testifies in support of transit from a business perspective beginning at 1:00. Read minutes View archived webcast.  Posted Oct 2013
  • The fourth meeting was held on Oct 31, 2013.  Despite the overwhelming support from a wide range of community leaders (see list below), several legislators on the mass transit study committee continue to lean against a regional transportation system and are looking at a scaled down, incremental version limited to Marion County. View agenda.  View archived webcast.  Posted Nov 2013
  • The fifth and final meeting was held on Nov. 21, 2013. The committee discussed proposed recommendations for the report. View agenda.  View archived webcast.  Posted Dec 2013
  • Click here for FINAL REPORT

- Mayor Greg Ballard, Indianapolis
- Mayor James Brainard, Carmel
- Mayor John Ditslear, Noblesville
- Mayor Kevin Smith, Anderson
- Mr. Dwayne Sawyer, Town Council President, Brownsburg
- Mr. Robin Brandgard, Town Council President, Plainfield
- Central Indiana Transit Task Force.
- Anna Tyszkiewicz, Indianapolis MPO
- Christine Altman, CIRTA
- Ron Gifford, Central Indiana Transit Task Force
- Michael Hicks, Ball State University & Indiana Transportation Association
- Tim Maloney, Hoosier Environmental Council
- Nicholas Donohue, Transportation 4 America
- Mike Rosiello, United Way of Central Indiana
- Greg Meyer
- Michael Terry, IndyGo
- Pastor Eugene Simmons, Visions of Souls Christian Life Center
- Mo Merhoff, President, Carmel Chamber of Commerce
- Christian Maslowski, President, Greenwood Chamber of Commerce
- John Griffin, Executive Director, Central Indiana BCTC
- Charles Bantz, Chancellor, IUPUI
- Sen. Brent Waltz
- Don Bauder, President, Tea Party of Hamilton County
- Bill Schneider
- Stephen Avery
- INDOT: Planned road construction and development in Central Indiana.
- INDOT: An overview of mass transportation funding
- An overview of IndyGo operations.
- Municipal transportation issues.
- Jim Landers, Director, Office of Fiscal Management & Analysis, reporting on available local resources and revenue generating capacity.


  • The transit bill will need to be re-introduced again in the 2014 legislative session and the suggestions of the committee will be taken into consideration.






Your participation and support are key to making this a reality.

1) Contact your State Legislator

The most important thing you can do is contact your legislator.  Say to him/her “I want you to support funding to improve and expand transit service in Indiana."

Please join us in thanking Representative Jerry Torr for his support as author of the mass transit bill.  317.232.9677  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Please join us in thanking Representatives Steve Braun, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (317) 232-9677 and Todd Huston, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (317) 232-9677, for their support and leadership as co-authors of the mass transit bill.

Please join us in thanking Senator Jim Merritt, (portions of Fishers) This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (317) 232-9533, for his supporrt and leadership as co-sponsor..


2) Sign the Petition

3) Adopt a Resolution

Have your business, organization or congregation adopt a resolution in support of mass transit.

> See who has already signed on.
> Download a sample Resolution
> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it




Winter Market at Carmel City Center

Saturdays from 9 a.m. to Noon
From November 17, 2012 to January 26, 2013 (Closed Dec 22 and 29)
Carmel City Center
720 South Rangeline Road  Carmel, IN 46032

The Winter Market is held in a storefront at 719 Hanover Place on the interior of Carmel City Center (between Authentic Sports Collectibles and the Bike Line). Surface parking is available on plaza level (accessible from City Center Drive), in the underground garage (accessible from Rangeline Road) and along Veterans Way located to the south of Carmel City Center.  Read more.

Past Green Policies

2017 Legislative Session

2016 Leglislative Session


2015 Leglislative Session


2014 Leglislative Session


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