Sec. 10.1. (a) This section applies only to:

(1) a political subdivision that adopts an ordinance or a resolution making a preliminary determination to issue bonds or enter into a lease subject to sections 3.5 and 3.6 of this chapter; and

Terms Used In Indiana Code 6-1.1-20-10.1

  • Attorney: includes a counselor or other person authorized to appear and represent a party in an action or special proceeding. See Indiana Code 1-1-4-5
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • controlled project: means any project financed by bonds or a lease, except for the following:

    Indiana Code 6-1.1-20-1.1

  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • lease: means a lease by a political subdivision of any project with lease rentals payable from property taxes that are exempt from the levy limitations of IC 6-1. See Indiana Code 6-1.1-20-1.3
  • Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
  • project: means any project or purpose for which a political subdivision may issue bonds or enter into leases, including a sale-lease back of an existing building. See Indiana Code 6-1.1-20-1.7
(2) any other political subdivision that has assessed value within the same taxing district as the political subdivision described in subdivision (1).

     (b) Except as otherwise provided in this section, during the period beginning with the adoption of the ordinance or resolution and continuing through the day on which a local public question is submitted to the voters of the political subdivision under section 3.6 of this chapter, the political subdivision seeking to issue bonds or enter into a lease for the proposed controlled project, or any other political subdivision that has assessed value within the same taxing district, may not promote a position on the local public question by doing any of the following:

(1) Using facilities or equipment, including mail and messaging systems, owned by the political subdivision to promote a position on the local public question, unless equal access to the facilities or equipment is given to persons with a position opposite to that of the political subdivision.

(2) Making an expenditure of money from a fund controlled by the political subdivision to promote a position on the local public question. This subdivision does not prohibit a political subdivision from making an expenditure of money to an attorney, an architect, a registered professional engineer, a construction manager, or a financial adviser for professional services provided with respect to a controlled project.

(3) Using an employee to promote a position on the local public question during the employee’s normal working hours or paid overtime, or otherwise compelling an employee to promote a position on the local public question at any time. However, if a person described in subsection (f) is advocating for or against a position on the local public question or discussing the local public question as authorized under subsection (f), an employee of the political subdivision may assist the person in presenting information on the local public question, if requested to do so by the person described in subsection (f).

(4) In the case of a school corporation, promoting a position on a local public question by:

(A) using students to transport written materials to their residences or in any way involving students in a school organized promotion of a position;

(B) including a statement within another communication sent to the students’ residences; or

(C) initiating discussion of the local public question at a meeting between a teacher and parents of a student regarding the student’s performance or behavior at school. However, if the parents initiate a discussion of the local public question at the meeting, the teacher may acknowledge the issue and direct the parents to a source of factual information on the local public question.

However, this section does not prohibit an official or employee of the political subdivision from carrying out duties with respect to a local public question that are part of the normal and regular conduct of the official’s or employee’s office or agency, including the furnishing of factual information regarding the local public question in response to inquiries from any person.

     (c) The staff and employees of a school corporation may not personally identify a student as the child of a parent or guardian who supports or opposes a controlled project subject to a local public question held under section 3.6 of this chapter.

     (d) This subsection does not apply to:

(1) a personal expenditure to promote a position on a local public question by an employee of a school corporation whose employment is governed by a collective bargaining contract or an employment contract; or

(2) an expenditure to promote a position on a local public question by a person or an organization that has a contract or an arrangement (whether formal or informal) with the school corporation solely for the use of the school corporation’s facilities.

A person or an organization that has a contract or an arrangement (whether formal or informal) with a school corporation to provide goods or services to the school corporation may not spend any money to promote a position on a local public question. A person or an organization that violates this subsection commits a Class A infraction.

     (e) An attorney, an architect, a registered professional engineer, a construction manager, or a financial adviser for professional services provided with respect to a controlled project may not spend any money to promote a position on a local public question. A person who violates this subsection:

(1) commits a Class A infraction; and

(2) is barred from performing any services with respect to the controlled project.

     (f) Notwithstanding any other law, an elected or appointed public official of the political subdivision (including any school board member and school corporation superintendent), a school corporation assistant superintendent, or a chief school business official of a school corporation may at any time:

(1) personally advocate for or against a position on the local public question; or

(2) discuss the public question with any individual, group, or organization or otherwise personally advocate for or against a position on the public question before any individual, group, or organization;

so long as it is not done by using public funds. Advocacy or discussion allowed under this subsection is not considered a use of public funds. However, this subsection does not authorize or apply to advocacy or discussion by a school board member, superintendent, assistant superintendent, or school business official to or with students that occurs during the regular school day.

     (g) A student may use school equipment or facilities to report or editorialize about a local public question as part of the news coverage of the referendum by student newspaper or broadcast.

     (h) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a political subdivision that has assessed value within the same taxing district as the political subdivision described in subsection (a) from adopting a resolution or taking a position on the local public question.

As added by P.L.146-2008, SEC.200. Amended by P.L.182-2009(ss), SEC.149; P.L.198-2011, SEC.4; P.L.60-2020, SEC.3.