Leslie Bonilla Muñiz

Leslie Bonilla Muñiz

Leslie joins the Indiana Capital Chronicle after covering city government and urban affairs for the Indianapolis Business Journal for more than a year. She graduated from Northwestern University in March 2021, and has reported for the Chicago Tribune, Voice of America and student publications in Evanston, Illinois, Washington, D.C., and Doha, Qatar.

Birth control access and tax deductions bills progress through Statehouse

By: and - February 21, 2023

A Republican-backed bill that would make it easier for Hoosiers to access birth control advanced 86-12 from the House on Monday and now heads to the Senate. House Bill 1568, authored by Rep. Elizabeth Rowray, R-Yorktown, would allow pharmacists to prescribe hormonal birth control to people 18 and older without an appointment. That includes contraceptive […]

Bill boosting “distressed” wastewater infrastructure draws mixed testimony

By: - February 17, 2023

A Senate panel on Thursday approved a bill that would let utility companies ask the state for permission to pass some wastewater infrastructure costs to regular water ratepayers. “Senate Bill 180 … creates a tool for the [Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission] to use as, essentially, a last resort option when all other solutions won’t work […]

Bill bringing voter ID to mail-in ballot applications advances

By: - February 16, 2023

A Republican-led House committee on Wednesday approved a heavily amended bill adding voter identification requirements to mail-in ballot applications, among other restrictions. Proponents said the legislation would boost election confidence and push in-person voting, while opponents said it could lead to confusion and disenfranchisement for Hoosier voters. “The desired intent of this bill is not […]

training bill

House passes state-funded gun training for teachers

By: - February 15, 2023

The Indiana House on Tuesday passed a bill providing state funding to train teachers who carry guns in classrooms after an emotional debate. School districts can already authorize the arming of teachers, but there isn’t a specific training curriculum — or much money — to go with it. “This is just a standardized [training] format […]

Environmentalists, utilities at odds over coal plant protections

By: - February 15, 2023

A House committee on Tuesday advanced an overhaul of the process that state agencies use to create regulations — including some changes benefiting coal plants. The GOP-dominated committee easily approved an amendment blocking the Indiana Department of Environmental Management from imposing regulations on all coal-powered electricity generators that are stricter than federal requirements.  “This language […]

Lawmakers advance ‘buffer zone’ and tax task force bills

By: and - February 15, 2023

The Indiana House on Tuesday approved a bill creating a 25-foot buffer zone around law enforcement officers that bystanders can’t cross. “This is an officer safety measure that will give Indiana police officers the necessary reactionary gap to protect themselves and the public from harm,” author Rep. Wendy McNamara, R-Evansville, said on the floor. But […]

Committee advances changes to Indiana carbon sequestration pilot project

By: and - February 14, 2023

The GOP-majority on the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee approved a bill 8-3 Monday that makes changes to Indiana’s ongoing carbon sequestration pilot project. The proposal seeks to advance the construction of carbon capture and sequestration projects, while also giving special privileges to an Indiana company that is preparing to undertake the nation’s largest carbon dioxide […]


Renters rally at the Statehouse for further protections from bad landlords

By: - February 14, 2023

Rhonda Cook was living at an apartment complex in Indianapolis’ Far Eastside neighborhood when it caught fire. She was one unit away from the flames. Cheswick Village Apartments moved her, but the next unit had a mouse infestation and a “busted-out” patio from a break-in. Cook lived behind boarded-up windows for eight months, waiting for […]

Rural hospitals worry as lawmakers move to lower costs for patients

By: - February 13, 2023

Indiana lawmakers have seized on high health care costs as a priority problem to tackle this legislative session, but rural hospitals with thin profit margins are worried — and want more help from the state. Nearly 20%, 0r 17, of the state’s 92 counties don’t have a single hospital; another 50% have just one, according […]

pension concern

Anti-ESG pension bill’s high price tag prompts concern for governor, top lawmakers

By: - February 10, 2023

Indiana’s top government leaders said this week they are concerned about the potential multi-billion-dollar impact of a public pension bill intended to crack down on the environmental, social and governmental framework known as ESG investing. And senators are pointing to their less-stringent alternative as House lawmakers scramble to “tighten it up.” “Intent, and where that […]

Short-term rental inspections bill passes Senate panel, with changes

By: - February 10, 2023

A Senate committee on Thursday unanimously passed a stripped-down bill letting local units of government charge short-term rental owners $25 annual inspection fees. “There are good [short-term rentals] and bad ones — just like in every other aspect of life,” author Sen. Mike Young, R-Indianapolis, told the Senate Local Government Committee. “… If [units] don’t […]

Committee scales down pregnancy child support proposal

By: - February 9, 2023

House lawmakers on Wednesday approved a scaled-back version of a bill that originally would’ve let expectant mothers claim child support beginning at conception — in the wake of Indiana’s much-litigated abortion ban. Instead, the House Judiciary Committee stripped the bill and replaced it with language allowing courts to make fathers pay for a wider range […]