INDIANAPOLIS– Today, Democratic Leaders Senator Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) and Representative Terry Goodin (D-Austin) held a media availability to discuss what did and did not happen in the 2018 legislative session. Sen. Lanane had the following comments on the overall misguided priorities of the Republican supermajority.

“Republicans are in strong control of both chambers and the governor’s office, so what they say goes, and their agenda is what is advanced. This year their agenda included banning eyeball tattoos, Sunday alcohol sales and sneaking in increased access to guns in the final hour. I’m embarrassed by these priorities, when there are so many other issues that desperately need our attention.

“While I’m proud the Senate Democrats were successful in getting a resolution passed to establish a summer study committee to oversee the Department of Child Services, I remain concerned for our children that the Republicans refused all efforts to address urgent matters of child safety this session. When children are in danger Hoosiers expect an immediate response, and that was not a majority priority this year, leaving us unable to pass any legislation until 2019.

“We fought to pass a bias crimes bill for the sixth year in a row, a law that 64 percent of Hoosiers support. Yet Republicans only heard their own watered down version in committee, then withdrew it without even holding a vote, killing another chance for Indiana to join the 45 other states with bias crimes laws.

“We filed a bill that would enact recommendations from a bipartisan interim committee to create an independent redistricting committee to redraw legislative maps, but Republicans refuse to stop the practice of legislators picking their voters instead of voters choosing their representation.

“We tried to expand access to voting through extended polling hours, same day voter registration and further options for early voting, and the Republican Chairmen of each committee where these proposals were assigned, never allowed a simple hearing on these bills.

“After last month’s tragic school shooting in Florida, my caucus attempted to offer amendments to bills to close loopholes in Indiana code. Rather than hear our amendments and have a debate, Republicans held the bills. And what did they do next? They struck the language from a bill that would have provided Cannabidiol (CBD) oil to ailing Hoosiers and inserted gun language from both houses, completely eliminating any chance for amendments and full debate, but allowed the proposal to proceed outside of the normal process.

“I am beyond frustrated that Republicans lead the charge to defeat our bills at every step, denying the voters who elected us from their due representation. What about bipartisanship? In fact, they refused to give 80 out of 85 Senate Democratic proposals committee hearings. This is not at all how a democracy works and I truly have to question the priorities the supermajority has advanced this year: Sunday alcohol sales, increased gun access and the banning of eyeball tattoos. Are those really the things Indiana should be prioritizing?”

Watch the full press conference here