On Tuesday, the governor gave his annual State of the State address outlining the progress Indiana has made and what he hopes is accomplished in 2019. Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) and House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) provided their response in a post-address press conference.

“I am sorely disappointed in the governor’s refusal to provide schools with enough money to pay their teachers a decent wage. Indiana’s teachers make less than all of our neighboring states. The Senate Democrats have a proposal that would provide teachers a five percent raise over the next two years.

“I am glad that the governor agrees that all Hoosiers should be protected under a hate crimes law, including transgender individuals. I call on the governor to get his supermajority in line to also support this imperative language. Without protecting all Hoosiers, we cannot faithfully join ourselves with the other 45 states who have this kind of protection on the books.”

“I do not understand the governor’s staunch opposition to legalizing medical marijuana when 73 percent of Hoosiers support this legislation. Veterans and sick Hoosiers across the state could benefit from this treatment option that Americans in 33 other states and D.C. have access to.

“Finally the governor has yet to address what would happen to thousands of Hoosiers if changes made in D.C. would kick those with pre-existing conditions off affordable health insurance. I call on the governor and Republicans in the legislature to support the Senate Democrats bill that would require insurance companies in Indiana to cover pre-existing conditions at no additional cost. The governor needs to be a leader on this because Indiana’s own Attorney General is part of a lawsuit trying to take this coverage away from Hoosiers.

“Senate Democrats have a lot of good bills on the docket for 2019 that would transform the lives of Hoosiers for the better. I hope the governor and my colleagues understand what’s at stake if some of these bills don’t pass this session. I’m ready to get to work to make sure all Hoosiers are paid a living wage, are protected against violence rooted in discrimination, have access to all possible medical treatment options and can afford to have health insurance.”

Photo Credits to The Statehouse File