INDIANAPOLIS – On Wednesday, State Senator Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond) released the following statement regarding President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech and the need to increase Indiana’s minimum wage.

“I applaud the emphasis the president put on raising the minimum wage during his State of the Union address. Here in Indiana, we too must focus on putting more money in the pockets of working Hoosiers.

“For too long our policies have targeted a select few. Cutting the corporate income tax rate from 8.5 percent to 6.5 percent and eliminating the inheritance tax was focused on higher earners. It is apparent from lagging middle class incomes that we haven’t done enough for working families.

“As many as 16 percent of Hoosiers have fallen below the poverty line and on average, Indiana households earned less in 2012 than they did in 2004.

“Raising the minimum wage could positively impact nearly a quarter of the Hoosier workforce and is a strong first step toward combatting sagging wages.

“A tiered increase as I’ve proposed, from $7.25 to $8.25 and then to $10 would ultimately up a full-time worker’s pay from $13,920 to $19,200, lifting a two-person family out of poverty.

“While I’ll continue to pursue this initiative at the Statehouse, I’m troubled that Republican leaders are too focused on cutting corporate taxes and less concerned with ensuring Hoosiers have every opportunity to lift themselves up into the middle class.”

Mrvan represents Indiana Senate District 1 which includes portions of Lake County. District 1 communities include Hammond, Munster, Highland, Dyer, Schererville and Griffith as well as two precincts in Crown Point. For more information on Sen. Mrvan his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit