INDIANAPOLIS — On Friday, the Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus unveiled its 2019 legislative agenda. In addition to the caucus’ continued fight to protect Hoosiers’ voices and votes through past efforts such as passing hate crimes legislation and stopping gerrymandering, the Senate Democrats are focused on three priorities for 2019. These priorities include raising teacher salaries, protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions and legalizing medical marijuana.

Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) spoke at a press conference about the importance of these measures.
“Every member of the Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus will support a proposal requiring insurance companies that operate in Indiana to cover pre-existing conditions,” Sen. Lanane said. “With all the talk in D.C. of removing this important protection, this bill can prevent insurance companies from circumventing the coverage people in Indiana need the most. No Hoosier, no family, should ever face financial ruin due to a medical bill.”

Across the country, 33 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have taken the appropriate steps to legalize the use of medical marijuana as an alternative treatment option for patients with diseases such as cancer, seizures and post- traumatic stress disorder.

“Medical marijuana is a safe and effective treatment option,” Sen. Lanane said. “Medical marijuana laws in other states are working well. No state that has enacted medical marijuana legislation has later repealed it. Hoosiers should have the same choices for treatment as people in 33 other states.”

State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) joined Sen. Lanane at Friday’s press conference to talk about the importance of increasing teacher salaries in Indiana.

“Our public school teachers are being drastically underpaid, less than any of our neighboring states, for the important work they do to prepare our next generation of students for the workforce,” Sen. Melton said. “It is long overdue to raise teacher salaries in this state, and I hope that our colleagues in the General Assembly will support this important proposal.”

The General Assembly will convene to swear in new legislators on Organization Day which will take place next Tuesday, November 20. The 2019 legislative session will officially begin its work on January 3, 2019.