INDIANAPOLIS– In November, the Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus outlined our legislative goals for 2019: increase teacher pay, protect insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions and legalize medical marijuana. A vision of a future in which hundreds of thousands of Hoosier lives would be drastically improved. Today, several months later, Senate Republicans finally shared their own agenda. And frankly, I am surprised at my colleagues in the supermajority for their lack of a vision for our state. It seems supermajorities breed complacency.
The announcement of nothing visionary keeps our state behind our neighbors in teacher pay and leaves additional treatment for medical struggles off the table. Maintain an honestly balanced budget? This a constitutional requirement that doesn’t need to be a legislative priority. Instead of standing up for the real needs of Hoosiers, the supermajority is rehashing old speaking points.
What about things that will truly impact our citizens’ lives? What about hate crimes legislation? What about ensuring fair elections through redistricting reform? What about secure elections and improved access to voting? What about expanding the prekindergarten pilot program to all 92 counties in Indiana?
There are so many things that need to be accomplished in this state and we have so far to go, but change doesn’t come from small ideas. Change comes by being bold and by standing up for what is right for all Hoosiers. While our counterparts may be weary, Senate Democrats are ready to lead Indiana into the future. We are committed to fighting for fair teacher pay, guaranteed insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions and responsible access to medical marijuana like Americans in 33 other states.