INDIANAPOLIS—The State Budget Committee met today to consider budget requests for agency projects and agency programs across the state, including travel centers and truck stops, Medicaid Pathways, and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). Senator David Niezgodski (D-South Bend), the Senate Democrats voting member, released the following statement:

“I support the increased focus to modernize and upgrade Indiana’s travel centers. I have spoken with many constituents and out-of-state individuals who have avoided taking our highways due to the lack of travel centers that are sanitary, safe, and efficient places to stop. Travel centers are the first impressions people see and they should be places that welcome travelers with Hoosier Hospitality consistent with our Crossroads of America pride.

“In addition, the committee discussed the rollout of the New Medicaid PathWays to Aging program. I am very disappointed that my district’s local Area Agency on Aging (AAA), Real Services, needs to lay off 65 employees because of the severe funding cuts they are being subjected to due to this transition. July 1st is only a few short weeks away and we must do everything possible to ensure Hoosier families and medically vulnerable children with significant disabilities continue to be provided with all necessary care. It is imperative that we work closely and transparently with our Family and Social Services Agency (FSSA) in the coming weeks and months to be certain that Indiana’s new Family Caregiving Program is in fact doing all that it has promised.

“We also heard from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). The profound and historic investment we are witnessing throughout Indiana is truly something to revel in. It was good to learn that the distribution of the deal-closing funds provided to IEDC through 2023’s legislative budget has been proportioned throughout the State. Along with my legislative colleagues on the Budget Committee, I too hope to find ways where greater transparency can be found while we effectively seize upon these monumental economic development opportunities that have turned their eyes upon our great Hoosier State.

“Conversation and collaboration with all stakeholders are key as we draw ever closer to the 2025 legislative budget session.”