INDIANAPOLIS— Tonight, the Indiana Senate passed its biennial budget. Senate Democratic Caucus Chair J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) offered the following comments on the budget passage: 

“Budgets are about priorities, and the priorities in this budget are not the priorities of my district or even the priorities of last week’s Senate budget. I can’t support putting more than $3 billion towards a pension plan when public school funding not only won’t be keeping up with inflation, but districts like Pike Township will see less funding in the second year of the budget. Instead of prioritizing public schools that 90% of students attend, this budget prioritizes vouchers for families making over $220,000 a year and forces some counties to share property tax revenue with charter schools.”

“While I’m supportive of provisions to eliminate school textbook fees and that we at least did something on mental and public health, this budget just doesn’t prioritize education and healthcare, which are the top two issues for my district. If we can’t bother investing in Hoosiers and improving their quality of life, we should just return their money to them with another tax refund. We missed an opportunity here. We should’ve done better.”