INDIANAPOLIS- Following Governor Holcomb’s State of the State Address, State Senator JD Ford (D-Indianapolis) released the following statement:

“I appreciate Governor Holcomb’s address tonight and the progress our state has made over the last year. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, Indiana’s economy is growing, school funding and teacher pay are up, and we have a growing surplus. I also want to compliment the Governor on being the sane one in his party when it comes to COVID-19, although I believe we need to be doing more to combat the current uptick in cases. There is room for bipartisan support for parts of the Governor’s agenda, however, given our state’s growing surplus, we must do more to invest in Hoosier families. If we can open the budget for business tax cuts we can open it to invest in Hoosiers and their quality of life. 

“In recent polling, 80 to 90% of Americans said they believe that our country is in the middle of a mental health crisis. This session we ought to pass my SB 174 to address student mental health needs and work together to pass the biggest investment in mental health services in our state’s history. Considering that Indiana ranks 48th in public health funding and 44th in the prevalence of mental illness and access to care, there’s no doubt we need to do more. We also ought to be investing in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle industry and ensuring that our workforce is able to fill those jobs and other good-paying positions. The funds are available for us to continue investments in K-12, early childhood and higher education as well, as we rank 38th in higher education attainment and 51st for early childhood education. These poor rankings should clearly show us the roadmap to our solutions.”