On Tuesday, Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) released the following statement as the Senate session approaches its final week:

“We looked at a large amount of bills as deadlines came and went the past two days of session, some good and some bad. I’m proud of the Democratic Caucus for getting language approved that could immediately help Hoosiers across the state. Specifically, I’d like to bring attention to two proposals that will directly help preserve the health of our kids.

“Senator Lonnie Randolph led the way to make sure that we test school water for lead contamination. Children in his district have been hit hard by lead-contaminated water, and he has worked tirelessly to make sure that Hoosier kids are protected from this dangerous poison.

“Senator David Niezgodski put together a bipartisan coalition to make sure that families receive insurance coverage for childhood autoimmune diseases PANS and PANDAS. Families should not go bankrupt trying to pay for the treatment for these curable disorders. His proposal is just another example of how this caucus fights to protect Indiana’s most vulnerable.

“Unfortunately, the majority party once again shows its true priorities in the final days of session. Statehouse Republicans routinely tout the importance of being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. However, when Senate Democrats propose common-sense methods to bring charter school accountability in line with public schools, Republicans easily vote down these measures. They do this even in the face of $86 million that virtual charters stole from Hoosier taxpayers.

“In addition, Republicans have used the mantra of “local control” in their quest to deny pay raises for teachers or to allow guns to be carried in schools. Yet, in the same session, the majority passes bills to undo local ordinances, especially in cities controlled by the opposite political party. Indianapolis voters overwhelmingly voted for the expansion of their public transit system, fought for better tenant rights and supported reasonable criminal justice reform efforts by the local prosecutor. But, Republicans introduced proposals that threaten to override local voters and undo all these initiatives.

“In this final week, we still have time to make sure that the true voices of Hoosiers are heard this session. I urge my colleagues to consider the consequences of rushing through some of this legislation that has not been properly vetted by the people who put us in office.”