INDIANAPOLIS—Today, State Senator Eddie Melton’s (D-Gary) Senate Bill 435, to automatically enroll eligible Indiana students into the 21st Century Scholars Program, was heard in the Senate Education and Career Development Committee. Senator Melton released the following statement:

“Boosting college attainment and getting more young people on the pathway to college is critical in our state, and I’m glad my bill to make that happen was heard today,” Senator Melton said. “For both the Senate Democratic Caucus and the Black Legislative Caucus, it is a top priority to get legislation like this passed this year. By automatically enrolling students in the 21st Century Scholars Program, more of our kids—especially those in Black and other minority communities—will be able to access college with robust financial support.

“I’m excited about the options this policy will bring to young Hoosiers and the impact it will have on the future of our economy. My SB 435 aims to help us begin reversing our declining college attainment rate so we can attract more high-paying jobs to our state. Ultimately, the goal is to expand education and career opportunities so more Hoosiers have the ability to lead a good quality of life. I will continue pushing this bill on behalf of Indiana residents and look forward to supporting the House version of this proposal, which has already passed out of their Education Committee.”

SB 435 will be open for amendments and a vote in next week’s Senate Education and Career Development Committee. The Committee meets every Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. ET and can be streamed here. Senate committee calendars can be found here.