INDIANAPOLIS─Yesterday, State Senator David Niezgodski (D─South Bend) voted in favor of the state’s proposed biennial budget. Sen. Niezgodski offered the following comments explaining his support of the bill:

“There was a great deal of work put into HB 1001. In the past week, we found ourselves with a budget that was much closer to the Senate version of HB 1001, along with an extra two billion dollars added in.

“I’m proud we were able to give a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) to our retired teachers and public employees. I do wish however that we could have worked harder to also give these retirees a 13th check so they could put those needed dollars immediately to work. It’s been at least a dozen years since they have received a COLA and I hope during future budgets we can get back on track with added COLA increases.

“There is a great deal to celebrate and be proud of in HB 1001. We were able to fund K-12 schools at higher levels than we have in a very long time. Teachers will now be able to receive the raises they so richly deserve. I filed a number of bills this session, and personally, I feel very successful that I was able to move those bills forward and also amend important language into the budget concerning adoption subsidies for families wishing to adopt children with special needs.

“I gave my best this session in service to residents of District 10 and for Hoosiers all across this state. It’s my hope that the General Assembly will be able to work as collaboratively and productively in the future as we did this year. I walked into this 2021 legislative session with a spirit of bipartisanship and with my vote for this budget, that’s the same spirit I finished with yesterday.”