INDIANAPOLIS— Following Governor Holcomb’s formal announcement calling for a special session, State Senator Fady Qaddoura (D-Indianapolis), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is calling for the special session to address pressing issues facing Hoosiers by reopening the State Budget to address inflation, support vulnerable Hoosier families, and proactively position Indiana’s schools for success in the 2022-23 school year:
“Indiana is at a crossroads. Unfortunately, the past 20 years of state legislation and policies have sent Indiana’s state rankings on critical measures such as education and healthcare to the bottom ten compared to the rest of the nation. With nearly $6 billion in surplus, the General Assembly has an opportunity to act boldly to correct course and make up for 20 years of underinvesting. Given that legislators have been called back to a special session that will cost taxpayers over $250,000, I call upon the Governor and the leadership of the General Assembly to formally open the state budget process to fund the following priorities:
- Appropriate $1 billion for K-12 funding to help public schools recruit and retain staff and teachers to fill the more than 4,000 job openings. Waiting until next year’s budget session, which concludes at the end of April 2023, means that Indiana students, teachers and schools will be shortchanged throughout the 2022-23 school year.
- Increase relief checks from $225 to $400 for single filers who make up to $75,000 in income and $800 for joint filers who make up to $150,000 and include public sector retirees (teachers, firefighters, and police officers) and recipients of social security disability benefits.
- Invest $1 billion in Hoosier families, mothers and children. This pro-family funding includes $250 million to meet the Governor’s Public Health Commissions goals, $250 million to expand eligibility for On My Way Pre-K, $250 million to improve maternal health as Indiana currently ranks 3rd worst maternal mortality rate in the nation and many pregnant women currently go without the care they need, and $250 million to improve access to mental health care as Health Commissioner Dr. Box has highlighted.
“Indiana can’t afford reluctant leadership given the urgency of the circumstances. Hoosiers are feeling the pain of skyrocketing gas prices and property taxes; rising rents, utilities, groceries; and deteriorating local roads and infrastructure. Rather than holding relief funding hostage to behind closed doors infighting within the different factions of the supermajority who are focused on criminalizing women, physicians, and reproductive healthcare, we should act now, act boldly, focus on policy, protect individual liberty, and refrain from an extreme government overreach.”
“It’s the General Assembly’s responsibility to act swiftly to ensure that we listen to Hoosiers and address the issues that are impacting them.”