INDIANAPOLIS— Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted on the Senate Republicans’ proposed budget. Senator Fady Qaddoura (D-Indianapolis) offered amendments to increase investments in childcare, Pre-K, and to exempt feminine hygiene products from sales tax. Senator Qaddoura made the following statement about the budget passed by the Committee:

“The Senate Republican budget is an improvement when compared to the House passed budget; however, I voted against the budget bill because of many concerns that I articulated in committee today. Line items that I support in the Senate version of the bill include funding school textbook costs for Hoosier families, increasing funding to support schools serving the most vulnerable students (complexity grants, English Language Learners, and Special Education), and increasing funding for higher education.  These are ideas that we have championed for many years. However, the senate proposed budget doesn’t fully fund SB 1 (mental health services) or SB 4 (public health funding) at a time when Hoosiers have made it clear that healthcare is a priority, does not increase cigarette taxes, does not expand early childhood education sufficiently to help close the achievement gap and improve literacy and math proficiency, does not fund a 13th check for our retired teachers and state employees, and does not address the skyrocketing property taxes that are hurting many hard working Hoosier families. The Senate proposed budget is a step in the right direction, but we can do a better job of investing to improve the quality of life for all Hoosiers.”