INDIANAPOLIS— Today, the State Budget Committee heard Governor Holcomb’s budget proposal for the upcoming biennium. State Senator Fady Qaddoura (D-Indianapolis), who serves on the State Budget Committee, made the following statement:

“Governor Holcomb’s proposed budget is a mixed bag. I appreciate and support that the Governor has finally included our decade long proposals to eliminate school textbook fees for Hoosier families and increase funding for K-12 education and public health. However, this budget proposal doesn’t rise to the level of bold investments that are desperately needed to address the brain drain crisis and restore Indiana’s competitive edge as we compete with the rest of the nation and the world. For comparison, the Governor’s K-12 education funding increase is less than the state’s proposed spending on capital projects, which includes $800 million in cash payments to fund a state prison rather than financing the project. The budget does not invest in expanding universal pre-k, funding the recommendations of the behavioral health commission, addressing the lack of affordable housing crisis, or reducing regressive taxes. This is a reflection of missed opportunities.”

“With projected reserves above and beyond the prudent range of what the state actually needs, I will continue to fiercely advocate for resetting the state’s priorities to strategically respond to the needs of all Hoosiers. It is my commitment to work in a bipartisan fashion with the Governor and the General Assembly to pass a balanced budget that better aligns with the values and priorities of hard-working Hoosier families.”