On Tuesday, Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) and members of the Senate Democratic Caucus announced their 2021 legislative priorities.
“This budget session, like always, will be about priorities,” Sen. Taylor said. “For Senate Democrats, our priorities will be about focusing directly on the issues that directly affect the daily lives of individual Hoosiers and their families. We have to stand for the needs of every single resident in this state.”
The Democratic Caucus agenda will consist of four main tenets:
- Raise the minimum wage so that all Hoosiers can earn a living wage
- Boost workers’ compensation benefits that haven’t increased in over five years
- Support the IBLC justice reform agenda, especially banning no-knock warrants and chokehold maneuvers
- Expand access to voting by allowing no-excuse absentee voting and ballot drop boxes
“These priorities that we shared today have always been important to the lives of Hoosiers and should be the priorities of all members of the General Assembly,” Sen. Taylor said. “However, this pandemic quickly and overwhelmingly showed how our public policy is lacking in many ways.
“Our society relies on minimum wage workers, and yet our state refuses to pay all Hoosiers a living wage. Thousands of Hoosiers work multiple jobs for starvation wages.
“Indiana has a large and proud working class, and yet we do not support them adequately. Workers’ compensation benefits have not been increased for many years for those who are hurt on the job.
“It’s clear that our justice system does not fairly represent or treat all Hoosiers equally. This past year has demonstrated how we need to rethink how law enforcement interacts with Hoosiers.
“In addition, Indiana has some of the strictest voting laws in the nation. We should be making sure all Hoosiers have full and easy access to their constitutional right to vote. Barriers to voting need to be struck down.
“This comes down to caring about people. People are our priority! This is why our caucus will stand up for every Hoosier. We will demand justice, equality and progress for every person in our state.”
These Senate Democratic agenda bills will be authored by Assistant Democratic Leader Eddie Melton (D-Gary), Democratic Caucus Chair J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) and State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes).
Video of the press conference can be viewed here.