INDIANAPOLIS—The Senate Appropriations Committee passed House Bill 1004 out of committee today. State Senator David Niezgodski (D-South Bend), a staunch supporter of 13th Check, released the following statement:

“I am extremely disappointed in the amendment which eliminates the 13th check for our public employee and teacher retirees. Since the beginning of my time in the legislature starting in 2007, I have served on many committees pertaining to Employment and Labor, Pensions and Labor, and more. I have always been a member of the Pensions Management Oversight Committee (PMOC), and I have worked with numerous individuals who have tried to work on this issue for many years. I appreciate the intent of the author of SB 275 and the language of the 13th check in HB 1004. This bill was a great proposal for helping our retirees and set us on the right path.

“My greatest concern is the length of time we have to wait to give our public retirees the aid they deserve. Many of these retirees rely on extra substance. The 13th check is so essential: it serves as a lifeline, helping retirees cover unforeseen expenses and maintain a good quality of life in the face of economic challenges.

“This, however, is still not the end of this matter. The opportunity is still present to do what is right. I support the future COLA’s and 13th checks. Furthermore, I support a 13th check for retired public employees and teachers this year.”