Senate Democrats’ 2023 Legislative Priorities
Building an Economy for All
Families / Futures / Freedom
Ease Hoosiers’ economic burdens
Across the state, Hoosiers and their families tell us that it’s been harder than ever to put food on the table, pay bills, and even to simply stay in house and home. No working Hoosier or retiree should struggle to live in our state. Our caucus will be fighting for policies that provide financial stability and security to every Hoosier in Indiana. This includes raising our stagnant minimum wage, working for property tax relief and affordable housing, bringing down medical and prescription drug costs, and building an economy where every Hoosier who works (or has worked) is able to afford what they need.
Heading into the 2023 budget year, Indiana has a surplus of $5 billion. There’s never been a better time to invest in our citizens and build a state that works for all of us. Blue-collar workers, white-collar workers, and retirees all serve our state every day and deserve a fair deal.
Restore reproductive freedom
In the summer of 2022, Indiana became the first state in the nation to call a special session to strip reproductive rights and freedoms away from half its population. Despite multiple polls showing that a majority of Hoosiers support broad access to abortion, Indiana’s Republican majority passed one of the nation’s strictest abortion bans and limited access even for survivors of rape and incest.
Our caucus will work on behalf of the millions of Hoosiers whose autonomy was stripped away. We know that this policy will intensify our shortage of healthcare workers and students and that this will cause a mass exodus, as women head for states that let them have full control of their lives.
While we fight to restore Roe as the law of the land, we will also be working to expand access to contraceptives, protect women from misleading crisis pregnancy centers, and make Indiana a better state for mothers by expanding prenatal services, requiring pregnancy accommodations, and funding a paid family leave program for new parents.
Invest in education and workforce readiness
Indiana’s future depends on our students, educators, and the people who work to make this state work. Unfortunately, the last decade has seen stagnant investment in our public schools and teachers, a declining post-secondary attendance rate, and a severe brain drain that makes Indiana unattractive to employers. This budget session, we are focused on delivering better futures for Hoosier students and workers.
Our caucus will be introducing bills and amendments to eliminate textbook fees; bolster K-12 schools’ operational budgets and teacher pay; automatically enroll students in the 21st Century Scholars Program; and, ensure accessibility and funding not just for four-year degrees, but for apprenticeships, reskilling and job training.
Support working families
Many of the members of our caucus are familiar with the joys, pains, and stresses of parenthood: we know that across the state, parents are struggling to give their children the best possible future they can. Indiana currently lacks critical support for families in the workplace: we have no statewide paid leave program, no real pregnancy accommodations, and affordable, quality childcare is almost impossible to find.
Our families are the building blocks of our own lives and our state’s future—they should always have the resources to build stable, safe, and prosperous lives in Indiana. Our caucus will be introducing bills that guarantee pregnancy accommodations, expand access to affordable pre-K and childcare, and create a paid leave program for parents and families.
Parents and kids deserve the best our state has to offer. Our caucus will work to ensure that all Hoosiers are able to provide for their children without stress.