INDIANAPOLIS—Today, Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) released the following statement condemning a series of bad public policy decisions by the Senate Supermajority this week.
“Over the last two days, we’ve advanced a series of bad bills that will do the exact opposite of what we set out to do this session: retain and attract Hoosiers.
“With House Bill (HB) 1334, this Legislature is on track to make it even harder for our most vulnerable Hoosiers to vote. Indiana already ranks bottom ten in the nation for voter turnout, and this bill all but ensures that working Hoosiers, residents with disabilities and those in our aging population will be disenfranchised. HB 1417 will give big utility companies the green light to employ predatory practices that will result in Hoosier ratepayers paying more for their energy bills. Coupled with SB 9, which was already signed into law, utility companies have been authorized to pass more and more costs off to ratepayers. Hoosiers are about to be gouged out of their hard-earned money without any oversight to ensure their protection.
“We also advanced HB 1005 today under the guise of addressing Indiana’s affordable housing crisis. However, the bill has no guardrails to ensure funds will actually be used to create affordable housing. It also strips school corporations of their ability to approve the development of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts. My caucus attempted to make sure funding was earmarked specifically for affordable housing and to restore current law requiring school boards to approve residential TIFs, but our efforts were blocked. As it stands, all this proposal will do is allow developers to finance their infrastructure at lower interest rates with no promise that Hoosiers struggling with housing will be helped—HB 1005 is not a solution to our growing affordable housing problem. It is another handout for certain industries in Indiana without any commitment to Hoosiers.
“How do any of these bills convince people to live in Indiana? With legislation like this, along with the advancement of Republican culture war bills, I’d say Indiana can look forward to a continued brain drain problem. As long as we keep stripping away rights and making it impossible for Hoosiers to afford their basic needs like housing and utilities, we’ll keep pushing Hoosiers to states that actually support their residents and offer a good quality of life.”