INDIANAPOLIS–On Wednesday, Governor Holcomb unveiled his legislative priorities for the 2023 Legislative Session. Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor released the following statement:
“There were several good priorities in the Governor’s agenda which members of my caucus have been pushing for years—investments in K-12 and public health, more money for food banks, elimination of school textbook fees, auto-enrolling students in the 21st Century Scholars Program—but as is the trend, his agenda failed to go far enough.
“Indiana has the means to step up exponentially and invest in problems impacting everyday Hoosiers. Residents are struggling. They’re paying the 7th highest healthcare costs in the nation; we lack sufficient childcare in all 92 counties; Hoosiers don’t have the workplace support to ensure their well-being. We don’t have pregnancy accommodations for expecting mothers; we have no paid leave program for workers who need to care for their families; and, we have a stagnant $7.25 minimum wage amidst record inflation.
“I would have loved to see more priority placed on improving the daily lives of Hoosiers through strategic investments that have a long-term impact. For example, we’re using $25 million in federal dollars to establish a grant to fund employer childcare options. We could be directing state dollars toward childcare solutions, including funding my child and dependent care tax credit program, to actually work toward fixing this issue. Not only would it benefit countless parents struggling with childcare across our state, but it would provide one of the best solutions to our strained workforce.
“Funding for public health is another glaring area where funding falls short. The Governor’s own health commission recommended $250M in funding and they’re receiving half of that. Our state needs to head into the budget year with a more robust vision for Indiana. We just banned abortion earlier this year. Why doesn’t the Governor’s agenda explicitly include a section to invest in mothers and new babies?
“Unfortunately, I think the Governor’s budget priorities ultimately just fall short.”