INDIANAPOLIS—On Tuesday night, Governor Eric Holcomb gave his annual State of the State address, outlining his legislative priorities and reflecting on Indiana’s year. Senate Assistant Minority Leader Shelli Yoder (D-Bloomington) issued this statement in response:

“The Holcomb administration should be commended for its budget commitments to K-16 education, public health initiatives, and community and economic development. Senate Democrats are especially glad to have the Governor’s backing on longstanding priorities like eliminating textbook fees, public health spending, funding mental health initiatives, and bolstering community and economic development programs.

“This budget still falls short in key areas: it fails to make the massive investment we need to make in pre-K and childcare, leaves already-vulnerable Hoosiers burdened by regressive tax structures, and does not truly reckon with the root causes of Indiana’s brain drain and workforce issues. Indiana has been working backwards for over a decade: a great state starts with investments in citizens—not just businesses, which need an educated, reliable workforce more than unrestricted tax climates. We need affordable housing, a robust childcare network, clean air and water in addition to his requested investments. Governor Holcomb also made no mention of the harsh social policies (like SEA 1) that he has signed into law over the past year. We know that these sorts of policies drive a young, diversifying workforce away from Indiana, all but ensuring a future labor crisis.

“Though we have a lot of work to do, this budget has given me hope that maybe we’ll steer clear of culture wars this session and really get to work for Hoosiers—I hope that our supermajority takes its cue from and expands on the Governor’s plan.”