What are the issues that are most important to District 26?
Indiana has many issues and challenges ahead. My focus will be to work hard for Indiana to make the changes it deserves.
In July of 2022 Indiana passed the most restrictive Abortion Ban in the country leaving pregnant women and babies more vulnerable than ever. Indiana falls at the bottom when protecting women through pregnancies. With the 3rd highest maternal mortality rates and 7th highest infant mortality rates, this new law that goes in effect September 15, 2022 is expected to increase those rates by 22%.
Special Session in July of 2022, SB1, limits abortion access for women and children who are victims of rape or incest to 10 weeks and the life of the mother or lethal fetal abnormalities to 20 weeks. Many medical professionals testified against the harmful ramifications of this legislation along with hundred of women and men from across the state pleading for protection of pregnant women, the unborn, and medical professionals to be able to make the best choices when it comes to their health care. Although, less than 20% of Hoosiers support this extreme ban and elimination of freedom, the ban passed with a vote of 62-38 in the state house and a vote of 28-19 in the state senate.
Several Amendments were offered to try to offset the devastating consequences of the passage of this bill, but few were accepted. I did manage to get an amendment to keep women from losing their postpartum care for a year after giving birth. Several amendments failed however including expanding comprehensive sex education that is age appropriate and medically accurate, along with expanding access contraceptives by allowing pharmacists to prescribe and dispense hormonal contraceptives.
Funding Public Education
In the 2013-2014 school year, public schools lost $81 million to the voucher program. In 2018 that grew to $180 million. The children left behind in these schools face the consequences of this action. With reduced funding comes loss of services, choices, and the ability to fully fund schools that are challenged or failing due to their limited resources. Teachers are working at 2009 salary levels throughout the state. There are teachers who are on food stamps or working additional jobs during the school year in addition to summer jobs, just to make a living wage in Indiana. It is time we started to invest our tax dollars back into the public schools.
Providing Living Wages
One in five children in Indiana belong to food insecure families. Our food banks can’t keep up with the demand in addition to being accessible to about 20% of those families. People need quality jobs in Indiana to make their own way through life. We need quality jobs that offer more than a paycheck that can’t make it to the next paycheck.
Supporting Mental Health
Indiana ranks 37th in the country for Mental Health with a prevalence of over 1 in 5 who suffer with mental illness. Among our Hoosiers with Mental illness are homeless or without access to healthcare services. Children in Indiana rank 36th when it comes to Mental Health. Indiana providers for mental health cannot keep up with the demand to address these issues. Indiana needs to step up and find solutions! Incarceration of individuals who are jailed due their addition or crimes as a result of their addiction doesn’t stop the addiction. It is time Indiana work towards real solutions that stop the revolving door in and out of our prisons and create a pathway to productive lives.
Indiana launched 988 the National Suicide Prevention Hotline in July 2022
Supporting Environmental Changes
Indiana needs to do better at protecting the environment and its contribution to climate change. The State has discouraged transition to green energy and even removed net metering, an incentive for home owners to install residential solar panels, which ended in July 2022.
- 48th for Quality of life
- 46th for Natural Environment
- 42nd for Eco-friendliness
- 6th worse state for toxic chemical releases
- 46th for air quality
- 1st for coal ash ponds
- Worst Waterways in the country
Indiana’s environmental committee refuses to hear bills that would take action on these issues year after year. Sierra Club gives Indiana a D+ when it comes to considering new legislation to protect Indiana’s environment.
In April of 2021, Governor Holcomb signed the repeals of wetlands protection bill leaving the remaining 5% of wetlands unprotected from pollution in the state.
Indiana ranks 3rd highest in the country for its reliance on energy produced by coal.
Paid for by Committee to Elect Campbell