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.
Funding Public Education
In the 2013-2014 school year, public schools lost $81 million to the voucher program. Last year 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
We have people who are homeless or without healthcare services. We have children who don't feel safe in their schools. And we don't have enough providers to address these issues. Indiana has an opioid epidemic. 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 we work towards real solutions that stop the revolving door in and out of our prisons and create a pathway to productive lives.