Democrats to Focus on Wages, Education

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Indiana House Democratic leader Scott Pelath (D-9) says the party will focus on measures to help the state's "suffering middle class" during this year's legislative session. He says Democrat proposals will focus on improving middle class wages, eliminating the textbook tax and funding full-day kindergarten. Republicans hold a super-majority in the chamber, and have outlined an agenda including passing a two-year budget without raising taxes and increasing transparency. The 2015 session begins Tuesday.

January 5, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- Indiana House Democrats will focus on raising our state’s suffering middle class in the 2015 legislative session by advocating a series of proposals that will improve salaries and wages for Hoosiers, provide a tax cut for families, fund a world class education system of lifelong learning, and restore ethical and election integrity.

House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath from Michigan City said these proposals are designed to provide alternatives that will enable the people of Indiana to determine who is doing more to improve an economic performance that has benefitted a very few in recent years.

"With one of the nation's best corporate tax climates, we still have not seen the lives of most Hoosiers improve, and cities and towns across Indiana are struggling to remain vibrant," Pelath said.

"We need to refocus on our struggling middle class, so that consumers have more to spend in the marketplace, workers can afford to acquire the new skills demanded by employers, and every citizen has the opportunity to take part in a world class education system of lifelong learning that begins in pre-school and finishes when a worker acquires the skills needed for his or her final job."

Pelath said the caucus priorities for 2015 will include:

SALARY, WAGE IMPROVEMENTS FOR HOOSIERS

ELIMINATING TEXTBOOK TAX ON FAMILIES

RENEWED FOCUS ON EARLY EDUCATION

TRANSPARENCY IN SCHOOL FUNDING

AFFORDABLE COLLEGE TUITION

ETHICS REFORMS

REFORMING ELECTIONS

Pelath said House Democrats would continue to help pass needed legislation, critique the work of the Republican House majority, and provide alternatives that give the people of Indiana a chance to judge competing visions of the future of our state.

"The one thing we do not need is a return to the types of divisive debates that have dominated recent sessions," Pelath said.

"We have stopped talking about who can marry whom, and we are the better for it. There is no need to stoke that debate again through the guise of addressing alleged 'discrimination.' These discussions are pointless and irrelevant and do nothing to address the issues that need to be handled by this body.