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Indiana Senate Democrats Lament Missed Opportunities In Session’s First Half

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Government, Politics
The Indiana General Assembly's session is set to end April 29. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
The Indiana General Assembly's session is set to end April 29. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Indiana Senate Democrats say Republicans haven’t focused on helping working Hoosiers in the first half of the 2021 session.

GOP leaders tout COVID-19 liability protections for businesses – already signed into law– as a major accomplishment of the session’s opening two months. There are also multiple bills to rein in the governor’s emergency powers. And new spending for small business recovery, learning loss and law enforcement reform.

But Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) said there are too many missed opportunities.

“Don’t those workers – who, in the times of pandemic, had to go to work to make sure that we have and keep the freedoms that we have today – don’t they deserve an increased minimum wage?” Taylor said.

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana’s Legislative Session? Here’s Your Guide To Demystify The Process

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The House Republican budget increases K-12 education spending by $378 million – but more than a third of that goes to private school vouchers. And Sen. J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) said neither GOP caucus has advanced a single recommendation from the governor’s teacher compensation commission.

“I hope that that report just doesn’t sit on a shelf, collecting dust,” Ford said.

The session’s second half gets underway Monday.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.