Pelath on House Republican agenda: fixing what they broke, no time for Indiana’s middle class

October 14, 2014 Scott Pelath

For immediate release:
Oct. 14, 2014


INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath from Michigan City today issued the following statement on the agenda Indiana House Republicans will pursue in the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly:

“If you close your eyes for a moment, some of what the House Republicans advocated today sounded like they were reading from a book written by House Democrats.

“Yes, it is time to invest in our public schools again. But never forget the reason our schools are suffering: These same Indianapolis power brokers took a meat cleaver to them time and time again. Vouchers and other think-tank experiments kept getting the tenderloin, while public schools got the gristle.

“I don’t know if I find it hilarious or sad that the only proposed tax relief is a tax credit to teachers who have to purchase school supplies for their students. Well, teachers are forced into that situation because their schools have been financially gutted of the basics by these same Republicans.

“I applaud their statement on ethics reform. Reforms are clearly needed, and House Democrats are ready to do the hard work.

“A commitment to public safety, infant mortality, and domestic violence is also worth crediting. What a shame that they missed so many opportunities during the 2014 session, when House Democrats fought for plans to equip our public safety personnel and battle every case of infant mortality. As for domestic violence, events of recent weeks have shown that preventing these wrongs still requires an inordinate amount of public pressure. Perhaps we will now put politics aside and tackle these real, life-and-death problems facing real people.

“And, at long last, we appear to have put an end to that pointless debate on who can marry whom in Indiana.

“But it is important to note that the words ‘middle class’ were nowhere to be found in their presentation. Tax cuts remain the exclusive province of the wealthy in our state. Their sacred economic mission is still to get money and power in the hands of a select few.

“Above all, never forget that the most cherished ritual of single-party rule in Indiana remains the chanting of the words ‘$2 billion budget surplus.’ Nothing else is as important.

“We can do better. And it starts by putting the prosperity of our people first.”