GiaQuinta reacts to Holcomb’s 2021 Next Level Agenda

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) today released the following statement regarding the unveiling of Governor Holcomb's 2021 Next Level Agenda:

“While there are a number of priorities House Democrats can agree with in Governor Holcomb's Next Level Agenda, I'm disappointed to see that he has failed to propose a better plan for the financial recovery of struggling Hoosiers amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” GiaQuinta said. “We're quickly approaching the holidays as well as the end of the national eviction moratorium. I understand the importance of Indiana's ability to maintain a stable economy throughout this pandemic, but it would be irresponsible to continue neglecting Hoosiers who have been unable to work due to illness or have lost jobs because they needed to stay home with their children. This is not the time to drop the ball when it comes to providing financial security to all Hoosiers.

“Not only that, but it also doesn't look like he has any plans to address the racial justice issues underscored by the events of this year or the disproportionate effects COVID-19 has had on minority populations. The appointment of a new chief equity, inclusion and opportunity officer barely scratches the surface of what needs to be done to improve the lives of people of color in Indiana.

“That being said, I'm pleased to see that Holcomb has confirmed his commitment to provide 100 percent funding for K-12 schools. House Democrats have always fought for an increase in teacher compensation and public school funding and it's a relief that the governor is in agreement.

“I was also thrilled to see that Holcomb has established his support for providing stronger pregnancy accommodations for Hoosier women. Last year, my colleague, Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis), authored a bill that would have prohibited an employer from discriminating against an employee who has a condition related to childbirth or pregnancy. I am hopeful that we will see legislation like this pass in the 2021 Session.”

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