Porter reflects on lack of investment in human infrastructure during 2020 legislative session

IBLC, News & Media

INDIANAPOLIS – State Representative Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis) today expressed his disappointment as the Indiana General Assembly concluded the 2020 legislative session.

The Indiana House Democrats began the session with a “2020 vision,” committed to tackling some of the biggest challenges facing Hoosiers, including: the K-12 public education crisis; unaffordable health care options and prescription drug prices, lack of investment in school safety measures for schools across the state; and the absence of comprehensive early childhood education. 

“The only thing the supermajority was able to accomplish this legislative session was to hold schools, teachers and students harmless from the terrible education policy that Republicans put in place a decade ago,” Porter said.

“I made every effort to introduce proposals this session that would have invested in the human infrastructure of our state, including: efforts to invest more state dollars in K-12 public schools and giving teachers the pay raise they deserve; lowering the cost of prescription drugs; creating a tax credit for those with overwhelming student loan debt; creating a child and dependent care tax credit; and creating more access to early childhood education for our 4-year-olds,” he continued.

“But, at every turn, Republicans blocked debate or voted down my common-sense proposals. I will continue to fight to invest in our students, families and minority communities because investing in the people of our state will give us a better return on investment than any corporation could ever give to our state.”  

Porter, who serves as ranking Democrat on the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee, offered multiple proposals to invest in the human capital of Indiana. All of these proposals were blocked from debate or voted down by House Republicans:

  • 300 more On-My-Way-Pre-K scholarships for Hoosier families.
  • A child and dependent care tax credit.
  • A prescription drug rebate of $250 for 7,200 Hoosiers with high prescription drug costs.
  • A tax credit for student loan interest.
  • A dollar-for-dollar tax credit for public school parents purchasing textbooks and other curricular materials.
  • A one-time bonus for Hoosier teachers.
  • Driving more state dollars to K-12 public schools.

“Hardworking Hoosiers would be hard pressed to find Republican-backed legislation that would have a real, lasting impact on the problems they are facing,” Porter said. “It is long overdue that the Indiana General Assembly re-focuses its legislative priorities to reflect this state's growing economic crisis facing a shrinking middle-income class and growing lower-income class.

“A state surplus doesn't matter to the 38% of Hoosiers who stopped taking their prescriptions drugs because they couldn't afford them. A state surplus doesn't matter to Hoosiers who cannot afford to send their children to a quality pre-K program. A state surplus doesn't matter to teachers who are stressed and struggling to make ends meet.

“Although I'm discouraged by the lack of investment in the human capital of our state, I'm more committed than ever to re-introduce these proposals in the upcoming budget session.”

To learn more about the proposals that Porter introduced this session, click here.

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