Porter spends week in Ways and Means Committee fighting for small businesses and teachers

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Representative Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis), ranking minority member of the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee, spent this week fighting for industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic during committee. Porter proposed two amendments to House Bill 1004 and one amendment to House Bill 1008.

 

Amendment 1 to HB 1004, defeated by Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee

Recovery of overpayment. Requires the Department of Workforce Development to make use of any provision in federal law permitting the state to waive recovery of overpayment of pandemic unemployment assistance.

 

Amendment 2 to HB 1004, defeated by Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee

Sales tax remittance rebate. Establishes the small business sales tax remittance relief program to provide grants to small businesses that have been significantly impacted as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Establishes the small business sales tax remittance relief program fund. Provides that the Indiana Economic Development Corporation administers the program and fund.

 

Small businesses initiatives proposals

“I fully support the small business restart grant program, but worry it may be 'too little, too late' for Hoosier small businesses,” Porter said. “Yesterday, I attempted to add two proposals that would have provided immediate relief that were unfortunately voted down by my Republican colleagues. The first proposal sought to help those Hoosiers who are self-employed and/or contractors paid pandemic unemployment assistance in error and are now being asked to pay back thousands of dollars for the state's mistake. The second proposal would have created a tax rebate up to $5000 to small businesses impacted by the pandemic.” 

 

Amendment 1 to HB 1008, defeated by Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee

Increases in teacher compensation. Deletes the tax rate decreases scheduled in current code on: (1) the tax rate imposed on corporate adjusted gross income; and (2) the tax imposed for transacting the business of a financial institution in Indiana. Establishes the teacher compensation trust fund. Makes an appropriation.

 

Teacher pay raise proposal

“Indiana House Democrats have been staunch advocates for teacher pay increases and every session the Republican supermajority tells educators and us that it is not the right time,” Porter said. “I cannot think of a better session to get this done after a teacher pay commission report showed us the high cost of low teacher pay, and teachers showed us yet again their ability to overcome adversity to give students the best education possible during a global pandemic. Despite promises from the GOP, teacher pay increases were not included in the Governor's budget, and my proposal yesterday to provide $400 million to fund the initiative was voted down. It makes you wonder when will be the right time.”

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