Rep. Austin remarks upon the passage of state budget
INDIANAPOLIS – State Representative Terri Austin (D-Anderson) expressed her views on the 2021 State Budget, which the General Assembly passed today:
“It's been far too long since fiscal leaders have reached a budget agreement that joins together both sides of the aisle. Thanks to their efforts, the funds from the American Rescue Plan and the resilience of Hoosier families, we have crafted one of the biggest investments our state has ever seen. That's why I joined my colleagues and voted for House Bill 1001, our state's biennial budget that passed with a vote of 96-2.
“I am relieved that help is on the way for the students and hardworking teachers of our community who innovated solutions to new and unprecedented challenges. I am grateful for the million dollar investment in our state's food banks that met an overwhelming demand to assist individuals in need. I am excited to see an investment in our law enforcement officers and to help our communities provide body cameras, enhanced training, and more equipment that will assist them to meet the demands of our changing society.
“However, there is still a lot of room for improvement. The workers in our restaurants and hospitality industries need more help. We need stronger assurances to our teachers that they will get the raises they deserve and we need to make sure unemployment benefits get to everyone who needs them. The truth is, a lot of Hoosiers are still waiting to get their unemployment benefits, on top of struggling to find employment.
“This is a strong budget and it's one that can stand as a foundation for a new, forward-thinking path for our state. I'm proud of the grant program we established to help small businesses, restaurants and the hospitality industry recover from the pandemic. I hope that those interested in participating in this program will reach out to my office so that we can connect them to these valuable resources. I'm also relieved that we finally made substantial investments in public health, especially due to our state's abysmal rankings in that area.
“This is how we make government work for all Hoosiers. We should remember that when we return to our next session and maintain this commitment to finding real solutions.”