State Rep. Maureen Bauer spends first weeks of session fighting for Hoosiers as COVID-19 pandemic persists

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Representative Maureen Bauer (D-South Bend) spent the first weeks of the legislative session working to deliver meaningful relief to Hoosier workers, families and small businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic persists.

“We have all been sent to the Statehouse with a mandate,” Bauer said. “It is time for bold, urgent action to assist the recovery efforts from the economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide real relief to Hoosiers.”

Earlier this week, she joined colleagues supporting House Bill 1004 and House Bill 1008, which both passed through the House with broad bipartisan support on Feb. 2. Bauer also authored House Bill 1245 requiring workplaces to offer reasonable pregnancy accommodations, which she spoke about at a recent Women 4 Change press conference.

House Bill 1004 creates the “Hoosier Hospitality” Small Business Restart Grant program.

The hospitality industry employed 14% of Indiana's workforce prior to the pandemic.” Bauer said. “87% of restaurant operators reported reducing staffing levels as a result of the pandemic. Small business owners, employees and managers in South Bend and across the state are in need of support to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. I was pleased to see bipartisan support on legislation that has the ability to make a real difference for business owners and employees. I look forward to seeing these grants revitalize our small business industry.”

House Bill 1008 establishes the Student Learning Recovery Grant Program.

“Parents and educators continue to meet the challenges of student learning during a global pandemic. This Student Learning Recovery Grant Program provides funds to assist K-12 students who have experienced learning loss, have fallen behind, or are at risk of falling below academic standards due to the impacts of COVID-19,” Bauer said. “I was proud to support legislation to equip our schools with a $150 million grant to provide recovery learning and remediation for students.”

House Bill 1245 would create reasonable pregnancy accommodations for workers.

“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of a safe working environment,” Bauer said. “No one should ever have to decide between their health or earning a living. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, women and mothers have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 layoffs. Legislation establishing workplace accommodations for pregnant employees will fortify their rightful place at work. It is not too late to make the reasonable changes now that will benefit future generations of women.”

House Bill 1245 has been referred to the Committee on Employment, Labor and Pensions and has yet to receive a hearing. House Bill 1004 and House Bill 1008 have been referred to the Indiana Senate.

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