State Rep. Porter offers amendments to surplus spending bill

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis), ranking Democrat on the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee, today offered several amendments to House Bill 1007, which outlines how Republicans plan to spend the $291 million budget surplus.

Currently, the bill allocates the $291 million to higher education building projects, allowing them to be paid out in cash instead of bonds. That means these projects will still be completed, but will continue to be paid for the way they always have, through the bonding process.

“Though it has been touted by Republicans as a more responsible strategy concerning Indiana’s fiscal capital, it doesn’t take into account a much more important issue: Indiana’s human capital,” says Rep. Porter.

In Amendment 14, Rep. Porter appropriates $50 million to Indiana’s On-My-Way-Pre-K program, $5 million to the Secured School Fund, $50 million to HoosierRxtra, a prescription drug funding program for seniors and $186 million for a one-time bonus to teachers employed by public school corporations, including charter schools.

“Why are we prioritizing Indiana’s debt over the debt that Hoosier teachers, parents and seniors have been battling for years due to low pay, pricey pre-k programs and rising prescription drug prices?” he continues.

“When we consider inflation, a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow, so we should give Hoosiers money now if we have it and bond out our infrastructure projects like we’ve done in the past.

“House Democrats are well aware that using this money is not a long-term fix to our issues with teacher pay, pre-k, school safety and prescription drug prices, but we have a duty to our constituents to do what we can for them with the money we have.

“This session, and every session, we want to serve Hoosiers first. Let’s put our money where our mouth is this session and get teachers, families and seniors the money they need to thrive and live a good life.”

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