Pre-K & School Funding Reform
No more of your tax dollars should fund unsuccessful schools that answer to little oversight and produce inferior education outcomes. Indiana ranks second to last in Pre-K access, last in the midwest in teacher pay, and first in the nation for cuts to teacher pay over the last 20 years – it is our time to change these shameful rankings.
Lower Health Care Costs and Access
States from Vermont to Nevada are introducing new bills that would force drug companies to justify drug prices and demand accountability from the healthcare industry. I will continue my efforts to introduce more healthcare pricing transparency, secure medicaid reimbursement for area children’s hospitals, and expand medical residencies in northwest Indiana.
Real Jobs, Not 3 Jobs
Some politicians have done a great job making sure you have less money in your pocket, thanks to right-to-work, the repeal of the prevailing wage, and the proliferation of low-wage jobs. Lake County is among the most expensive counties to live in the entire state. Hoosier wages have increased a measly 0.1% since 2000 while Kentucky’s increased 4.2% during the same period – we are far overdue for a recalculation.
Tax Relief to Grow the Middle Class
Indiana’s income tax rate is almost 2% lower than Illinois’. Let’s act fast to attract businesses from across the border by maintaining our friendly business climate and redoubling our investment in a skilled workforce. I was proud to have voted for the business personal property tax exemption, for property and income tax cuts for military retirees, and for an increase in the over 65 property tax deduction during the 2019 session.
Outsource-Proof Green Technology Jobs
Establishing our commitment to green jobs growth is not just an ethical and environmental necessity – it is also good business. I was proud to join my colleagues in a bipartisan way to kill a proposed moratorium on new green energy plants in the 2019 session.
We need to put our Building Trades to work and rebuild Northwest Indiana. Top priorities should include expanding Gary Airport to lure major airlines, rehabbing abandoned homes, and erecting Class A office & healthcare space along the I-65 corridor. Our unions are the backbone of northwest Indiana, and we must fight to preserve those wages and benefits against the ever-increasing cost of living.
Tuition Reform and Expanded Affordability
Since the 1970s, the cost of college tuition has risen faster than the cost of housing, food, and medical care combined. Although the amendment was defeated by the House majority, I was proud to have voted to cap tuition for public colleges in Indiana.
A recent state mandate forces Lake County to shut down hundreds of its precincts. Although 27 other counties meet the same population criteria to shut down precincts, only we were forced by the state to do so. I have also supported amendments to keep polls open until 7:30, allow no-excuse voting by mail, and pre-register young voters, but those failed along party lines. As a candidate, I would never ask for your vote then work to take it away from you.
Support Our Veterans & First Responders
As a member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs & Public Safety, I was proud to have voted in the 2019 session to expand veterans health programs and reduce co-pays, increase the pension benefit for police officers and firefighters, and criminalize interference with law enforcement at a crime scene.