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House Speaker Rep. Brian Bosma (R) Talks Priorities Advances; Senator Tim Lanane (D) & Rep. Phil GiaQuinta (D) Question Said Advances

Indianapolis – On Tuesday, February 26, 2019, House Speaker Representative Brian Bosma, held a press conference to discuss how the Republicans have successfully advanced their priorities: state budget and their aggressive legislative agenda.

“House Republicans worked hard to pass an honestly balanced state budget that funds the state’s priorities and maintains healthy reserves,” Bosma said. “We also made great progress on legislation focused on school safety, teacher pay, workforce, and our veterans. We have a long way to go, but I look forward to continuing to work on these initiatives with our Senate colleagues and Governor Holcomb.”- Rep. Brian Bosma (R – Indianapolis)

An hour prior to Rep. Bosma’s press conference, Senator Tim Lanane (D) and House Representative Phil GiaQuinta (D) held a press conference to discuss their concerns with said advances.

“The supermajority did not give a hearing to the Democrats’ bill to raise teacher pay. With the language currently in the budget, another year will likely pass without Indiana committing to pay our teachers the salaries they deserve. This is ridiculous. Our teachers make less than any of our neighbors and, when counting for inflation, have received the biggest pay cut of any state in the nation. Figuring out why we have a teacher shortage isn’t rocket science. Getting the supermajority to care apparently is.” said Senator Tim Lanane (D – Anderson) “And most concerning, without major changes to the current bias crimes bill, another year will pass without Indiana passing a meaningful bill that protects Hoosiers; calling into question our reputation as a welcoming and safe state.”

House Representative Phil GiaQuinta seemed to echo some of the same concerns.

“Have we protected funding for public schools? Or sought greater accountability for our voucher, charter, and virtual school programs? We have passed a funding formula, but there are real questions about how much it will benefit public schools. We also continue to take bigger slices of the pie in funding for charter and voucher schools, with very little effort made to make these non-traditional schools accountable and transparent.” said Representative Phil GiaQuinta (D – Fort Wayne) “Our concerns extend to the issues we will be facing in the next few weeks. Will we pass a bias crimes law? The Senate passed something that carries the title of ‘bias crimes,’ but it offers nothing that will get Indiana off the list of states that offer no protections. House Democrats will be moving to correct an error that already has drawn worries from both Gov. Holcomb and business leaders across Indiana.”