The State of the State Indiana Moral Mondays News
Last week, Governor Mike Pence gave his annual “State of the State” address and we were watching. Here are just a few of his claims we felt needed clarifying:
• Indiana’s budget is the envy of the nation- only if we ignore all the ways our budget fails to address the broken promises the state has made to give a quality education to all students, better access to healthcare, infrastructure that moves us ahead in a competitive global economy, and better quality of life which ensures businesses want to invest here.
• Indiana has an energy efficiency plan- not since SB 340 was allowed to pass into law last year, dismantling the effective program Energizing Indiana. The new proposal from the Pence Administration recommends a program with virtually no targets, accountability, or resource for the state to hold utilities accountable for the goals they choose to set for themselves. Furthermore, it allows the biggest fish, large energy users, to opt out completely. Clearly, this is not an administration who takes energy efficiency seriously.
• Pence is “pro-healthcare for all”- but 800,000 Hoosiers still lack health insurance. His plan to cover the poor under his “empowering” Healthy Indiana Plan means that if a person has unreliable income or a financial emergency, the sudden inability to pay a fee to their health savings account could jeopardize their necessary care. It’s humiliating to force those who can least afford it to choose between paying their bills, buying groceries, or keeping their healthcare. The reason the federal government has not approved the Governor’s plan is because it does not meet basic tests of fairness. Expand Medicaid now, cover people who need it today, improve the state’s programs to make Medicaid work better as session continues. We paid for this expansion, it’s our tax dollars
• Education is the top priority for this session. We have concerns about coded language used by the Governor and state legislators about education such as “school choice,” “teacher bonuses,” tracking young people into vocational programs, and shifting school finances from public to charter schools. However, Indiana Moral Mondays is ready to support the educational goals articulated in the state constitution and the commitment to the proposition that education is a fundamental right of all young people in our state to become all that they can be.
It is more important than ever for us to stand together as Indiana Moral Mondays and demand a change in Indiana.
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