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2018 Legislative Priorities

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2018 Priority Issues

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Ensure children entering primary education levels are academically, socially and emotionally better prepared through the development of publicly funded, outcome-focused, Pre-K programs focused on those in most financial need as well as mandatory, fully-funded, full-day kindergarten by age 5

DIVERSITY

Reinforce and enhance Indiana’s brand as a welcoming and diverse state by:

  • Updating the state’s current anti-discrimination law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations
  • Enacting the “bias crime” penalty enhancements for a criminal offense where it can be proven that the victim or target is intentionally selected for violence because of his/her personal characteristics
  • Restoring the eligibility for in-state tuition and financial aid to state colleges and universities for foreign born students who have matriculated through the Indiana K-12 system

LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING

Support a statewide strategy to equitably distribute revenue to communities from those who work, recreate, and consume in those respective localities to pay for the investments, infrastructure and services that make these activities possible. Support the creation of an incremental Local Option Income Tax that would remain in the county of employment

HEALTHY WORKFORCE

Support comprehensive approach to increase the state’s health rates by focusing on the health, wellbeing and productivity of Indiana’s workforce through supporting the efforts of the Alliance for Healthier Indiana to:

  • Increase Indiana’s current 99.5 cents per pack cigarette tax

    • Revenue resulting from the cigarette tax increase should be used to address Indiana’s public health challenges including physical, mental health and addiction; specifically to help tackle the opioid epidemic and increased funding for tobacco cessation and prevention programs

  • Raising the statewide legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21

    • At a minimum, the state should remove restrictions on local governments from enacting ordinances to raise the age to 21

  • Repeal preferential treatment for smokers in the workplace (“Smokers’ Bill of Rights”)

BROWNFIELDS

Increase funding options, minimize regulation and encourage investment in brownfields to aid economic development efforts, including a statewide grant program for “Phase I” and “Phase II” environmental site assessments and explore the creation of tax incentives based on employment on former brownfields

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