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2019 Legislative Priorities

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2019 Priority Issues

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Ensure children entering primary (K-12) education are academically, socially and emotionally prepared for success through high-quality, publicly-funded Pre-K programs; increased public investments should focus on those in financial need and support statewide access, while protecting funding and service levels in high-demand, high-capacity ‘pilot’ counties. Further, enact mandatory, fully-funded, full-day kindergarten by age 5 to create a consistent, quality early education pathway

DIVERSITY

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

  • Enacting “bias crime” penalties for criminal offenses where it can be proven that the victim or target is intentionally selected because of personal characteristics enumerated by law
  • 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
  • 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

INTERLOCAL/REGIONAL INVESTMENTS

Support a statewide approach that encourages interlocal collaboration, allows catalytic investments in regional priorities, and creates a fiscal framework to fund essential services such as public safety and infrastructure

HEALTHY WORKFORCE

Support a comprehensive approach to increase the health, wellbeing and productivity of Indiana’s current and future workforce through supporting policies such as:

  • Increasing Indiana’s current cigarette tax by two dollars per pack:

    • Revenue resulting from the cigarette tax increase should be used to address Indiana’s public health challenges including physical, mental health and addiction

  • 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

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

BROWNFIELDS

Accelerate community reinvestment and accessible employment opportunities in and around brownfield sites, driving economic development and maximizing property values by:

  • Restoring funding to Indiana Finance Authority’s Brownfield Grant Program, adding IFA staff capacity to administer the program, reduce wait times and extend technical assistance efforts;
  • Expanding grant and loan resources for “Phase I” and “Phase II” environmental site assessments for former brownfields;
  • Creating tax incentives based on employment on former brownfield sites
  • Expanding flexibility of a redevelopment commission to sell or transfer a title to real property which is undeveloped, underdeveloped, or considered blighted due to the real or perceived threat of environmental contamination for private development

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