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Indiana Senate Democrats focus on priorities they say have been ignored by Republicans

Indiana Senate Democratic leaders discuss their 2023 agenda on the Senate floor. Standing at the lectern and speaking is Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor. Flanking him are, at left, Senator Eddie Melton and, at right, Senator Shelli Yoder. Taylor and Melton are Black men. Yoder is a White woman.
Brandon Smith
/
IPB News
Indiana Senate Democratic leaders plan to fight for bills that would restore abortion rights and enshrine same sex and interracial marriage rights in state law.

Indiana Senate Democrats want the legislature this year to focus on issues they say have been ignored for too long by Republicans.

Sen. Eddie Melton (D-Gary) said 2023 is the time for “bold investments” to support Hoosier families. And first on the list, he said, is always K-12 education.

“Especially when we know we have a shortage of teachers, counselors, nurses and staff, across the board,” Melton said.

Sen. Shelli Yoder said the legislature needs to finally step up to address a critical need – access to affordable child care.

“Indiana businesses cite lack of child care as their biggest external workforce barrier,” Yoder said.

READ MORE: Senate Republicans outline 2023 agenda, including health, public safety and business tax savings

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The Senate Democrats’ plan would provide tax credits for child care.

Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) said the legislature's attention should be squarely fixed on these sorts of issues.

"Put a halt to all the divisive cultural wars that we've had and we see churning right now in the Indiana General Assembly," Taylor said.

At the same time, the caucus also plans to fight for bills that would restore abortion rights and enshrine same sex and interracial marriage rights in state law.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.