Last year, my opponent sponsored the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in a thinly veiled attempt to legalize discrimination against LGBT Hoosiers. The CEOs of large Indiana businesses including Angie's List; Anthem; Cummins Inc.; Emmis Communications; Indiana University Health; Roche Diagnostics; Eli Lilly and Co.; Salesforce Marketing Cloud; and Dow AgroSciences called on the Legislature and Governor to repeal RFRA. After a national embarrassment in which Indiana almost lost the NCAA Final Four and GEN-CON Convention, the Legislature and Governor changed RFRA. However, my opponent still refused to vote for the changes.
However, this still leaves LGBT Hoosiers without protection for their employment, housing, and public accommodations such as restaurants, hotels, and other services. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) matters to all Hoosiers. Not only is the right thing to do, overwhelmingly Hoosiers support equal rights for LGBT Hoosiers. A poll conducted in December 2015 by the Bellwether Research on behalf of Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce showed that 62% of Hoosiers support making it illegal to discriminate against LGBT Hoosiers.
Over 450 Indiana businesses, large and small, have signed a pledge to support LGBT rights in Indiana. Visit Indy announced that Indianapolis lost twelve conventions because of RFRA resulting in $60 million dollars in lost revenue. Indiana can't afford to wait. LGBT protection must happen sooner rather than later. I am supporting LGBT rights and when elected I will sponsor a bill to add gender identity and sexual orientation to Indiana’s existing civil rights’ codes.
As a parent, I’ve seen first hand how budget cuts have affected our schools. Remember when there wasn’t enough money to pay for the bus routes? Parents were faced with the impossible task to taking their children to and from school every day. Working parents were worried they wouldn’t be able to juggle work and the additional burden of transporting their children to school. We need the buses because there aren’t any sidewalks in this area. The bus funding debacle was all a result of cuts to the state education budgets, which Mike Speedy approved.
The median income in Indiana dropped by $6500 from 2002 to 2015. This trend will not reverse until high-paying jobs return to Indiana. Those jobs won’t look like the manufacturing of the past, but will reflect Indiana’s investment in better technical training for high school students and skilled vocational training post graduation. Indiana ranks 42nd in the education of its workforce. Indiana must invest in the education of its workers if it hopes to bring better paying jobs to Indiana. Our high school graduates need vocational and technical training in order to compete for the highly-skilled jobs Indiana hopes to attract in the coming years.
Fix Our Infrastructure
We pay a lot of state taxes and yet very little of it comes back to District 90 for infrastructure. Where are the roundabouts or traffic signals at Franklin Road and Southport Road; Shelbyville Road and Five-Points Road; Arlington Road and Thompson Road, and other busy intersections? Southeastern Road hasn’t been repaved after decades of neglect. We’ve paid our taxes only to have our roads half-heartedly patched every spring. They haven’t been expanded to keep up with the growth in population in District 90 and they haven’t added sidewalks. Our kids can’t walk to school because there are no sidewalks. Sidewalks are needed so that we can walk and bike our communities instead of driving everywhere.
My opponent voted no on the bill to authorize mass transit for central Indiana. This would have brought easy, affordable transit throughout Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Marion, and Madison counties. You will still be able to live in District 90 and work somewhere else without spending a fortune on fuel, but no thanks to Speedy. We deserve more for our tax dollars. Mike Speedy has not brought back infrastructure dollars back to District 90. You deserve someone who will.
Care for Hoosier Veterans
There are 476,000 Hoosier veterans who are entitled to services such as home loans because of their service. As veterans, my husband and I receive mailings almost daily from predatory lenders who use convincing marketing to trick veterans into callings about refinancing their home mortgages. I would sponsor a bill that would require lenders identify clearly that they are not associated with the Veterans’ Administration or other government agencies.
I intend to start a Military Advisory council, which will consist of veterans and family members so that I can learn what would be most beneficial to each generation of veterans. Many programs for veterans are Federal, but more can be done at the state level to assist our veterans.