At a forum hosted Saturday morning by the League of Women Voters Bloomington-Monroe and the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, three state legislators gave an update after two weeks of this year’s session.
Any partisan jostling that unfolded between the two Democrats and one Republican who attended was relatively mild.
In their opening remarks, and in their responses to the questions from the public, they covered a range of topics, including the budget, teacher pay, local income tax, and next week’s capitol closure, among others.
Matt Pierce, a Democrat representing District 61 in the state House, used his opening remarks to talk about the budget. Indiana’s legislature adopts a budget every two years, and that cycle makes 2021 a budget year.
Pierce said, “It’s interesting that the governor and his proposal seems to be focusing mostly on buildings and infrastructure.” Pierce said the Democrats would be taking a different approach from that of Republican governor Eric Holcomb.
Pierce said, “We think that particularly at a time when so many people are struggling, we should be maybe focusing the resources we have more on people—people infrastructure, human capital, and particularly those who are struggling at the bottom.”
Pierce added, “It seems like we do a very good job of stockpiling the surplus, but even when it’s raining, and you might want to use a rainy day fund, seems like we still kind of hang on to that money.”
Following Pierce was Peggy Mayfield, a Republican representing District 60 in the state house. Mayfield took up the topic of the surplus by saying, “Because Indiana has been so disciplined over the last decade…, we have money now to continue to invest in Indiana, instead of figuring out how we’re going to pay our bills coming out of this pandemic.” Continue reading “Area state legislators update local residents on state budget, local income taxes, closure of capitol”