The Hoosier economy is changing and our elected officials need to prepare for the future while protecting workers today. I support building a future-proof economy, creating the workforce Indiana businesses need, and developing an economy that works for workers. As your state senator, I will fight for a more fair and balanced economy for all.
A Future Proof Economy
Agriculture and manufacturing will continue to be important industries for Indiana’s future, but those industries are changing. As your state senator, I will work to:
- Build a Green Economy: We have the technology and knowledge to build a greener economy with a much smaller carbon footprint. In doing so, we create jobs and ensure that our current community members, as well as our children and their children, have a healthy world to live in. Indiana is poised to harness its incredible agricultural history to be a leader in this area.
- Invest in Technical and Scientific Education: Manufacturing is becoming more technical and scientific and we need a workforce that is ready for this new reality. I support increased funding for STEAM (science, technology, economics, art, and mathematics) education and improved access to trade schools and community colleges.
- Support Family Farms: As the son of a beef farmer, I recognize the importance of family farms and will always fight for them. Family farms are a powerful tool in our battle against climate change and I will work to increase investment in sustainable farming practices.
- Legalize Recreational and Medicinal Marijuana: I will work towards a bipartisan agreement to legalize the medical and recreational use of marijuana in Indiana. This will help support our economy by establishing a new market and creating more opportunities for small farmers in Indiana.
The Workforce Indiana Businesses Need
Business leaders are raising the alarm that Indiana isn’t prepared to compete for new jobs. As your state senator, I would take those concerns seriously and work to:
- Increase Educational Attainment: We must work towards a high school and college graduation rate that keeps up with the rest of the country. I will listen to school leaders, teachers, and parents and end barriers to educational attainment in the state.
- Expand Workforce Training and Reskilling Programs: As the economy shifts to more technical work, we cannot leave workers behind. I support free training and educational programs for high-demand, high-paying industries, and programs to reskill unemployed workers.
- Improve Health Care Access: Indiana is above the national average in premature death and those in fair to poor health and below average in access to primary care physicians, dentists, and mental health providers. This is combined with some of the highest health costs in the nation. We need to expand access to health care, including mental health care, and lower costs to ensure that Indiana’s workforce remains healthy.
- End Disparities in Employment and Pay: We must work to end disparities in employment and pay by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and identity. Indiana workers deserve equal pay for equal work.
- Stop Divisive Social Policies: Indiana’s divisive social policies prevent new businesses and new employees from moving to the state. Younger workers want a diverse and accepting culture. We must stop divisive social policies that don’t represent the interests of all Hoosiers and enshrine protections for all Hoosiers into law.
An Economy That Works for Workers
The economy runs because of hard-working Hoosiers, and we must create an economy that works for workers, not just business leaders. As your state senator, I will work to:
- Increase the Minimum Wage: Indiana’s minimum wage has remained at $7.25 since 2009, even as the cost of living and inflation have risen. Simply put, Indiana workers are now earning less. We must work to gradually increase the minimum wage to meet the needs of Indiana’s workers. Hoosiers shouldn’t have to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet.
- Restore Worker Protections: Hoosiers have the right to fair pay and safe working conditions. Senate District 27 has a strong union history and I support organized labor and will fight to restore the right to collectively bargain. We must also enforce existing labor laws to ensure Hoosiers are treated fairly by employers.
- Create Paid Family Leave: The United States is one of the only industrialized countries in the world without guaranteed, paid family leave. I will work with state leaders and businesses to develop a paid family leave policy for new parents and those caring for their families.
- Attract New Workers: Hoosiers are moving out of rural areas and we must stem this tide. I support incentives for people and businesses to stay in and move to rural areas.