State Rep. Pat Bauer
May 2, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana House Democratic Leader B. Patrick Bauer from South Bend recently issued the following statement on the 2011 session of the Indiana General Assembly, which ended this past Friday evening:
"The damage done by single-party rule this session will be severe and lasting.
"It will be felt in the pocketbooks of Hoosiers, in the classrooms where our children are taught, and in the courtrooms of this state, where many will go in the months ahead to try to overturn some of the most onerous policies that are being signed into law.
"Here are two 'accomplishments' from this session that describe these past four months perfectly:
"We cut taxes on corporations by 25 percent.
"We cut benefits for out-of-work Hoosiers by 25 percent.
"Those two contrasts provide all the proof you need to see the true agenda advanced by Republicans when they have complete control of government. They might describe it as a mandate, but only on behalf of the rich and powerful special interests.
"It has been an agenda that describes job creation as right-to-work proposals that prove only to drive down wages, health care and other benefits for workers. What else could you expect from those who think that having 270,000 Hoosiers unemployed is a positive sign -- and do nothing these past four months to try to find good-paying jobs for them?
"But perhaps the greatest tragedy of this session will be the price paid by those children who will not be among the privileged few to be able to attend charter schools or use taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend private schools.
"The children who are left out of these programs will see larger class sizes, fewer programs that will enable them to expand and enrich their individual talents, and fewer people to help them find those talents.
"You will be told that the new state budget contains $150 million in additional funding for schools. This is a lie.
"This governor has cut state support for schools by $600 million the past two years. That means our schools are being asked to make do with funding levels that are lower than they were two years ago. The additional funding in the new state budget will only make up a portion of what schools have lost.
"In the weeks and months ahead, the dirty reality of what has been accomplished through single-party control of this Legislature will begin to dawn on the people of Indiana. They will realize that parents of children who are home schooled or go to private schools will have tax breaks that can even give them relief from the textbook tax that has plagued so many families for so long.
"Those who propose such policies also will claim these breaks are small. They are the same people who claim that we should do nothing to give families a break from high gas prices this summer. As we have mentioned before, those in charge right now only turn fiscally conservative when it comes time to help those who earn less than them.
"These leaders are the same people who will gush that this session was a resounding success.
"They could not be more wrong. The 2011 session of the Indiana General Assembly was a complete disaster."