The Indiana gender wage gap is one of the worst in the United States! Hoosier women earn $.74 for every $1.00 earned by Hoosier men. The gap is even bigger for minority women. This is just another reason why we need more women in the statehouse. My motto from day one has been leadership for the greater good. I will do everything in my power to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity for success in Indiana. Opportunities to work, learn, and play extend to all Hoosiers regardless of race, ethnicity, socio-economic background, gender or sexual orientation.
I have been married to the same man for over 30 years. As life partners we have raised 2 great children, held down demanding jobs, owned a home together, and positively contributed to our community. As an LGBTQ ally, I believe members of the LGBTQ community should have the same rights and opportunities that Tom and I and our children have had.
I will support a Hate Crime bill and make sure that we promote safe, welcoming communities of opportunity for all Hoosiers.
Education paves the way for possibilities. With an education, we give children the freedom to pursue their dreams. We need to make sure our schools have the money they need to teach our children well. That includes paying teachers a livable salary, funding after-school programs, and offering healthy lunch programs. When money is taken away from public schools by vouchers and budget cuts, everyone suffers. Let’s protect the future by investing in public schools today.
Our Health Care
A healthy America is a better, stronger America - for everyone. We have to move beyond letting insurance companies own our fates. “Medicare For All” removes insurance companies from being the middle man and puts you directly in control of your health. No one should make a profit off of sick people. Freedom from disease and sickness is what we all desire. Freedom to choose a career based on your passion and talent and not just the “health care” benefits package. Freedom to see a doctor without fear of the bill. Freedom to know your child can get the treatment they need. Freedom to live. It’s time for us to come together as Americans and embrace the values we hold true and make "Medicare For All" a logical extension of the American Dream.
Opioids and other addictions are wreaking havoc on our communities. We can not arrest our way out of this problem. I stand with my American Legion brothers and sisters in support of medical marijuana. While there are no easy answers, funding wrap around services, public defenders, case workers, addiction recovery, foster care, etc. will go a long way in helping Hoosier families.
I stand with the thousands of Hoosier women and families in poverty who will lose access to health care services if our government "defunds" Planned Parenthood. Contraception is essential for upward economic mobility, which prevents unplanned high-risk pregnancies that can put a family in poverty for generations. If we want to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies, we must increase contraception services, availability, and at a burden-free cost. I believe medical decisions should be made between an individual in consultation with a doctor, not a politician.
Jobs & Wages
We need to raise the minimum wage. Workers need to be paid a livable wage that's based on the cost of living in their home town. That exact dollar amount depends on where you live. Some urban areas have a higher cost of living than other rural areas. This includes making sure that women (who currently earn $.73 per $1 a man makes) are paid equally for equal work, as well as protecting labor unions. Therefore it's very important to elect candidates who understand this complex issue and can advocate for raising wages to meet a variety of needs. Let’s give families the freedom to live by paying fair wages.
I will be a voice for our union brothers and sisters. The repeal of the common construction wage (aka prevailing wage) has negatively impacted Hoosier workers and families. The three years since its repeal, construction wages have gone down 8.5%. Stagnant wages have led Hoosier families to struggle to make ends meet.
I support vital industries that keep our state open for business. Our Indiana economy runs on key sectors, including manufacturing, technology, health care, supply chain management/logistics, and agriculture. As your Senator, I will expand job training programs that align with state workforce needs and bring more Hoosiers into the workforce. I work every day with partners in K-12, regional agencies, business and industry leaders, and community agencies to better align training and education with workforce needs in Indiana. I will continue to work with those networks and utilize those partnerships as a Senator and support Governor Holcomb's Next Level Jobs Initiative.