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Pelath: Tri-Partnership Doing Nothing for Middle Class this Session

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath of Michigan City today issued the following statement on the first half of the 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly:
            “At the halfway point of this session, it would be good to report that the Legislature has taken significant strides to help the middle class in Indiana: creating good-paying jobs, taking the pressure off the middle class, and helping our public schools recover from the body blows of recent years.
            “But we have seen none of those things this session. There has been no job creation, no broad-based tax relief, and nothing done to restore our public schools.
            “What we have seen this session is a Republican Party that has control of practically everything in state government, yet seems to be in paralysis about what to do with all that power.
            “While I know that House Democrats are interested in being bipartisan, it appears that we are finding ourselves having to engage in tri-partisanship, because we are dealing with two groups of Republicans that want to be the governing coalition in our state.
            “One group is conservative but pragmatic. They want to work together for the benefit of the people of Indiana. The other group is extremely ideological and unwavering in pursuing the types of policies they want to impose on others.
            “We don’t have a clear message from the Republican majorities in the Indiana House and Senate or from the governor’s office. There is no direction and they have no alternatives to give the people of this state.
            “As a consequence, we have seen the failure to pass the biggest jobs bill, not only of this year, but maybe of a generation: the expansion of affordable health care in the state of Indiana. According to the Indiana Hospital Association, this expansion would create 30,000 jobs in our state...jobs that would pay a good wage and help people provide for themselves and their families.
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            “Even Republican governors who swore they would never take a dime from the Affordable Care Act have bowed to the reality that this is the law of the land, and they need to embrace the realities that this act will reduce the dependence on the emergency room as a primary health care option AND put people to work.
            “But here in Indiana, they refuse to accept these realities. If they persist, the people of our state will be subsidizing health care for all of our neighbors, while Hoosiers continue to suffer.
            “I know the Republicans say there is time to consider all of the things that need to be priorities this session, but you cannot look at their inability to get along without wondering if this will persist and the session will excel only in the number of banalities we address.”                                                                          
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