(UNDATED) – Rural and small-town Hoosiers from Southern Indiana will join together at the statehouse to put forward a hopeful vision for a brighter Indiana.
They will present a People’s Day of Action on Thursday at the Statehouse in Indianapolis on the 3rd floor, North Atrium
The path to that vision is outlined by the HOPE Legislative Agenda: healthcare, opportunity, prosperity, and a clean environment for all Hoosiers.
Hoosier Action is a non-partisan, Southern Indiana-based community organization that advocates for the needs of struggling Hoosiers.
Hoosier Action community speakers include:
- Pastor Lee Huckleberry, Park Christian Church, Floyd County
- Tyla Pond, Johnson County Hoosier Action Leader
- Elaine Bonadies, Monroe County Hoosier Action Leader
- Ed O’Brien, Owen County Hoosier Action Leader
- Georg’ann Cattelona, Monroe County Hoosier Action Leader
The People’s Day of Action will begin with a press conference at 11:30 a.m. about the HOPE Agenda and Hoosier Action’s legislative priorities for 2020. Priorities include passing the workplace pregnancy accommodation bill, ensuring affordable and quality healthcare for Hoosiers, ending predatory payday lending, providing evidence-based solutions to the overdose crisis, and protecting Hoosier communities from toxic chemicals.
After the press conference, Hoosier Action members will go to the offices of every member of the Indiana General Assembly to discuss the HOPE Agenda and share their stories.
“We are trying to get people together from all over the state,” explains Hoosier Action leader Dianna Jennings from Martinsville. “We don’t care what your politics is or your background is, we just need to work together to make it a safer, better, healthier place to live.”
The HOPE Agenda & Background:
- Protect pregnant Hoosiers, babies, and new mothers by passing the Pregnancy Accommodation Act. Too many Hoosier moms and babies are dying–we have the 3rd worst maternal mortality rate in the country and the 7th worst infant mortality rate. African-American Hoosiers and rural Hoosiers are disproportionately at risk. SB 342 Pregnancy and Childbirth Discrimination addresses this crisis by requiring that employers accommodate pregnant workers, new mothers, and nursing moms, so they don’t get hurt on the job.
- Keep Hoosiers safe by requiring Transparency About Environmental Toxins. Indiana is the 2nd worst state for pollution. Across our state, people are getting sick from toxic contamination left by large, out-of-state corporations. Children are among the most vulnerable to many types of toxicants. Many Hoosiers are unaware that they may be living, working, or going to school on toxic sites. HB 1257 Notice of Environmental Contamination mandates that polluters report spills into waterways to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, county health officers, emergency response agencies, and the public.
- Defend working Hoosiers from loan sharks by Stopping Predatory Payday Lending. In the past 5 years, payday lenders have drained $322 million from working Hoosiers by charging rates up to 391% APR! Payday lenders drive bankruptcies and hurt everyday Hoosiers. SB 26 stops this drain on Hoosier finances by implementing a 36% rate cap.
- Respond to the addiction crisis by Prioritizing Treatment & Stopping Overdoses. The opioid and overdose epidemic is devastating Hoosier families, especially in rural communities. Drug overdose deaths in Indiana have nearly doubled in the last 10 years. HB 1094 Substance Use Prevention & Recovery Program requires the director of the Criminal Justice Institute to work with local coordinating councils on implementing programs to address substance use disorder. While this legislation is not enough, it is a step in the right direction, especially if it is amended to mandate that coordinating councils include Hoosiers with lived experience of substance use.
- Ensure that all Hoosiers can get the care they need by Expanding Medicaid in Indiana Medicaid is a public healthcare program that includes HIP 2.0. It provides life-saving and affordable coverage for nearly 1.5 million Hoosiers who are struggling to make ends meet. Half of all Hoosier births are covered by Medicaid. SB 283 Medicaid Treatment for Pregnant Women & HB 1248 Postpartum Medicaid Coverage for Pregnant Women both expand access to Medicaid to women for one year after the end of their pregnancies. SB 192 Inpatient Mental Healthcare for Medicaid Children improves access to inpatient psychiatric care for children enrolled in Medicaid.
- Save Hoosier lives by Controlling Prescription Drug Prices. The price of prescription drugs, including insulin, has skyrocketed in the last few years forcing many Hoosiers to choose between skipping medication or paying their utilities. A quarter of people with diabetes ration their insulin because of the drug’s high price. Out of 50 states, Indiana is 6th highest for deaths due to diabetes. HB 1219 Health Insurance, HB1116 Drug Information Reporting, and LS6643 Insulin Pricing seek to increase prescription drug pricing transparency and set a cap on insulin prices.