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Senator Donnelly Outlines Agenda To Improve Quality Of Life For Hoosier Families
Updated May 11, 2017 7:12 AM
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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly today released his Foundation for Families Agenda, a series of policy proposals aimed at improving the quality of life for hard-working Hoosier families.

Donnelly's agenda includes: paid family and medical leave so that workers can bond with a new child or care for an ailing senior; a focus on early childhood education including expanding access to Pre-K and quality childcare options; affordable higher education; and equal pay for equal work. Donnelly also released a video explaining his agenda which can be viewed here or below.

"I am unveiling the Foundation for Families Agenda because we need to ensure our policies and priorities support hardworking Hoosier and American families,: Donnelly says. "When our families succeed, so does our economy. The foundation for our families should include family leave, options for affordable childcare and Pre-K, access to an affordable college education, and the assurance that Hoosier women are paid equally when they do the same job as their male counterparts. These are commonsense ideas that I am hopeful we can advance in a bipartisan manner in the Senate."



Background on the Foundation for Families Agenda

Paid Family and Medical Leave

  • Paid leave would allow new parents to bond with their child, give workers an opportunity to accrue sick days, and provide flexibility for Hoosiers who take care of an aging parent or a spouse in need of in-home care.
  • Only 14 percent of workers in the United States have access to paid family and medical leave through their employers.
  • Paid family and medical leave policies are shown to increase worker productivity and improve worker retention, in turn benefiting both employees and employers, according to the National Partnership for Women & Families.
Early Childhood Education and Pre-K
  • Donnelly has consistently supported investments in early childhood education and efforts to expand access to Pre-K for all Hoosier children.
  • Research shows that high-quality early childhood education has long-term positive effects on school readiness and success.
Higher Education Accessibility
  • Donnelly and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced the bipartisan Empowering Student Borrowers Act, which aims to improve the financial literacy of college students and ensure that student borrowers have access to the best tools and information to make responsible borrowing decisions.
  • The bill would require the Department of Education to establish and maintain best practices for colleges and universities on useful methods to teach financial literacy skills and provide information to assist students when making financial decisions related to student borrowing.
  • Students should also have access to low-interest rate loans, so that they can pursue a higher degree without enduring a lifetime of debt.
Pay Equity
  • On average, women make just 80 cents for every dollar made by a man. In Indiana, that number is 76 cents. Pay equity would increase family incomes and ensure that women are being paid equally when they are doing the same job as a male coworker. A new study released by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) found that Indiana ranks 40th in the nation in the wage gap.


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