Senate Republicans block proposal to provide more money for teachers

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Senator Eddie Melton

State Senators Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) and Eddie Melton (D-Gary) offered their two teacher pay proposals as a joint amendment to House Bill (HB) 1007 on January 21, 2020. HB 1007 opens up the state budget, and the amendment would both re-allocate $100 million annually from the pension stabilization fund to add to the Teacher Appreciation Grant this year and next.

“This was the third opportunity this year, and sixth opportunity since last session, for the Republican supermajority to provide our teachers with additional dollars,” Sen. Melton said. “Our amendment would have followed a suggestion from INPRS to smartly reallocate pension payments to provide new dollars to teachers now. Under our proposal, eligible teachers would have seen a 265 percent increase in their grant checks each year, without affecting state reserves or teacher pensions.”

“This fiscally-sound amendment would have put more money in teachers’ pockets immediately, as well as provided a way to pay for teacher raises for the next 20 years,” Sen. Tallian said. “We did this with no new taxes and no change to our surplus. There is absolutely no reason why the General Assembly can’t get our teachers more money this year. Otherwise, teachers will once again be forced to wait another year for any possibility of raises.”

The amendment was voted down along party lines 10-40. Senators Tallian and Melton’s teacher compensation bills, Senate Bill (SB) 306 and SB 413 still await committee hearings. The deadline for committees to take action on these bills is January 30.

Hoosiers who believe teachers should receive a pay raise this year are encouraged to call the governor at (317) 232-4567.

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