From declining an $80 million grant that would have helped establish a statewide Pre-K system to stripping the powers of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Statehouse Republicans have shown Hoosiers that they will put special interests ahead of our tax dollars and the well-being of our students, teachers, and schools.

Against advice from business leaders and public opinion, Republicans pushed through the embarrassing and unnecessary Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), making it legal to openly discriminate against Hoosiers. RFRA threw the state into a $250 million economic panic, drove away future business opportunities, and damaged our reputation of being a welcoming state for all.

Indiana currently has a D+-rated infrastructure system. With over 1,700 deficient bridges and the state wasting over $71 million in faulty asphalt, our roads and bridges continue to crumble before our eyes. Republicans brought forth short-term solutions, but Democrats know we must invest in our infrastructure long-term or our state will further see economic damage.

Through all of this, Indiana Democrats stood on the right side of Indiana’s most important issues and worked to be problem-solvers determined to restore trust in and make government work for Hoosiers, not against them.

The Hoosier economy can no longer be just a talking point in the current administration’s political playbook. Those serious about truly changing Indiana for the better must understand the important balance needed to take our state’s current reality to a vision upon which high-wage, high-skill jobs; a prosperous middle class, access to education and a great quality of life in our communities can be found.

The Indiana Democratic Party is committed to ensuring families do not just make ends meet, but are able to thrive and make strong contributions to the Hoosier economy. Unemployment rates don’t tell the full tale of the Hoosier economy because not all jobs are created equal. Each requires its own unique set of skills that can only happen through targeted and ongoing investment in education, training and a balanced tax environment. What’s more, our economic approach must be one with a long-term goal in mind of attracting and retaining the very best the American workforce has to offer.