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House Democrats push to spend state surplus on helping Hoosiers

Lauren Chapman
IPB News
Rep. Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) calls the state's $4 billion surplus "unconscionable" amid the "suffering" of Hoosiers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indiana House Democrats want the legislature to spend some of the state’s $4 billion surplus this year to help support struggling Hoosiers.

Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) delivered a speech to the House on the opening day of the 2022 session Tuesday.

Republican leaders are resistant to spending any new money this year, noting that 2022 is a non-budget session.

But GiaQuinta said Hoosiers deserve to have the state invest in them – whether by helping them with medical debt, child care costs or student loans.

“Just scraping by when you’re working two or three jobs is a kind of economic imprisonment," GiaQuinta said. "It tramples the spirit of hardworking Hoosiers.”

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.