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Holcomb suggests another boost for teacher pay, renews support for hate crimes law

op Indiana Democratic lawmakers say Gov. Eric Holcomb is going in the right direction on trying to boost teacher pay and pushing for a state hate crimes law, but still has more work to do.

Posted: Jan 16, 2019 8:22 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP/WLFI) — Top Indiana Democratic lawmakers say Gov. Eric Holcomb is going in the right direction on trying to boost teacher pay and pushing for a state hate crimes law, but still has more work to do.

The Republican governor used his State of the State speech Tuesday evening to introduce a plan for using $140 million in state funds to pay off teacher pension obligations owed by school districts to free up their money for teacher salary increases. 

The extra money would amount to about 1-percent more funding to Indiana school districts, which are receiving an estimated $7.16 billion in state funding this school year.

Related: Tippecanoe County lawmakers react to state of the state

He says it would continue to produce savings for years to come.

"I believe local school districts should allocate 100 percent of the $140 million to increasing teacher paychecks," said Holcomb."

As of now there would be no mandate to use that money strictly for teacher pay. The governor is also creating a commission to identify more ways to give teachers more money.

Holcomb also renewed his support for Indiana joining 45 other state with hate crimes laws. At Tuesday's State of the State address, he said the new law should follow the state's employee anti-harassment policy. That includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

Repeated efforts for an Indiana law have failed amid fierce opposition from conservatives. They maintain it would unfairly create specially-protected classes of victims and wrongly restrict free speech.

Indiana is one of five states without a bias crimes law, but Holcomb told the Republican-dominated Legislature that Indiana needs to move off that list.

"Businesses interested in Indiana care about this issue, but it's not just about business," said Holcomb. "At heart, this has to do with people's dignity and how we treat one another."

Those opposing a specific hate crime law are from the governor's own party, while democrats are strongly supporting it. Many Republican legislators didn’t join a standing ovation when Holcomb called for a hate crimes law. Senate Democratic leader Tim Lanane says Holcomb will face overcoming opposition among conservative Republican lawmakers.

Lanane says Holcomb’s school funding proposal is a good start and shows that money can be found to help give raises to teachers.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 664446

Reported Deaths: 12663
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion909511650
Lake48568884
Allen36004640
Hamilton32182398
St. Joseph30166513
Elkhart25453419
Vanderburgh21300382
Tippecanoe20143203
Johnson16407361
Porter16042276
Hendricks15877300
Clark12018181
Madison11776319
Vigo11660231
Monroe10379163
Delaware9870179
LaPorte9802198
Howard9083199
Kosciusko8582111
Bartholomew7488147
Warrick7438151
Hancock7428133
Floyd7243170
Wayne6648192
Grant6446157
Boone610989
Morgan6106126
Dubois5925112
Dearborn549969
Cass547299
Marshall5439105
Henry542594
Noble510578
Jackson465167
Shelby461991
Lawrence4193113
Harrison402564
Gibson402083
Clinton396753
Montgomery389683
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350237
Huntington347377
Steuben339555
Wabash332676
Putnam331260
Ripley327862
Adams324749
Jasper318143
White297952
Jefferson295874
Daviess285696
Fayette272156
Decatur271188
Greene262080
Posey261431
Wells258675
Scott251350
LaGrange241870
Clay241444
Randolph225676
Spencer218930
Jennings216344
Washington212827
Sullivan203639
Fountain202142
Starke189051
Owen183253
Fulton179837
Jay178528
Carroll176619
Perry173736
Orange171250
Rush165322
Vermillion161442
Franklin159635
Tipton148441
Parke140016
Pike128233
Blackford120727
Pulaski107344
Newton96632
Brown95140
Benton92213
Crawford91713
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54011
Unassigned0432

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