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Issues

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Healthcare Freedoms

The supermajority in the Indiana General Assembly has enacted Big-Government restrictions on the rights of Hoosiers to partner with their doctors to make science-based, intimate reproductive and transition related decisions for themselves and their families. Nearly 60 percent of Hoosiers support access to abortion care, but the General Assembly isn’t listening. I have testified in the Senate chamber against restrictive healthcare bills, and as your new Senator, I will be a champion for citizen-driven ballot initiatives so residents' voices can prevail to restore our healthcare freedoms.

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Fiscal Responsibility

In 2022, Indiana ended the fiscal year with a ridiculous 6.1 billion dollars of reserves, after collecting $1.25 billion more taxes than originally forecast. This enormous stockpile of taxpayer money was the product of unchecked taxes in a cycle of transitory inflation, and is just one example of bad tax policy gone worse. In December 2023, the state office of Management and Budget reported a shocking $1 billion accounting error shortfall in Indiana Medicaid forecasting, dramatically underfunding a program that one in four Hoosiers rely on. Irresponsible fund mismanagement is what happens when a single party holds power over state government for nearly two decades. It’s time to end that unchecked power, to place the needs of everyday Hoosiers front and center, and to demand responsible, transparent government.

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Addiction and Recovery

Nearly one in 12 Hoosiers, almost a half million people, meet the criteria for having a substance use disorder. The Putnam County Community Foundation’s 2023 Community Needs Assessment surveyed the top-5 issues facing our community, and addiction was listed as the top issue. As President of the Board of Directors for the Putnam County Recovery Coalition, I am providing vision for the only secular recovery-resource in the county, as it works to connect those suffering from substance use disorder with treatment, counseling and other resources. We have boots on the ground, working to stop the stigma around addiction, give support to families and provide education to the community. I lost a sister to overdose in 2017; in the Statehouse, I will bring the urgency of my community’s voice to the Senate chamber to deliver state resources to District 24 for training and deploying professional recovery specialists in both Putnam and Hendricks Counties.

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Mental Health

Inadequate mental health treatment options tied for 2nd place in the same Community Needs Assessment. This should be no surprise, as more than 1 in 5 Hoosiers have been diagnosed with a mental illness. Indiana’s 2023 SEA1 provides for routing federal HHS funds toward community mental health centers (CMHCs) across Indiana, but falls short of putting any state resources into staffing the centers. Having a place to go in a mental crisis isn’t enough if the center is understaffed. With Greencastle’s Human Relations Commission, I have spearheaded a series of ongoing summit-conversations on this topic between mental health professionals, emergency responders and city and county law enforcement officers. We must not criminalize the mentally-ill, and we must not clog our jails with patients. Until Indiana adequately invests in training a workforce to staff new CMHCs with professionals, mental health crisis care will fall short of the need. I will work in the Statehouse to deliver those needed resources to every one of Indiana’s 92 counties.

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Community Safety

Community safety is more than the absence of crime, or the presence of police. It is also the well-being and sense of belonging of our families and neighbors. Community safety requires a holistic, integrated approach to law enforcement, corrections and mental health care. As Greencastle’s Council liaison to local law enforcement, I worked with our Chief of Police to improve relations between officers and our diverse, dynamic community. On the city’s budget committee, I fought for ensuring that our officers’ pay was increased to provide parity with peer communities. As the only District 24 candidate with governmental policy-making experience, I will be an advocate for policies that ensure every Hoosier not only feels protected, but included.

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Public Education

Nearly 20 percent of Indiana’s third graders failed the 2023 state reading assessment. We have seen public education defunded and devalued by profit-driven interests over twelve years of one-party control in the Statehouse and Indiana now ranks 49th out of 50 states for investment per k-12 student. The state ranks dead-list for access to early-childhood education. As the daughter and parent of public school teachers, and as a career-long teacher at every level from pre-K to college, I will fight to ensure that every public school is fully-resourced. I will also fight for access to universal pre-K and eliminating wasteful Big-Government voucher expansion handouts to private schools that discriminate in employment and deny access to LGBTQ and special-needs students.

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Protecting Natural Resources

My dad was a municipal water engineer. I was raised to not take our precious air and water for granted. As we work to meet the needs to preserve agricultural land, forests and parks, we must take a critical look at funding blank-check projects like IEDC’s LEAP. Indiana’s water supply is an irreplaceable public resource, and not a commercial enterprise for a quasi-public state agency.

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Infrastructure

On Greencastle’s City Council, I fought to double the city’s investments in streets and sidewalks, while maintaining a balanced budget. We can responsibly rebuild our unsafe bridges and roads in Hendricks and Putnam County, through careful collaborations and good stewardship. I am ready to get to work on a comprehensive and data-driven infrastructure plan that actually takes the current “Next Level Roads” plan to the next level of responsible investment.

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