Pelath: Though Heavily Outnumbered, House Dems Will Push Priorities

Jan 5, 2015

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (left) says his caucus has priorities, too, and plans to air them.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) says it’s the duty of the minority party to offer alternatives to Republican proposals made during the legislative session that starts this week. 

Pelath says income inequality is the most pressing economic issue Indiana faces.  He notes the gap between the highest and lowest earners in the state is the biggest it’s been in decades. 

The House Minority Leader says educating the public on the issue must come first, along with solutions that can have an immediate impact, such as raising the minimum wage.

“And we need to find ways, most importantly, to grow, attract, and retain highly skilled workers with higher income potentials,” Pelath says.

Pelath says ensuring the session is a productive one is also about what lawmakers don’t pass.  He points to potential legislation that would allow businesses, such as florists and caterers, to refuse service to gay couples.  Pelath says issues like that only serve to divide the state.

“Some come to the General Assembly because they really enjoy talking about people’s personal lives.  That’s what drives them; that’s what interests them.  I would ask them to set those interests aside.”

The legislative session is set to begin Tuesday.