Fady's Priorities & Accomplishments
Committed to Servant Leadership
Standing Up for All Hoosiers
This past session, it was my elected duty to fight for equality, justice, and progress on behalf of every Hoosier. Standing up for the people of Indiana is my number one priority, and I was happy to secure several legislative victories in the 2021 legislative session that will improve the lives of Hoosier families and create a better future for our community. This included my priority to responsibly use American Rescue Plan dollars in the state budget. As your public servant, I'm committed to continue working in a bipartisan fashion to serve all Hoosiers.
Worked to Protect Hoosier Families
Hoosier families were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially senior citizens and those living in assisted living facilities. That's why I authored, co-authored, sponsored and cosponsored several pieces of legislation to protect the physical and mental health and wellbeing of Hoosier families. My bills and amendments to fund direct support professionals, mental health services, in-home health care services for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities, public health initiatives, maternal services, food banks and support programs for veterans and foster children were eventually incorporated into the final, bipartisan, state budget. I also opposed legislation to grant immunity for negligent nursing homes where thousands of elderly Hoosiers lost their lives during the early stages of the pandemic.
Supported Full Funding for Public Education
My legislation to fully fund public schools that delivered remote instruction during this pandemic was successfully incorporated into Senate Bill (SB) 2. In addition, my proposal sought to increase funding under the school funding formula's complexity index to ensure low income students and foster children were getting necessary services. Finally, I advocated for the restoration of Career and Technical Education funding to our state budget. Each of these policies were fully funded in the final state budget.
Advocated for Teacher Salary Increases
I advocated for teacher pay raises throughout the entire session. Our state ranks last in the nation for teacher salary growth and we have the lowest wages among our neighboring states. The 2021 American Rescue Plan and the individual stimulus checks that were sent to Hoosiers stimulated Indiana's economy, which resulted in a higher-than-expected revenue forecast. Given the positive increase in state revenues, I continued my advocacy to increase funding for public schools, which resulted in increasing school funding by $1 billion over the next two years, some of which can be used to increase teacher pay.
Funded Grants to Support Students Facing Learning Loss
Our schools, teachers and students were negatively impacted by this pandemic, being forced to adapt to a new style of learning under stressful circumstances and in new environments. As a result, students have faced learning loss, in some instances falling behind. That's why I cosponsored House Bill (HB) 1008 to provide $150 million in grants for schools and educational institutions to help close the achievement gap.
Promoted Economic Development
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation's new READI program launched just a few weeks ago with $500 million in appropriated money from the General Assembly. I supported this new funding in the state budget which will lead to billions of dollars in new economic activity and which incorporates ideas from community development fund legislation that I proposed at the beginning of the 2021 legislative session. The READI program encourages neighboring counties, cities and towns to partner on programs and projects which will help make their region more attractive to businesses and employees. In addition, I cosponsored HB 1004 which appropriated $60 million to support small businesses that were impacted by the pandemic.
Progress on Racial Justice
This session, I proudly cosponsored the law enforcement reform bill, HB 1006, in response to calls from Hoosiers to make real progress on racial justice and police reform. With the passage of HB 1006, we have taken the first steps to address racial injustice in Indiana. This legislation, which was drafted by the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus and collaborated on with both chambers of the General Assembly, bans chokeholds in most situations, requires de-escalation training for law enforcement professionals and makes it easier to discipline officers who engage in misconduct.
Advocated for Local Solutions and Property Rights
This year, I championed the cause of empowering local units of government to design local solutions that incorporate the voices of local residents and communities of interest. It was my goal to ensure that decisions that are made by local communities are protected from partisan political interference by state legislators at the Statehouse. As confirmed by the results of my legislative survey, the overwhelming majority of residents in Senate District 30 opposed partisan efforts to: (1) transfer oversight of IMPD to a state appointed board; (2) defund Indianapolis' public transportation system; (3) revoke a local ordinance that protects responsible tenants from abusive actions by irresponsible landlords; and (4) prevent residents from engaging in a public process to share their input regarding the installation of 5G poles in their own communities. Fortunately, my bipartisan efforts while working with my Senate colleagues were successful in halting the legislation that aimed to takeover IMPD and defund IndyGo. However, our efforts on the 5G and tenants' rights bills were not successful.
Proposed an Independent Redistricting Commission
This session I proposed creating an independent redistricting commission comprised of legislative leaders from both parties and citizen members. I also co-authored legislation which would have established certain standards for the redistricting process to ensure transparency and fairness in our elections. While these efforts were not successful, I will continue to fiercely advocate for fair maps to ensure Hoosier voters get to select their representatives rather than politicians selecting their own districts. As a member of the Senate Elections Committee, I will fight to protect our democracy.
Common Sense Gun Reform
I authored legislation this session proposing a common sense gun reform measure which would have required safe storage of guns in places where children were likely to gain access. The proposal also would have made it illegal for guns to be stored on a property if anyone residing on that property was prohibited by law from possessing a firearm or posed an imminent danger to themselves or others.
Energy and the Environment
Indiana ranks in the bottom ten states in regards to the quality of air and water. Protecting our environment improves our health, quality of life, and economy. That's why I authored legislation to create energy improvement districts in Indiana to incentivize public and private organizations to conserve energy, supported legislation to incentivize clean, sustainable, and renewable sources of energy and opposed removing state protections for wetlands. I will continue to champion legislation that promotes resiliency, sustainability and climate change mitigation and adaptation policies.