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IIWF 2017 Legislative Public Policy Agenda

More than 1 in 3 Hoosiers continue to live below economic self-sufficiency despite unemployment rates that have steadily declined since the recession. So while Hoosiers are working (even if still not at pre-recession rates), over a third can't afford basic needs such as adequate housing, food, transportation and childcare. To tackle this persistent problem, the Indiana Institute for Working Families has released its 2017 Legislative Policy Agenda with six 'missing pieces' to help fill the gaps in Indiana's economy for working Hoosier families.

Our new Governor Eric Holcomb grasped the impact of these 'missing pieces' in his inauguration speech when he said "Too many Hoosiers and their families feel they’ve been left out or are in danger of being left behind. Too many are not participating in today’s economy or getting a quality education." That feeling of being left behind is backed up by the data: without policies specifically tailored for working families, Indiana will continue to fall behind our neighbors in the rankings, including a downward trend in median household income rankings (from #34 to #36), and an upward trend in child poverty rankings (from 23rd to 21st highest) over the past year alone. Our state has done a great job fostering a 'business friendly' climate with direct policy attention, and wouldn't tolerate letting that climate go to chance. The time has come for Indiana to stop being complacent to the status of working families and consigning their fates to a byproduct of our business climate. Indiana and its economy will not move "to the next level’ without giving policies for working families the same pioneering spirit and innovation that has inspired the state's first two centuries.


To that end, this agenda of six 'missing policy pieces' will help Hoosier families protect assets, build skills and opportunities, and move up the path towards self-sufficiency. Filling these missing pieces will also help Indiana put together strategies to build better-paying, higher-quality jobs and equitable budget choices for a more just Indiana economy that works for all Hoosier families. All recommendations on the 2017 Policy Agenda are based on the culmination of the Institute’s analysis of research, data and national best practice models, aimed at doing things the Indiana way with innovation and a pioneering spirit. These "missing pieces" include:


Download the agenda

How the Institute Sets Its Public Policy Agenda