Dist. 15 state rep­re­sen­ta­tive race heat­ing up

Chal­lenger cites ‘brain drain’ in In­di­ana as his mo­ti­va­tion to run

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - News - By Rob Earn­shaw Rob Earn­shaw is a free­lance reporter.

A Dyer Demo­crat is run­ning for state rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Dist.15 hop­ing to de­feat in­cum­bent Rep. Hal Slager, a Scher­erville Repub­li­can.

Dyer, Scher­erville, parts of Grif­fith and St. John make up the district.

Chris Chyung, 25, is a fi­nan­cial an­a­lyst.

Slager, a re­tired cer­ti­fied pub­lic ac­coun­tant who served on the Scher­erville Town Council for 10 years, is seek­ing his third term in the State­house. Slager did not re­turn calls or emails from the Post-Tri­bune.

Chyung said he is run­ning for the of­fice be­cause so many of his peers left the area af­ter grad­u­at­ing and state poli­cies don’t do nearly enough to re­tain its best and bright­est.

“Those kids aren’t com­ing back to buy homes, raise fam­i­lies, or start busi­nesses in In­di­ana, and we have a brain drain prob­lem across the en­tire state,” Chyung said. “We need poli­cies to ad­dress the stu­dent debt bub­ble while also high­light­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the skilled trades, ap­pren­tice­ship pro­grams and other col­lege al­ter­na­tives.”

Chyung said In­di­ana’s skills gap is an is­sue he would love to work across the aisle with to en­sure every Hoosier has the op­por­tu­nity to climb the lad­der of pros­per­ity.

“Our wages are some of the low­est in the na­tion while the cost of health care, food and hous­ing are out­pac­ing wages,” he said.

Chyung said le­gal­iz­ing med­i­cal cannabis would be a boon for In­di­ana’s econ­omy, as other states have ben­e­fited from new in­vest­ment and job growth in this sec­tor.

“Vet­er­ans sup­port it, and we need to put pres­sure at the fed­eral level to in­tro­duce some com­mon-sense reg­u­la­tions and a path to le­gal­iza­tion,” he said.

Chyung said the peo­ple of his district are sick of school ref­er­en­dums and want to be able to keep more of their tax dol­lars in their own school district.

“Too much of our money goes to un­ac­count­able on­line schools and fail­ing schools out­side of our com­mu­nity,” he said. “Hoosiers feel like they’re be­ing forced to sub­si­dize two school sys­tems: one pub­lic and one pri­vate. My fam­ily pre­vi­ously voted for my op­po­nent for his prom­ises to fix the fund­ing for­mula, but the lack of progress in the past six years and the di­ver­sion of more money than ever to out­side of our district — on top of an­other ref­er­en­dum in May — was an­other mo­ti­va­tor for me to run.”

Chyung said he will not be ac­cept­ing cam­paign do­na­tions from any cor­po­ra­tions/cor­po­rate PACs.

“I don’t be­lieve that while a leg­is­la­tor makes rules around Pfizer’s drug prices that Pfizer should be al­lowed to pay them, re­gard­less of if they are a Repub­li­can or Demo­crat,” he said. “This is the first step to low­er­ing pre­scrip­tion and out-of-pocket costs for Hoosiers and put­ting the peo­ple’s in­ter­ests be­fore lob­by­ists’ in­ter­ests.”

Slager’s web­site high­lights his au­thor­ing of the South Shore bill that re­sulted in $6 mil­lion per year for 30 years com­ing to North­west In­di­ana.

“The eco­nomic po­ten­tial of that project is ex­pected to be $170 mil­lion more in per­sonal in­come by 2033 in Lake County alone,” he said.

Slager said he at­tempts to re­solve is­sue as quickly as pos­si­ble, but if leg­is­la­tion is re­quired, the process be­gins long be­fore the ses­sion.

Slager’s pri­or­i­ties are keep­ing taxes low.

“Gov­ern­ment never seems to have a tax­ing prob­lem but rather a spend­ing prob­lem,” he said.

He also pri­or­i­tizes main­tain­ing a fa­vor­able busi­ness cli­mate.

“If we can have ev­ery­one work­ing then wages will rise and the lo­cal econ­omy will grow,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.