INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Democrats applauded the governor's decision Tuesday to release money to families that adopted special needs children with guarantees of support from the state.
Gov. Mike Pence decided to release $10 million to the families for the coming budget year in the face of a lawsuit claiming promised adoption subsidies had been denied to about 1,400 families.
Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, an Anderson Democrat, and Sen. John Broden, a South Bend Democrat, issued a news release Tuesday saying the Pence administration made the right decision.
"As a state, we have an obligation to support these families who have stepped forward to adopt children who, through no fault of their own, have endured great pain and separation in their life," Broden said in a statement. "I applaud the governor for this long overdue step of honoring the state's financial commitment and obligation to these families."
The state had cut roughly $240 million from the Department of Child Services budget in the last five years. The cuts started during the recession, but continued even after tax collections improved.
The cuts led to a lawsuit from the Indianapolis firm Cohen and Malad, representing a handful of families who claimed they had been shorted by the state. The state, in a response filed in court, blamed the cuts in adoption aid in part on state lawmakers.
State officials did not discuss the suit Tuesday, but noted that the additional money for adoptive families is a small portion of the $92 million the state already pays out in adoption subsidies.
"Governor Pence has a heart for adoptive and foster families, and we are grateful we have been able to identify resources to fund this program for families that have adopted children from our system," DCS Director Mary Beth Bonaventura said in a release Tuesday evening.
Indiana Beach gets a facelift for 2016 season
An iconic Indiana tourist attraction is getting a brand new look just in time for Memorial Day.
Carmel turns to DNA testing for dog park waste
DNA testing is underway in Carmel – to determine who hasn't been picking up after their dogs.
NAACP member calls on Dr. Ferebee to resign
A member of the Indianapolis NAACP called on IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee to resign Tuesday night.
Not a victim: Stalking target breaks her silence
It's a paralyzing fear to know someone is watching you – peering into a place where you expect privacy.
CALL 6: IPS refers bathroom taping case to CPS
Indianapolis Public Schools is asking Child Protective Services to investigate an incident at George Washington Community High School on the…