The United Steelworkers of America (USWA) Local #104 awarded State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) today with the Tommie Blaylock Award for Outstanding Leadership. The award is given each year to those who help promote and support the rights of Hoosier working families.
“I am extremely humbled and honored by this award,” said Tallian. “Indiana workers are at the heart of some of the most important legislation I have worked on at the Statehouse, and I will continue to be a voice for workers across our state.”
While in the Indiana Senate, Tallian has taken a leading role on many issues facing Hoosier workers including labor, health care, property taxes and environmental protection. Tallian serves as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Pensions and Labor Committee and is a member of the Pension Management Oversight Committee.
During the 2009 Legislative Session, Tallian worked to address the imbalance in the state’s unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. A dramatic imbalance in the reserves that pay for unemployment benefits has left Indiana borrowing more than $1.7 billion from the federal government to cover benefit costs. Tallian, both a sponsor and conferee on the bill, worked to make sure unemployment benefits were left intact and eligibility was not reduced in the final bill language. The law provided additional help to the long-term unemployed during this economic downturn by including provisions to make more Hoosiers eligible for 20 weeks of federally funded extended benefits.
This session, Tallian has continued to be an integral part of the state’s work to address issues with the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund as well as benefits for unemployed workers. Tallian was commended for being a tireless worker on behalf of the state’s workforce.
USWA Local #104, located in Newburgh, Indiana, named the award after Tommie Blaylock, a former business agent of the USWA Local #104, Indiana State AFL-CIO vice president, and an International Vice President of the Aluminum, Brick and Glass Worker’s Union. Members of USWA Local #104 created this award in honor of his leadership and service. The award is given to only those whose actions resemble those of Blaylock and his passion for helping others.
For more information on Sen. Tallian, her legislative agenda or other State Senate business, call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.senatedemocrats.IN.gov.