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[r29] Column: State budget cornerstone of legislative priorities
Start Date: 2/12/2013Start Time: 12:00 PM
End Date: 2/12/2013End Time: 1:59 PM
Entry Description
State budget cornerstone of legislative priorities

Every two years, the General Assembly drafts the financial blue print for Indiana outlining the funding priorities and functions of state government. House Bill 1001, the budget bill, can take on drastically different shapes and sizes depending on the economic and political climate. Following the recession, states who were riding high on the overpriced housing market, false security from Wall Street and exponential dot com expansion were suddenly cash-strapped with mounting levels of debt. Concerns of public spending resulted in severe cuts to bloated budgets across the country, but a majority of the damage was mitigated in Indiana.
 
Although Indiana was not immune to the need to reduce its budget, the tough decisions made have put us in a situation of having a surplus rather than the deficit as is the case in many other states, especially in the Midwest.
 
The leadership teams in the General Assembly worked together to provide a framework for responsible governance. Former-Chairman of Ways and Means Rep. Jeff Espich ensured prudence with Hoosiers’ hard-earned tax dollars despite the temptations to spend outside of areas prioritized by Republicans: education, jobs and infrastructure. Rep. Espich has since retired and passed the responsibilities on to now-Ways and Means Chairman Dr. Tim Brown from Crawfordsville. In the Senate, Noblesville Senator Luke Kenley will be awaiting the budget as the Chairman of Appropriations.

Looking to this year’s budget, there will be additional attention paid to allocating resources for early childhood education, the Department of Child Services and transportation projects like I-69. Strengthening the core of Indiana’s economy will attract more jobs and create a more hospitable environment for Hoosiers to live, work and raise a family. 

With over half of the state’s budget allocated for K-12 and higher education, Indiana is sending a strong message that it is invested in the future of tomorrow’s leaders. Yet, there are still large and looming issues that have to be addressed by the Legislature such as the Affordable Care Act. Each budgetary item will be weighed on its merit and further discussed from now through the end of session April 29.
 
By writing a budget that enables Indiana to live within its means, the greater level of certainty in the marketplace will spur continued growth in our state’s economy. Indiana is open for business, and it all starts with having a secure financial foundation to work from.

-30-

State Representative Kathy Richardson (R-Noblesville) 
Contact Information:
Name: Nicholas Goodwin
Phone: 3172329831
Email: ngoodwin@iga.in.gov
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  • Taxes & Finance
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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