STATEHOUSE- Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis), joined by a dozen of his House Republican colleagues, announced the House Republican Agenda today which focuses on making Indiana a stronger state for future generations.
“It is every parent’s hope that their children will be better off than their own generation. But for the first time in history the majority of Americans believe that the next generation will not enjoy a quality of life better than their parents,” said Speaker Bosma.
The two most important ways to improve life for the next generation are through the creation of high wage jobs and an education that prepares our young people for the realities of the workforce. The work of the next General Assembly must focus on these critical issues.
“House Republicans have also spearheaded the concept that our state must live within its means. That simple fiscal principal has made our state the envy of the nation. In addition to that cornerstone, we will continue to focus on a bright future focused on job creation and education improvement,” said Speaker Bosma.
The House Republicans’ “Own Your American Dream” plan focuses on three key concepts.
Financial Security for Future Generations
“Addressing jobs or education matters little if we fail to continue our strong record of demanding balanced budgets that forces our state government to live within its means. Our fiscal integrity provides an economic climate that spurs job creation. Hoosier taxpayers deserve nothing less, and our job creation environment will continue to benefit,” said Bosma.
Indiana is one of only nine states that has a triple-A credit rating from all three credit agencies. Indiana holds a higher credit rating than the federal government, whose debt has now passed the $16 trillion mark for the first time in our nation’s history. That equates to more than $50,000 of debt for every man, woman and child in the U.S.
Bridging the Skills Gap
According to the Indiana Vision 2025 report published by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, more than 930,000 Hoosiers lack even the most basic skills to thrive in today’s economy.
“Securing Indiana’s future by providing more opportunities for advancement and training will help grow our state’s workforce,” said Rep. McMillin. “I want to provide small businesses with the tools and flexibility to grow and prosper in Indiana. We need to continue to build on Indiana’s pro-business environment expanding opportunities for Hoosiers entrepreneurs.”
By 2018, it is estimated that 55 percent of Indiana’s jobs will require some postsecondary education, but only 33 percent of our current working age Hoosiers have an associate’s degree or higher.
“We plan to turn our attention to improving career and technical education in High School, increasing and supporting dual credit programs, targeting investment on training programs with high potential and strengthening partnerships between industry and higher education,” said Speaker Bosma.
Leaders in Classrooms; Leaders in Life
“Excellent teachers are one central key to success for young Hoosiers. We need to continue to look for ways to provide additional support to classroom teachers and ensure we have a strong pipeline to get teachers in hard to fill areas, such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM],” said Speaker Bosma.
Currently there are nearly two and a half STEM jobs for every one unemployed person in Indiana. Despite the economic downturn, these jobs have remained in demand, and will only increase as technology marches on.
At the opposite end of the education spectrum, House Republicans also intend to promote early learning opportunities for young Hoosiers.
“I firmly believe in a high quality education – it is the most important asset to prepare a student for success in life. Setting the foundation for our students to succeed at an early age with fundamental skills like reading, writing, arithmetic and speech is paramount,” said Rep. McMillin. “Providing a first rate education is the best investment our state can make in its future. I am very pleased with the direction Indiana is on for bettering our education system.”
In Indiana, 61 percent of children (ages 3-4) are not enrolled in a preschool program. Only six states have a higher percentage of children not attending a preschool.
“We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go to reach these critical goals. We won’t be a state that passes problems on to future generations to handle. Through continued fiscal integrity, quality jobs, and strong education opportunities the American Dream can be a reality for future generations of Hoosiers,” said Speaker Bosma.