STATEHOUSE (April 27, 2013) — State Sen. Doug Eckerty (R-Yorktown) lauded today’s passage of a new state budget that provides hundreds of millions of dollars in tax relief to Hoosier families. The two-year fiscal plan includes a 5 percent individual income tax cut phased in from 2015 to 2017 and provides increased funding for roads, child protection, K-12 and higher education. House Bill 1001 now awaits the Governor’s signature.
“Indiana has set itself apart with its honestly balanced, fiscally responsible budgets,” Eckerty said. “This year, we’ve continued that trend. Not only have we extended more funding to our state programs, but we’ve also paid down our taxpayer-funded debt. This will continue to make our state a strong economic leader.”
Highlights of the honestly balanced budget include:
- Tax Relief and Job Creation:
o Cuts individual income tax rate 5 percent (3 percent cut beginning in 2015 and another 2 percent cut beginning in 2017)
o Eliminates state inheritance tax, retroactively effective to Jan. 1, 2013
o Includes funding for vocational education and workforce development initiatives
o Increases K-12 funding by $333 million over the biennium (2 percent increase in FY 2014 and 1 percent increase in FY 2015)
o Increases university funding by more than $100 million per year
o Increases student aid by $75 million over the biennium
o Increases road and infrastructure funding by $200 million per year and sets aside another $400 million over the biennium for future transportation needs
o Increases funding for DCS by $35 million per year
o Provides $10 million per year for school resource officers (contained in SB 1)
o Transfers $250 million in FY 2014 to the Medicaid Contingency and Reserve Account
- Paying Taxpayer-Funded Debt
o 100 percent of excess surplus in FY 2013 goes to Pension Stabilization Fund
o Pays back $91 million in charter school loan
o Provides $215 million cash funding for university capital projects
In addition to the budget, Eckerty pointed out a few noteworthy bills that passed during the 2013 legislative session:
- Senate Bill 152 - Assists homeowners who have successfully appealed an assessor’s overvaluation of their property.
- Senate Bill 532 - Permits the Indiana Secondary Market for Education Loans to become a direct lender of postsecondary education loans.
“My goal this session was to help make Indiana a better place to get an education, find a place to work and raise a family,” Eckerty said. ”I believe the bills I’ve authored will help make that possible and support Indiana as a state where Hoosiers can continue to thrive.”
The Senate is now adjourned “sine die”— which signifies the end of the 2013 Indiana General Assembly.