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[r29] Column: Priorities achieved this session
Start Date: 5/1/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 5/1/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
Priorities achieved this session

Early in the morning Saturday, the Speaker of the House Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) announced the end of session, or Sine Die, closing out a year of priorities achieved. The House Republican agenda, Own your American Dream, which was released in October, centered on making Indiana a stronger state for future generations by focusing on fiscal integrity, job growth and enhanced education opportunities for every Hoosier.

The $30 billion blueprint for Indiana in 2014-15 passed with bipartisan support, a telling tale for the overall dealings of the session, and is projected to keep prudent reserves above 10 percent and a structural balance.  Through continued conservative spending, Indiana will remain one of only nine states that has a triple-A credit from all three major credit agencies.

A new conservative concept was introduced by the Legislature in this budget: paying cash for projects and paying off the state’s debt burden. Two state buildings will be paid off, and $225 million will be paid in cash for university projects. With the uptick in the Hoosier economy and positive fiscal health of the state, Indiana has remained one of the most hospitable places for job creation. Ranked in the top five of numerous publications and studies, we will continue to see growth as taxes are reduced for all Hoosiers.

Employers feel that there is certainty in the Hoosier marketplace, void of dramatic tax increases or major spending cuts. This budget keeps Indiana in an enviable position with a low tax burden, so every Hoosier can have more of their hard-earned money. When fully implemented, Hoosiers will realize the biggest tax cut in state history, reducing taxes by more than $650 million per year. The inheritance tax, or commonly referred to as the death tax, has been repealed. Income taxes will be reduced by 5 percent over the next 4 years. The financial institutions tax will be reduced to 6.5 percent, and the corporate income tax will continue to be phased down to 6.5 percent.

In Indiana, we want to see more money in the hands of Hoosiers instead of state coffers. 

Ensuring Indiana is competitive for job growth is a constant battle with other states. It’s important to be able to attract companies to locate here or provide the tools for start-ups to get the necessary capital to be successful. Training Hoosiers to be knowledgeable in growing fields like science, technology, engineering and mathematics will drive our economy for years to come. These fields are the tickets to success and prosperity, so we need to make sure Hoosiers are equipped to fill available jobs. House Enrolled Act 1002, the Indiana Career Council (ICC), will develop a workforce that will better prepare Hoosiers for the needs of a globally dynamic marketplace.

The ICC brings industry, education and government leaders to the same table to more closely align training and education with current and future demands of the state. It is wisest for the state to invest in people capable of filling jobs in our state today.

In conclusion, education is always a priority as K-12 and higher education make up over half of the entire budget. K-12 funding will see an increase of $390 million in 2014-15, totaling the most significant investment in the futures of Hoosier students in state history. There is also an Early Education Matching Grant program, which funds Pre-K education at $2 million per year for low-income children. On top of the cash projects being funded for universities, an additional $190 million will be allocated.

Indiana is in a rare position in comparison to other states to be able to increase funding for vital services like education, roads and bridges, public safety and workforce training, all the while providing the biggest tax cut package in state history.

I continue to be honored to represent the 29th District at the Statehouse, but it is always great to be back home on a daily basis. I appreciate all of the correspondence over the last four months and those who visited the Statehouse.  It is great to hear your thoughts and concerns to help with decisions on doing what is best for community and the State of Indiana. This session we took 585 roll call votes, in the weeks coming I will continue to update you on the important pieces of legislation we passed.

-30-
Contact Information:
Name: Nicholas Goodwin
Phone: 3172329831
Email: ngoodwin@iga.in.gov
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