Although southwest Indiana is a great place to live and raise a family, my work to improve our community is constant. Working towards this goal, every year, the Indiana House Republicans set out to accomplish certain goals and priorities that will strengthen communities and benefit families throughout the state.
Recently, Indiana House Speaker Brian C. Bosma unveiled the 2015 House Republican Legislative Agenda. Our plan aims to increase accountability for all Hoosiers in addition to strengthening our state in four main areas; budget, education, ethics and public safety.
Although next legislative session is a budget year, and part of our agenda is to pass an honestly balanced budget, I am particularly passionate about our goal to improve Indiana’s education system. As someone who is an educator, I know firsthand the challenges our schools systems are facing, particularly when it comes to school funding.
Education is currently the largest portion of our budget, and when the budget bill passed, more dollars were appropriated to Hoosier schools than ever before. However, schools are still facing budget concerns and teachers are still spending own money on school supplies, which is something that we hope to address next session.
One of the goals outlined in our legislative agenda is to increase education funding. While much depends on Indiana’s future economic position, the House Republicans will work hard to increase this funding next year. We will also review Indiana’s funding formula to consider ways we can improve it and ensure high-performing schools are properly rewarded for their hard work.
As an educator, I know many teachers are spending money that belongs to them and their family. I am proud that we will work to address this issue by providing teachers, who spend their hard-earned dollars on decorations and school supplies, with a tax-credit. House Republicans will continue to work hard and give back to those who put their time and effort into bettering the lives of Hoosiers.
Along with education, public safety is another issue impacting our state. Having the third highest amount of police officers deaths in the nation is unacceptable. We have one of the highest infant mortality rates nationwide and domestic violence continues to be a concern for many.
Personally, I have championed initiatives to safeguard the public and worked help raise awareness about issues like domestic violence, but more work is needed to move Indiana forward in this area. Working towards this goal, we will look for ways to provide additional tools to government so they can adequately address these or any public safety concern they might encounter.
Indiana is a great place to live, but we can do more to make it even better. I am proud of our agenda and that the House Republicans are constantly looking for ways to make Indiana a place we all can all be proud of.
Rep. McNamara (R-Mount Vernon) represents portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties.