Accountability is our Responsibility

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, April 29, 2015

STATEHOUSE — Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis), announced the end of session, or Sine Die, on Wednesday evening with many accomplished priorities for the House Republicans. State Representative Sharon Negele (R-Attica) applauds the success of the House Republican agenda, which was released in October, focusing on four key categories: Budget Integrity, Education Funding, Ethics Reform and Public Safety.

House Republicans championed a two-year budget that is honestly balanced and does not increase taxes on Hoosiers or placing an unsustainable financial burden on future generations. The budget also protects Indiana’s healthy reserves and strong structural surplus, which are both critical to maintaining Indiana’s triple-A credit rating.

“Many of the priorities addressed in our budget could not be accomplished without a continued commitment to fiscal integrity. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I am appreciative of the work our committee has done to pass an honestly balanced budget that continues to live within our state’s means and maintain healthy reserves,” said Rep. Negele.

Nearly two-thirds of this year’s biennial budget is devoted to Indiana’s education system. In fact, by increasing K-12 appropriations by $474 million, this budget contains the largest increase in K-12 education in the state’s history. House Republicans also led and successfully passed legislation that provides teachers who purchase their own classroom supplies with a $100 tax credit. Additionally, the House Republicans fixed the funding formula by substantially reducing the spending gap between the traditionally highest and lowest funded public schools.

“House Republicans have made great strides to improve and invest in the quality of our state’s education system, and I am proud that we have continued to build upon that progress this legislative session. By allocating over half of our entire budget to K-12 education, we maintained our commitment to ensuring Hoosier students are receiving the tools and resources they need to succeed,” said Rep. Negele.

House Republicans have a long track record of public accountability initiatives and added to that list this session. In a bipartisan effort, historic ethics reform legislation passed unanimously this session increasing accountability by strengthening reporting requirements and disclosure of conflicts of interest.

“We enacted unprecedented ethics reforms. It is my hope this will work to limit conflicts of interest and bolster the public trust,” said Speaker Bosma.

House Republicans also worked to address several public safety concerns including domestic violence victim support, infant mortality reduction and criminal justice funding. Through the budget, House Republicans doubled funding for domestic violence prevention and treatment and dedicated $59 million of new money over the biennium for investments in community corrections programming and capacity building. Additionally, the budget included a $13.5 million appropriation to fund the Safety P.I.N. (Protecting Indiana’s Newborns) grant program to reduce Indiana’s incredibly high infant mortality rate.

“We pledged to address these critical issues this session and we have delivered. Through our commitment to fiscal integrity, education, ethics and public safety, we have made great achievements for Hoosiers,” said Speaker Bosma.

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Rep. Negele represents a portion of Benton, Fountain, Jasper, Montgomery, Newton, Tippecanoe, Warren and White counties. She serves on the Ways and Means and Financial Institutions committees.