Accountability is our Responsibility

Posted by: Kelly Sweeney  | Monday, October 20, 2014 8:00 am

STATEHOUSE — State Representative Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso), along with Indiana House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and other members of the House Republican Caucus, unveiled the 2015 House Republican Legislative Agenda. They outlined their plan to increase accountability for all Hoosiers while strengthening Indiana in four major categories: Budget, Education, Ethics and Public Safety.

“Our legislative agenda strengthens accountability and ensures our state’s continued success by focusing on passing a balanced budget, fixing the education funding formula, restructuring the code of ethics and improving public safety,” said Rep. Soliday. “We will also live within our means and manage our finances responsibly while making strategic investments to ensure that our roads, highways and bridges are maintained and sufficiently supported.”

The state’s biennial budget is up for review next legislative session; passing an honestly balanced budget that does not increase taxes on Hoosiers or place unsustainable financial burdens on future generations serves as the foundation of the House Republican agenda.

“Maintaining strong fiscal reserves is critical to our state’s economic health and has been crucial in Indiana by avoiding some of the economic swings we have seen in other competitive states,” said Rep. Soliday.

According to the State Budget Agency, over half of the biennial budget currently goes towards Indiana’s education system. The House Republicans will work to increase this funding while fixing the funding formula, reducing overhead, focusing dollars on the classroom and providing hard-working teachers with a tax credit.

“Fixing the school funding formula is something that could directly benefit Northwest Indiana,” said Rep. Soliday. “Some schools around our state are receiving as low as $5,500 per student, particularly in rural or suburban areas, while others are receiving $9500. I am pleased that we have prioritized and will review this issue next session.”

Even though Indiana’s economic statistics are at an all-time high, public safety continues to be an issue impacting the state. Currently, the state is tied for the third highest amount of police deaths, Indiana is ranked as having the fifth highest infant mortality rate and the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) turned away 1,743 victims due to lack of space at their shelters.

“Public safety has been a priority of mine both in my professional career and legislative career,” said Rep. Soliday. “That is why I am pleased that the House Republicans will address issues like domestic violence and infant mortality next session to protect Hoosier families and ensure safer communities.”

House Republicans will be working with local communities, strategically investing funds and working with the ICADV on multiple issues. The House will also be partnering with ICADV as the Speaker’s charity initiative for the year.