Bacon: Investing in Indiana

Posted by: Hannah Carlock  | Monday, May 1, 2017 8:04 am

This legislative session, lawmakers worked to pass new laws improving Hoosier roads, supporting education and funding state operations for the next two years. Over the past four months, we worked together to find solutions to these important issues and ways to improve our state.

We are the Crossroads of America, and our roads are used daily by thousands of Hoosiers, tourists, semi-drivers and commuters, and some of our highways and interstates are in poor condition. This is why the maintenance of our roads is a pivotal factor in Indiana. The House passed a measure that creates a long-term solution to fund Indiana roads for the next 20 years.

House Enrolled Act 1002 provides nearly $900 million in new annual funding for state roads and bridges by 2024, and local communities will see an average of $300 million in new road and bridge funding each year. Overall, the plan is expected to generate $1.2 billion in new annual revenue for state and local roads and bridges beginning in 2024.

The General Assembly worked together to pass a structurally balanced budget, which maintains healthy reserves and protects Indiana’s AAA credit rating. Over half of the state’s budget is allocated to our Hoosier education system. House Enrolled Act 1001 provides substantial increases in the base funding for each K-12 student and modestly increases the state investment in higher education. Lawmakers also increased state funding by $10 million for Indiana’s high-quality pre-K pilot program, which helps low-income children, and expanded the number of eligible counties from 5 to 20.

Another big part of Indiana’s education system is retaining and improving our state’s workforce. We love to see the students born and raised in Indiana stay in the state to raise their families and work. With nearly 30,000 jobs going unfilled, legislators passed a measure aimed at aligning career and technical education programs with current and future employer needs. A new grant will soon be available to help Hoosier workers obtain certification in high-wage fields. The Workforce Training Grants would cover a person’s fees or tuition after they received any eligible state and federal funding.

Additionally, the budget includes a pay increase for state law enforcement officers in order to be more competitive with municipalities and other states. Our state police are the front lines in keeping our communities and state safe.

As always, please contact me with questions or input at 317-232-9833 or by email at h75@iga.in.gov. I appreciate hearing from you in order to better represent our district. Stay up-to-date with the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/h75.

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State Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) represents House District 75,
which includes portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties.

A high-resolution photo of Bacon can be downloaded by clicking here.