So far this year, Indiana has been recognized for a number of accomplishments. Our state government, small business climate, personal income growth and unemployment rates are among the best in the country.
Earlier this year, The U.S. News and World Report ranked Indiana No. 1 on their list of “Best States for Government.” A variety of criteria, including fiscal stability, budget transparency, government digitalization and state integrity, were considered when determining a state’s standing. In recent years, House Republicans have taken action to increase our budget transparency with the Indiana Transparency Portal, which can be found at www.in.gov/itp. All House and Senate session meetings and committees are live streamed and archived at iga.in.gov. All these resources provide Hoosiers access to our state finances and the discussions happening at the Statehouse. The efforts we have made to provide a more accountable and accessible government landed Indiana as the top state for budget transparency.
Recently, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce released their list of the “Best Places to Work in Indiana.” This list recognizes exceptional employers throughout the state based on employer reports and comprehensive employee surveys. More than half of the 100 statewide companies identified on the list are from Indianapolis and the surrounding area. I am proud of the hardworking companies in our community that give our state such a strong business climate, and I am confident we can continue this trend into the future.
The business climate is strong throughout the rest of Indiana as well. The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council gave the Hoosier state a 7th-place ranking for our small business policy climate, improving our 10th-place spot from last year. The Small Business Policy Index looked at personal income, capital gains and property taxes when compiling their list. As a former small-business owner, I know the difficulties that you can face when competing with bigger, commercial businesses, and I am glad that our state does all it can to support locally owned businesses.
Indiana also received high marks for our education reforms. As chair of the House Committee on Education, I will work with my colleagues and Hoosiers to continue improving our K-12 education and to find the best ways to prepare students for their future careers.
Additionally, Indiana was ranked 7th for our personal income growth. We outranked all of our neighboring states, proving that the Hoosier state is truly the best place to work, live and raise a family. Recent reports also indicate that more people are moving from Illinois and other states to Indiana.
In addition to these high rankings, Indiana is also being recognized for our low unemployment rate. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development recently reported that Indiana’s unemployment rate remains at 4.1 percent, the lowest level since 2001. Since the start of 2017, the Hoosier workforce has increased by nearly 8,000. The DWD also notes that the labor force participation in the state is over 64 percent, besting the national average of 62.9 percent. House Republicans are dedicated to maintaining our strong workforce with efforts to make Indiana students college and career ready.
I am encouraged by Indiana’s recent accolades and accomplishments. Our business climate continues to move in a positive direction, providing opportunities for Hoosier workers and entrepreneurs to thrive. As we round out the end of 2017 legislative session, please continue to contact me with any questions or concerns at 317-232-9643 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can still sign up for my e-newsletter for regular updates at www.in.gov/h91.
State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) represents portions of Hendricks and Marion counties.
Behning serves as the chair of the House Committee on Education.
A high-resolution photo of Behning can be downloaded by clicking here.