STATEHOUSE (Nov. 22, 2016) – House lawmakers gathered at the Statehouse today for the ceremonial start of the 2017 legislative session known as Organization Day.
Addressing his colleagues in the House Chamber, House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) highlighted the legislative priorities for House Republicans. While passing a balanced state budget and long-term road funding plan top the agenda, Bosma also pledged to support education opportunities, job creation, workforce development, addiction treatment and public safety.
“This session we are focused on passing a balanced state budget, while responsibly investing in Indiana’s roads and bridges – not for the next few years, but for the next generation,” Bosma said. “Thanks to strong leadership and commonsense fiscal policies, we are well positioned to make much-needed investments in our infrastructure to keep Indiana moving and our economy thriving.”
Bosma said House Republicans will support a data-driven road funding plan that provides increased annual funding to maintain and improve Indiana’s roads and bridges without saddling future generations with mountains of debt.
He said members will also work to strengthen their commitment to students and educators by directing more dollars to the classroom, improving testing and responsibly expanding the state’s high quality, pre-K pilot program.
To support Indiana’s growing economy, low unemployment rate and top-rated business climate, Bosma said House Republicans will work to attract, retain and improve the state’s workforce. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development estimates that the state will need to fill 1 million jobs by 2022. House Republicans will support policies that help better align education and training with current and future employer needs.
In the face of Indiana’s growing opioid and heroin epidemic, House Republicans will focus on efforts to expand substance abuse and treatment options. Bosma said he is also calling for an increase in Indiana State Police salaries.