Cherry: Indiana remains one of the best states

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Monday, April 3, 2017 9:04 am

Lately, our great state has been receiving a large amount of positive recognition. Indiana’s government, business climate, unemployment rate and personal income growth are all factors propelling Hoosiers straight to the top.

Earlier this month, Indiana was deemed No. 1 on The U.S. News and World Report’s list of “Best States for Government.” This ranking is determined by looking at fiscal stability, budget transparency, government digitalization and state integrity. Indiana was also at the very top of the list for budget transparency when compared to other states. One of the main priorities for House Republicans is to remain transparent in all actions we take at the Statehouse. I believe you, the constituent, deserve to know what is happening in your state government. This is why the General Assembly strives to maintain a balanced and fiscally responsible budget that Hoosiers can stand behind. Maintaining our AAA credit rating and prudent fiscal reserves helped us achieve this ranking. If it was easy, everyone would do it as the saying goes, but we plan to continue this trend with our next biennial budget due in April. We have also improved state government’s digitalization and transparency by live streaming all House and Senate session meetings and committee hearings. Live streams and archived hearings can be viewed online at www.iga.in.gov. Thanks to House Republican legislation, our state also has a Transparency Portal website, which provides in-depth details on state and local government spending. The Transparency Portal can be found at www.in.gov/itp.

Indiana also received high marks from the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council for our small business policy climate. Our state climbed up to seventh on the list, besting our 10th place ranking from 2016. Low taxes for personal income, individual capital gains and property were key in securing such a high rank, as well as reasonable levels of state and local government spending. The Small Business Policy Index also cites Indiana as one of the best states for productive education reforms.

Additionally, the American Tax Foundation recently praised the House Republican road funding plan for utilizing a user fee approach. They agree that applying a user fee ensures fairness because those who use the roads the most are responsible for a larger portion of the funding. When road funding is subsidized from general revenues, it can lead to increases in income or sales tax, affecting all Hoosiers regardless of their road use.

In addition to the high rankings the state has secured this year, we also maintained a low unemployment rate and grew personal income. Recently, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development announced that Indiana’s unemployment level has remained at 4.1 percent, the lowest it has been since 2001, and a rate below the national average. This shows the strength of Indiana’s workforce, something we are looking to continue building by offering grants to Hoosiers pursing high-value certificates in high-wage, high-demand fields. We know we are making progress on this front, because earlier this week the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked Indiana the 7th-highest in the nation for personal income growth for 2016. We led all four of our neighboring states.

Indiana is welcoming individuals and their families from Illinois and other states due to these various reasons and more. Personal income growth in our state is increasing and taxes are low, making Indiana a place of opportunity where people want to live and do business. I am proud of our state and the strides we are taking to maintain the high status all Hoosiers have worked hard to achieve, but the work is never finished.

As we head into the last few weeks of session, please continue to contact me with any questions or comments at 317-232-9651 or h53@iga.in.gov. You can also sign up for my e-newsletters to receive weekly updates at www.in.gov/h53/

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Rep. Cherry represents House District 53, which

includes portions of Hancock and Madison counties.

He serves as Vice Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

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