STATEHOUSE (March 9, 2017) – The U.S. News and World Report recently ranked Indiana No. 1 on its list of “Best States,” according to State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero).
The ranking was based on several categories including fiscal stability, budget transparency, government digitalization and state integrity.
“Since Republicans took the majority more than a decade ago, we have strived to establish the best government on behalf of all Hoosiers,” Cook said. “We have continued to fund Indiana’s priorities, like education and public safety, while keeping our books balanced. This national recognition is encouraging, and I’m committed to further fostering transparency, fiscal integrity and efficiency.”
Indiana was ranked first in the nation for budget transparency overall. Cook said Indiana has honestly balanced its budget since 2005, remained fiscally responsible and maintained healthy reserves since House Republicans took over the majority in 2004.
Creating an honestly balanced budget has afforded Indiana fully funded pension liabilities and a AAA credit rating. Cook said Indiana has reduced the number of state employees by 20 percent over 10 years, reduced state-funded debt by 68 percent since 2005 and cut state agency budgets by almost 30 percent since 2009. Legislators have also eliminated more than 70 government boards and commissions and 600 government appointments while maintaining prudent reserves of at least 10 percent of current-year revenues in the past three biennial budgets.
House Republicans have maintained a commitment to transparency and digitization in government by live broadcasting each House session online since 2005, and House committee meetings since 2007. In 2011, House Republican members authored legislation to increase budgetary transparency within state and local government. The resulting law required the state auditor to create the Indiana Transparency Portal, www.in.gov/itp, bringing better visibility, openness and accountability to state government. The portal contains information including agency budgets, state contracts, agency performance measures and local government expenditures. Cook said it gives Indiana taxpayers a detailed look at the state’s finances, from top to bottom.
State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) represents House District 32, which includes all of Tipton County and portions of Hamilton, Madison, Delaware, Howard and Grant counties.
A high-resolution photo of Cook can be downloaded by clicking here.