STATEHOUSE – State Representative Wes Culver (R-Goshen) is pleased to announce that the 2013 session has successfully come to a close. In addition to a fiscally conservative, balanced budget, many pieces of legislation passed that will improve the lives of Hoosiers across the state.
Rep. Culver pleased with the 2013 legislative session
“A lot of great work was done this session by every member of the General Assembly,” said Rep. Culver. “It is always great to see more money going back to taxpayers through a comprehensive tax cut package that will spur more economic growth in our state. The budget was crafted with conservative principles to keep the size and scope of government limited, while also maintaining the necessary reserves and spend levels to fund our obligations.”
House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1001, the state’s $30 billion biennial budget, includes the largest tax cut in Indiana history. The budget has an income tax cut of 5 percent and repeals the inheritance tax, keeping more hard-earned money in the pockets of Hoosiers. Also included in the budget is an additional $215 million for infrastructure improvements and a 3 percent increase in K-12 education funding – 2 percent in 2014 and 1 percent increase in 2015, bringing education funding to the highest level in history.
Another major piece of legislation this session was HEA 1002, the creation of the Indiana Career Council (ICC). Authored by House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis), the ICC will improve coordination, communication and vision for Indiana’s workforce training and career preparation systems by bringing the key players in each industry and government agency to the same table.
HEA 1006 was a product of the Criminal Code Evaluation Commission (CCEC), a summer study committee that focused on addressing the cause of crime, not just the symptoms. The CCEC recommended expanding the four classes of felony charges to six by dividing Class A and Class B into two parts each. HEA 1006 enacts many of the commission’s changes, effective in 2014. The funding for the bill in keeping low-level offenders in community corrections will go to a summer study committee to finalize the complete rewrite of Indiana’s criminal code.
The goal of the committee is to examine the proposed updated code and create a way for Indiana to cut state prison costs while providing a sentence grid that applies a more specific sentence to fit the criminal offense, creating a safer and more responsible state. The legislation passed with bipartisan support in both chambers.
SEA 125 establishes the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana to study issues concerning vulnerable youth, review legislation and find ways to better cooperate with other entities. The new commission will involve all three branches of government and provide a means to study and change policy where needed. Indiana does not currently have such a coordinated effort. SEA 125 will bring many different policymakers together to work on ways to improve the status of children in Indiana.
“There were many notable successes in addressing areas of concern this session. I am humbled to be a part of the process and grateful for the opportunities afforded to me by our community,” said Rep. Culver. “Together we can take Indiana from good to great.”
State Rep. Wes Culver serves as Chairman of the Statutory Committee on Interstate and International Cooperation. He also serves on the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee, the Family Children and Human Affairs Committee and the Select Committee on Government Reduction. Rep. Culver represents a portion of Elkhart County.