STATEHOUSE — Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis), announced the end of session, or Sine Die on Friday evening, closing out a year of priorities achieved. The House Republican agenda, which was released in October, centered on making Indiana a stronger state for future generations, by focusing on fiscal integrity, job growth, and enhanced education opportunities for every Hoosier.
“At the start of the 2013 legislative session, we made a commitment to putting jobs and education first for Hoosiers,” said State Representative Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield). “We have delivered on our promise by expanding education opportunities for students and equipping them with the tools necessary to thrive in the global marketplace.”
The House Republicans’ “Own Your American Dream” plan focuses on three key concepts: financial security, matching Hoosier workers with high paying jobs, and making education investments.
Financial Security for Future Generations
“As the Budget Subcommittee Chairman on the House Ways and Means Committee, I know firsthand how much work went into the budget making process, and I believe it shows a vested interested in putting Hoosiers first,” said Rep. Cherry. “At a time when the national debt has surpassed $16 trillion, the state of Indiana has a reserve and is providing the largest tax cut in state history. Indiana is on a sustainable path, one that allows Hoosiers the freedom to start a business and realize their American Dream.”
“Our priorities are to pass a budget that maintains a strong fiscal reserve and which prioritizes education and roads funding,” said Speaker Bosma. “Our fiscal integrity provides an economic climate that spurs job creation. Hoosier taxpayers deserve nothing less, and our job creation environment will continue to benefit.”
Bridging the Skills Gap
According to the Indiana Vision 2025 report published by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, more than 930,000 Hoosiers lack even the most basic skills to thrive in today’s economy.
Designed to improve coordination, communication and vision for Indiana’s workforce training and career preparation systems, the Indiana Career Council (ICC) is a panel that will bring the principal stakeholders in the state’s workforce development efforts together to create a stronger plan to move Indiana forward. Members of the ICC will be charged with aligning the education skills and training provided by Indiana’s educational, job skills and career training systems with the existing and projected needs of the state’s job market. The legislation also puts into law a longitudinal data system to track the effectiveness of the state’s educational and workforce programs.
Leaders in Classrooms; Leaders in Life
Currently, there are nearly two and a half science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs for every one unemployed person in Indiana. Despite the economic downturn, these jobs have remained in demand, and will only increase as technology marches on. HEA 1001 creates a STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund and new stipend programs for teachers that are in high demand.
In Indiana, 61 percent of children (ages 3-4) are not enrolled in a preschool program. Only six states have a higher percentage of children not attending a preschool. The budget creates a Pre-K Matching Program. School choice was also expanded for students with disabilities, special needs, and siblings. There is no longer a requirement for students in failing school districts.
“We have worked together to address these issues instead of passing the problems on to future generations to handle,” said Speaker Bosma. “Through our commitment to fiscal integrity, quality jobs, and providing strong education opportunities to our children, the American Dream can be a reality for future generations of Hoosiers.”