STATEHOUSE-Rep. Milo Smith (R-Columbus) worked up to the final minute today to pull out a victory for Hoosiers. Before session ended, also known as Sine Die, House members voted in favor of a tax postponement for employers on their unemployment insurance premiums and school funding flexibility. The bills passed by a vote of 85 to 12 and 98 to 0, respectively. The legislation now heads to the governor's desk for his signature.
"We have been pushing to give employers this postponement in order to give them a better climate to hire new workers, Rep. Smith said. There are too many unemployed Hoosiers who want to get back to work and burdening business with a large tax increase would only have had negative effects in job creation."
During the 2009 legislative session, the General Assembly passed legislation to increase unemployment premiums on employers ranging from $9-748 per employee. This legislation passed without one House Republican vote.
The postponing of a tax increase for businesses on their unemployment insurance premiums will save businesses $640 million over the next two years.
After a week of negotiations, legislators worked across the aisle to reach a compromise.
"On behalf of Hoosiers I am pleased that a compromise was finally met and important legislation for Hoosier job creation was passed." Rep. Smith said. "This is truly a victory for Indiana workers!"
A victory was also secured for our schools as legislators passed a measure to give schools the funding flexibility.
For over a year state revenues have fallen below the forecasts thus prompting a $300 million reduction in school funding. In an effort to keep teachers in the classroom, we offered legislation to give schools the ability to reallocate their reserved funds. So long as the school corporation agrees not to lay off any employee.
"I could not be more excited that today schools were given the funding flexibility they need to keep teachers in the classroom," Rep. Smith said. "We've been working hard this entire session to make sure our schools are given the assistance they need in order to make it through these tough times. Today is a huge victory for students, teachers and school corporations."
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives also passed one bill allowing the Illiana Expressway to be built without legislative approval.
House Joint Resolution 1, one of the most important accomplishments of the session, was passed early on. It would graft property tax caps into the state constitution after being approved by voters on the November ballot.
The act of giving homeowners, farmers and business owners the chance to cap their own taxes was the most sweeping tax reform Indiana has seen in several decades. The vast majority of Hoosiers want the opportunity to vote on this critical issue.