STATEHOUSE-Rep. Phyllis Pond (R-New Haven) 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 giving school corporations funding flexibility. The bill passed by a vote of 98 to 0 and now heads the governor's desk for his signature.
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, House Republicans offered legislation to give schools the ability to reallocate money to fill holes in depleted funds, as long as the school corporation agrees not to lay off any employee.
"There is nothing more important than a child's education and today we won a victory for them," Rep. Pond said. "I'm glad we were able to reach across the aisle for a compromise that helps students, teachers and school corporations.
We had to give schools an opportunity to move money around so teachers would not be cut, and classrooms would stay small."
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.