On the flip side, there is positive news for Hoosiers as Indiana’s fiscal position is much stronger. Indiana is one of nine states with a triple-A credit rating from all three major credit rating agencies – Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s. Our state’s credit rating is actually better than the federal government’s, which was downgraded to AA+ in August of this year.
Hoosiers understand what it means to live responsibly and within their means. The Indiana legislature embodies these Hoosier principles and strives to make decisions that best portray our commitment to fiscal integrity, economic development and education.
Eight years ago, our state had a $578 million structural deficit. With strong leadership and a focus on improving our state’s economic standing, Indiana now has a $426 million surplus. The General Assembly accomplished this feat by passing an honestly balanced budget every two years and by looking inward at the size and scope of government.
Since 2011, the General Assembly eliminated more than 40 outdated government boards and commissions and more than 400 government appointments. State and local governments must work efficiently and effectively for Hoosiers without breaking the bank. In serving the public, it is of the utmost importance to be a responsible steward of Hoosiers hard-earned tax dollars and is a privilege that I take very seriously. We must continually find ways to better serve the public in a cost-effective manner, while still investing in our state’s economy and future.
I want Indiana to continue on the path toward economic prosperity by keeping our fiscal house in order, investing in economic development projects, focusing on strengthening our education system and supporting our classroom teachers. By keeping Indiana in the black and its debts to a minimum, future generations of Hoosiers will have a better future with more opportunities.