This past session, legislation was enacted to strengthen our economy by increasing access to start-up capital for Indiana businesses, providing incentives to create jobs, utilizing empty factory buildings and reducing the corporate income tax.
Legislation was also passed to improve Indiana's pro-jobs climate by cutting government red-tape, encouraging entrepreneurship among Hoosier students and providing additional economic development tools that offer flexibility to local governments to attract businesses.
Maintaining a predictable tax and fiscal environment is also key to attracting employers in Indiana. This past session, we passed a balanced state budget without raising taxes to ensure that Indiana continues to live within our means, just as many Hoosier families are doing these days.
The fiscal stability of our state has earned Indiana a AAA credit rating, which is the highest rating possible. Indiana received its first AAA credit rating in state history in 2008. These fiscal triumphs are what will continue to bring economic certainty to both Hoosier families and businesses. In recognition of the legislation that we passed during the 2011 session, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce gave me a pro-job rating of 93 percent for supporting pro-jobs and pro-growth legislation.
Our economic accomplishments have been noted by others as well. Indiana was one of three recipients of Area Development magazine's Gold Shovel, the publication's top economic development honor. The award was based on job creation and capital investment data for 2010.
Increasing and improving upon our state's competitiveness is imperative to boosting our economy and bringing more jobs to our state. Indiana has taken several steps such as providing property tax relief by cutting property taxes by 1/3 and establishing a constitutional cap on tax rates for all classes of property.
Furthermore, the "Buy Indiana" initiative that was developed by Gov. Daniel's administration has helped revitalize key parts of Indiana's economy. The plan has pumped $1.9 billion back into the economy by directing state agencies to purchase goods from Indiana businesses.
While many of our neighbors continue to search for work, the initiatives passed will allow Indiana's economy to grow and position our state to lead the nation out of the recession.