"In September we told the public what we intended to do if elected - we stated how budgets would be balanced, how taxes wouldn't be increased, how families would be empowered, and how schools would be improved.
"We committed to an agenda, I am proud that we were able to deliver on our promises. Many of the key initiatives that we addressed are already being recognized as landmarks not only for the State of Indiana, but in the United States," said Speaker Bosma.
Protecting Hoosier Taxpayers
In a rare joint announcement this session Speaker Bosma, Senator Long and Governor Daniels announced that an additional $150 million will be directed to K-12 education. This announcement came after an updated revenue forecast showed that the state will receive more than what was projected under prior forecasts. The increased revenues in addition to prudent reserve balances prove that the disciplined financial efforts by Republicans in the General Assembly and the Governor are paying off for the State of Indiana.
Promoting Hoosier Job Creation
House Republicans provided tax incentives to help revitalize hard hit communities that have empty factories and warehouses sitting idle. "Through improvements to the Industrial Recovery Tax Credit Hoosier employers will be able to defer upfront capital costs for rehabilitating empty factories. These costs often prevent new businesses from starting up and with the improvements to this credit businesses can repurpose the factories and hire Hoosiers," said Speaker Bosma.
In addition to economic incentives, House Republicans also made it easier for business to start up through legislation that will create a 'one-stop-shop', cutting the unnecessary red tape which will make creating a business more accessible to future employers. While other states have increased taxes on employers House Republicans joined the Governor and Senate Republicans driving down the corporate income tax, creating increased opportunities for Hoosier employers.
"Our legislation will give both a boost to the economy and communities throughout the state which have lagged in recovering from the recession," said Speaker Bosma.
Expanding Education Opportunities
Charter Schools were first authorized in Indiana in 2001. Now through the Charter School Bill, these public schools will be able to expand without obstacles and provide innovative options to public school students. House Republicans also moved legislation to reward high performing teachers with merit pay.
Legislation allowing school choice scholarships will provide families, who do not have the financial means, a scholarship to pay the cost of tuition and fees at a public or private school that best meets their student's needs.
In the school funding formula, House Republicans demonstrated their commitment to education by focusing every additional dollar on the classroom. The school funding formula will now have dollars following the child into the classroom, immediately - not waiting two or three years for dollars to follow the child.
Education is one of the few areas in the state budget that will now show an increase in funding. About a quarter of the $150 million will be used to complete the extension of full day kindergarten to every school district in the state.
"Our overriding goal for this session has been to give more educational opportunities to every Hoosier family," said Speaker Bosma.
Standing Up to Washington D.C.
"This session has been challenging, perhaps more so than any session in memory. Change is never easy - this is no less true for legislative bodies. We have made landmark legislative decisions that will positively affect issues our state has faced so our children and their children will have a better future here in Indiana. I can proudly say that House Republicans have fulfilled their promises and enacted legislation that will significantly strengthen Indiana," said Speaker Bosma.