[r88] House Republicans Deliver on Promises (4/29/2011)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Start Date: 4/29/2011 All Day
End Date: 4/29/2011
STATEHOUSE - The 2011 legislative session has been a session of historic challenges and historic accomplishments. Despite the road bumps presented this session House Republicans have delivered on the promises they made in 2010. House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) along with other House Republican legislators presented the 'Strengthen Indiana Plan' in Sept. of 2010. Unlike many political pledges, everything that was promised in 2010 was successfully delivered through legislative action this year.

"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
House Republicans have repeatedly pledged to enact a responsible state budget which meets our state's critical needs with no tax increases. They cited in the past that with a fiscally sound budget comes predictability and stability for both Hoosier taxpayers and Hoosier businesses. Since having made that announcement, Republicans were able to pass a fiscally responsible budget that does not raise taxes and retains adequate reserves to protect Hoosier taxpayers. Indiana now has an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent, which is below the national average. The state is continuing to attract jobs through a predictable tax environment.

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.
"Our Caucus' core value continues to be fiscal integrity. Because of that primary goal we are able to forward our commitment to K-12 education and place an emphasis on early education.
"Above all else, we remain committed to live within the state's means," said Speaker Bosma.

Promoting Hoosier Job Creation
The Strengthen Indiana Plan focused on key elements to promote job creation and incentivizes employers to grow and relocate to Indiana. Start-up capital for budding businesses has now been made more accessible by enhancing the Venture Capital Investment tax credit.

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
In September House Republicans pledged to give families more choices for their children's education regardless of income or zip code.  They have fulfilled their promise by expanding educational opportunities for Hoosier families, especially those of limited means.

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.
Federal legislation passed in Washington, DC has begun to have an increasing negative effect on states across the country.  "The majority of Hoosiers want no part of a nameless bureaucrat controlling their healthcare, higher energy costs and debt that will burden future generations.  House Republicans passed legislation stating that Hoosiers will not have to comply with the individual mandate to purchase insurance under the Federal Healthcare law. In addition, we took a measured, compassionate approach on the issue of illegal immigration since Congress has failed to act in this area," said Speaker Bosma.

"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.