House Republican Legislative Priorities Achieved
Session brings largest tax cut to Hoosiers in the history of Ind.
STATEHOUSE – Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) is pleased that the Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis), announced the end of session, or Sine Die on Friday evening, closing out a year of priorities achieved. The House Republican agenda, which was released in October, centered on making Indiana a stronger state for future generations, by focusing on fiscal integrity, job growth, and enhanced education opportunities for every Hoosier.
“This session, we have increased education funding to a record level and provided our schools with the additional resources and tools they need to support Indiana’s future leaders,” said Rep. Behning. “It is imperative we prepare Hoosier children with the proper training, so they have the necessary skills to succeed once they graduate. Overall, in looking at education and workforce development efforts, as a part of the Indiana Career Council, we are focused on minimizing the skills gap so more Hoosiers can get back to work.”
The House Republicans’ “Own Your American Dream” plan focuses on three key concepts: financial security, matching Hoosier workers with high paying jobs, and making education investments.
Financial Security for Future Generations
“Our priorities are to pass a budget that maintains a strong fiscal reserve and which prioritizes education and roads funding. Our fiscal integrity provides an economic climate that spurs job creation. Hoosier taxpayers deserve nothing less, and our job creation environment will continue to benefit,” said Bosma.
Indiana is one of only nine states that has a AAA credit rating from all three credit agencies. Indiana holds a higher credit rating than the federal government, whose debt has now passed the $16 trillion mark for the first time in our nation’s history. That equates to more than $50,000 of debt for every man, woman and child in the U.S.
Bridging the Skills Gap
According to the Indiana Vision 2025 report published by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, more than 930,000 Hoosiers lack even the most basic skills to thrive in today’s economy.
Designed to improve coordination, communication and vision for Indiana’s workforce training and career preparation systems, the ICC is a panel that will bring the principal stakeholders in the state’s workforce development efforts together to create a stronger plan to move Indiana forward. Members of the ICC will be charged with aligning the education skills and training provided by Indiana’s educational, job skills and career training systems with the existing and projected needs of the state’s job market. The legislation also puts into law a longitudinal data system to track the effectiveness of the state’s educational and workforce programs.
Leaders in Classrooms; Leaders in Life
Currently, there are nearly two and a half STEM jobs for every one unemployed person in Indiana. Despite the economic downturn, these jobs have remained in demand, and will only increase as technology marches on. HEA 1001 creates a STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund and new stipend programs for teachers that are in high demand.
In Indiana, 61 percent of children (ages 3-4) are not enrolled in a preschool program. Only six states have a higher percentage of children not attending a preschool. The budget creates a Pre-K Matching Program. School choice was also expanded for students with disabilities, special needs, and siblings. There is no longer a requirement for students in failing school districts.
“Our agenda put children and students first. We want to provide more Hoosier children with greater accessibility to educational resources and the choice to attend a school that bests fit their needs. No child should be deterred from reaching their full potential because of financial restrictions. All students deserve to gain the necessary tools and training to continue to compete on a global level and have a prosperous life,” said Rep. Behning.