STATEHOUSE – Indiana’s budget proposal or House Bill (HB) 1001 passed from House with a 67 to 29 vote on Monday and will now go Senate for further consideration. The bill includes many goals such as; Hoosier taxpayer protection, prioritizing education funding, preserving and enhancing vital services and maintaining the stable fiscal environment necessary to grow the Hoosier economy.
“I am very optimistic about how the budget bill will benefit those living in my district and throughout the state,” said State Rep. Alan Morrison (R-Terre Haute). “Working with students at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, I have witnessed the direct correlation that quality education has on future success which is why I fully back the budget bill which increases funding to our state’s most important resource, our students.”
The budget proposal or House Bill (HB) 1001 increases education funds by 3.3 percent over the course of two years. With the cuts that occurred in 2009, this funding surge restores spending to accommodate necessary instructional initiatives like full-day kindergarten and a pre-K pilot program available to low-income Hoosier families.
In addition to increased education funding, HB 1001 pushes to eliminate the death tax by Jan. 1, 2018. Currently, the law establishes the death tax phase out to-occur on Jan. 1, 2022. By pushing the date forward four years, Hoosier taxpayers would save nearly $300 million – keeping more farms and small family business in the hands of Hoosiers.
“Ending the death tax four years earlier is an excellent addition to the budget, and since my district is comprised of a large amount of farmland, this provision benefits many of the residents there,” said Rep. Morrison.
A further initiative in the budget is a proposal for additional funding for roads and bridges. This money is raised through taking “off the top” expense away from Motor Vehicle Highway Account (MVHA) and dedicating 20 percent of the State gas tax to the MVHA. Together these proposals permanently increase the infrastructure funding by $250 million per year. The state and local split of this money would be approximately 53 to 47 percent.
“A large amount of time in my district is spent in the car on my way to meet with constituents, attend Town Halls or other events, so I am well aware of the condition our roads are in and that they are overdue for repair,” said Rep. Morrison. “Increasing funds to maintain our Indiana’s transportation infrastructure is something I am very passionate about because I understand the economic benefit that well-maintained roads bring to the Crossroads state.”
Visit www.in.gov/legislative for more information about HB 1001.