INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 7, 2016) – House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) formally unveiled the 2016 House Republican legislative agenda.
Bosma said supporting a responsible, comprehensive and sustainable plan to fund Indiana’s roads and bridges is a top priority. Indiana needs about $1.5 billion in additional funding per year to maintain and improve its infrastructure. House Republican leadership is expected to rollout the details of their funding plan on Monday.
“We are facing a heavy lift, as we address issues ranging from sustainable infrastructure funding to problems with the state’s ISTEP testing,” Bosma said. “We are committed to leading Indiana forward and working together for a productive 2016 session.”
House and Senate leadership worked closely with the governor’s office and superintendent of public instruction to identify solutions to address several issues with last year’s ISTEP. State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) introduced legislation, House Bill 1003, to ensure last year’s scores do not unfairly penalize Hoosier teachers and schools, since the state transitioned to a new, more rigorous test. Bosma said Republican lawmakers are also working on creating a framework for implementing a more streamlined test in the future.
The Speaker plans to introduce legislation to attract the best and brightest students to the field of teaching. If passed, the “Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship” would provide students in the top 20 percent of their class, who also commit to teaching in Hoosier schools for at least five years, would receive up to $7,500 per year to cover tuition. House Republicans will also work toward enhancing teacher licensing and career opportunities.
Unfortunately, Indiana is facing an epidemic when it comes to meth and heroin. House Republicans will support efforts to toughen penalties for drug traffickers, restrict access to meth-making materials while also focusing on substance abuse and treatment options.
“We are dedicated to executing our legislative responsibilities effectively and efficiently, which means completing our work on time and under budget this session. We will also work to maintain civility and a bipartisan environment,” Bosma said. “House Republicans remain focused on enacting policies that complement our AAA credit rating and strong reserves, and enhance our top-ranked economic climate. ”
House District 88 includes the northeast corner of Marion County and portions of Hancock and Hamilton counties.