House Republicans Detail Legislative AgendaPosted: Updated:
Indiana House Republicans have unveiled a legislative agenda that includes giving counties the option to decide on a proposed business personal property tax cut. It also addresses state-funded preschool programs and infrastructure improvements. House Democratic leader Scott Pelath (D-9) calls the agenda "listless," and says it appears to be designed to "get done with the session as quickly as possible."
January 8, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis), joined by many of his House Republican colleagues, announced the House Republican Legislative Agenda today which focuses on five key areas to strengthen Indiana.
Preparing Kids for their Careers
"Last year we took a small step towards investing in high quality preschool programs. There is no doubt that early education provides the foundation of a child’s education. A solid educational foundation provides a child with limitless career opportunities in the future," said Speaker Bosma.
In Indiana, 60 percent of children (ages 3-4) are not enrolled in a preschool program. Indiana is one of 10 states that does not offer a state-funded pre-K program.
Connecting Crossroads to Communities
Having a superior statewide transportation system is crucial to Indiana’s economy and future growth. In 2013, over $500B of goods traveled on Indiana roadways. Increasing our investment in roads directly provides jobs.
"Our state is known as the Crossroads of America, and last year’s budget bill increased road and bridge funding while setting aside $400M for future transportation needs. The time is now to invest this money to better serve Hoosier motorists and key industries like tourism, agriculture and manufacturing, all of which are dependent upon a strong transportation infrastructure network."
Equipping our Workforce
By 2018, it is estimated that 55 percent of Indiana’s jobs will require some postsecondary education, but only 33 percent of our current working age Hoosiers have an associate’s degree or higher.
"We have focused over the past decade on creating the best environment in the Midwest through policies that encourage and incentivize companies from all over the world to relocate and grow in Indiana," said Speaker Bosma. "We must continue to focus on ensuring we have a workforce that will meet the needs of a globally dynamic marketplace."
Indiana has one of the top pro-business tax climates, but taxing capital investment puts Indiana at a competitive disadvantage with other states. Compared to other Midwestern states, Indiana has the highest effective personal property tax rate.
"Indiana must continue to be innovative and look for every opportunity to stay ahead of the competition. Providing counties an option to address the personal property tax adds another tool to their toolbox that will provide them with more flexibility in how they attract new jobs," said Bosma.
Stopping Burdensome Regulations
"There is no doubt that government needs to be doing a better job. There is great skepticism of the government’s ability to deliver services competently and cost-effectively. Every year we meet to enact new laws – but this session one of our focal points will be removing outdated laws that increase the cost and complexity of both government and business. Reducing the size and scope of government is necessary for the efficient delivery of government services and more importantly the effective function of the free market.
"One of the first bills we will repeal is one of mine, the Responsible Property Transfer Bill Law, which at the time was cutting edge – but through time has become obsolete. Indiana must continue to stand as a prime example of how government can – and should – function," said Speaker Bosma.
"We have come a long way, but we still have a way to go to reach these goals. I look forward to the legislative session bringing solutions to create a stronger Indiana," said Speaker Bosma.
Source: Indiana House of Representatives Republican Caucus
January 8, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Governor Mike Pence today issued the following comments on the release of the House Republican agenda.
"I commend House leadership for producing an agenda that builds on the progress our state has made in education, infrastructure and economic development. As this legislative session begins, every Hoosier should be encouraged by the shared priorities of this Administration and both houses of the General Assembly."
Source: Office of Indiana Governor Mike Pence
January 8, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath of Michigan City today issued the following statement about the House Republican agenda for the 2014 session of the Indiana General Assembly:
"At a time when Indiana demands bold moves to rejuvenate our lagging middle class, the House Republicans are pursuing an agenda that is seemingly designed to get this session over as meekly as possible.
"The words themselves should inflame few Hoosiers. We all want to do more to help our kids get ahead. The need to improve our sagging infrastructure is obvious. We all agree about our skills gap. There isn’t a person out there who likes burdensome regulations.
"The Republican vision lacks a belief that we can do better.
"I am pleased the House Republicans have essentially abandoned the governor’s jobless initiative to get rid of the business personal property tax, a proposal that would add even greater burdens to our middle class and struggling communities.
"This agenda also ignores the elephant in the room and the single issue that will draw attention to our state…for all the wrong reasons: the unfortunate plan to place the denial of marriage equality into our state's highest document, our Indiana constitution. Despite the stubbornly backward picture this proposal paints of our state, it appears we are dragging our citizens through a protracted and divisive episode.
"With the prospect of that ugly debate looming in the weeks to come, I suppose there is no surprise that the House Republicans would offer such a listless agenda.
"It does not address the very real problems Hoosiers face every day, and it will be the duty of House Democrats this session to discuss those problems and offer solutions that can help our middle class now."
Source: Indiana House of Representatives Democratic Caucus