As the midnight deadline approached, the Indiana General Assembly approved a two-year, $31 billion budget. The spending plan includes a more than $460 million increase in K-12 education spending. Governor Mike Pence says the “historic investment” includes performance funding for teachers and a “smarter school funding formula.” You can view the budget by clicking here.

You can see school funding formula by clicking here.

April 30, 2015

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — Governor Mike Pence issued the following statement at the close of the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly.

“After months of effort, the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly has come to a close, marked by historic investments in education, innovation and reform. From the outset of this session, I called on our General Assembly to make this an education session and fund excellence in education in all our schools from pre-K to career and technical education opportunities at the high school level, and I am truly grateful for the dedication of members of the Indiana General Assembly who have advanced reforms in education that will benefit all our kids, our families, our teachers, and our schools.

“On education, this budget continues the pre-K pilot program started last year and includes a historic investment in K-12 education, including performance funding for teachers and a smarter school funding formula that ensures that dollars more closely follow the child. It invests in our vision to make career and technical education a priority so our students can develop the skills they need to succeed in today's work place. It includes first-ever facilities funding for public charter schools, and supports school choice for Hoosier families and students by eliminating the cap on vouchers and increasing the cap on the Scholarship Granting Organization tax credit.

“All of these measures will serve our students well and ensure that Hoosiers have the educational opportunities they need to build a strong and prosperous future.

“Hoosiers will also be glad to know that we have continued to uphold our fiscal integrity by passing a balanced budget and begun the process of adding a balanced budget amendment to the Indiana Constitution to require future state governments to spend wisely, live within their means, and protect our children and grandchildren from facing mountains of debt.

“We are expanding on our efforts to attract new investment to Indiana by reforming the tax code to improve our business climate and providing $200 million for Major Moves 2020 road projects. We also invested in the Regional Cities Initiative, which sets the framework for neighboring communities across the state to work together to develop a vision to promote economic growth on a regional basis.

“Finally, this General Assembly and our Administration have seen to the health and well-being of Hoosiers, especially our children, by providing a subsidy for parents who adopt a child from the state foster care system and funding new caseworkers at the Department of Child Services. We applaud efforts to tackle the heartbreak of infant mortality, see to the needs of our state's veterans, prevent domestic violence, and create the state's first fire training academy to better prepare our public safety workers.

“I commend the legislative leadership, especially Senate President Pro Tem David Long and Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, for making this education session a success. We are grateful to them and to all the men and women who spent countless hours away from their homes and families to make Indiana a better and more fiscally sound state. Their actions will strengthen Indiana. On behalf of all Hoosiers, I thank every member of the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for their dedicated public service.”

Source: Office of Indiana Governor Mike Pence

April 30, 2015

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath from Michigan City today issued the following statement on the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly:

“Mercifully, Indiana law finally pulled the plug on this year's Legislature.

“The people of Indiana are ready to move in a new direction, yet we are led by a governor and Republican supermajorities intent upon dragging us backward.

“What will linger in the mind will not be what they did right, but what they got so wrong. Indiana strives to be a welcoming and tolerant state, yet we were forced to see Statehouse powers fan the flames of cultural division. The result was economic calamity and national embarrassment.

“It is sad to consider that the potential existed for us to accomplish a lot this session…

“An increase in the state's minimum wage. Giving the people of Indiana the right to choose if they wanted to increase the state's minimum wage.

“Ending Indiana's textbook tax. Freezing tuition for all new undergraduates at our public universities. Giving parents a break on their taxes to help pay for the cost of textbooks and other education expenses.

“Passing a state budget that ensured increases in state support for all public schools. Helping those same public schools by restoring $300 million in funding cuts made by the Daniels Administration.

“Making it clear to everyone just how much of their tax dollars are going to public schools, charter schools, virtual charters, and vouchers.

“Demanding greater accountability from that scandal-plagued agency, the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), by having more frequent public and private audits to prevent the blizzard of overcharges that have taken place in recent years.

“Improving our state's abysmal showing in voter turnout by keeping polls open until 8 p.m. on Election Day, allowing voter registration on Election Day, providing no-excuse absentee voting, allowing qualified people to vote by mail or absentee ballot, and allowing absentee voting on the four Saturdays before Election Day.

“All of these things were proposed by Indiana House Democrats and rejected by Indiana House Republicans.

“What did we get instead?

“Hoosiers who pleaded for better wages, salaries, and opportunities were met with indifference. On the worst days, the governor and his supermajorities actively forced policies – like the repeal of minimum construction wages – that will make people work harder for less.

“Those in charge have forgotten that prosperity depends on workers paying bills, saving for an education, and buying things that others have made. They are adrift in a haze of antique notions of getting more money into the hands of those who already have it.

“Such attitudes are clouding even the basics of governing. They largely negated the free election of our state's education leader. They continued the risky course of funding three different school systems – traditional schools, voucher schools, and charter schools – without any real sense of where the dollars are flowing. Misplaced priorities are causing roads to crumble and discouraging workers from gaining new skills.

“Even in the most trying circumstances, there are always bright spots. Bipartisan ethics reforms were worthwhile and necessary. But these improvements must soon inspire changes beyond the Statehouse.

“Indiana cannot reach its potential until our government sets aside old ideas, reinvests in those willing to work hard, and grows and retains the brightest young Hoosiers. We can do much, much better.”

Source: Office of Indiana House Democrat Leader Scott Pelath

April 30, 2015

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis), announced the end of session, or Sine

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