Top priorities include continuing job creation and protecting education funding
Pres. Pro Tempore David Long (R-Fort Wayne), Sens. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn) and Tom Wyss (R-Fort Wayne) returned to the statehouse for the first week of the 2009 legislative session. Area senators agreed the focus this session was on balancing the two-year state budget, continuing job creation efforts across the state and protecting education funding.
“In these tight times, we must tackle the state budget with the same resolve and frugality that Hoosier families utilize every day,” Long said. “That’s why my top priority this session is to work with fellow lawmakers in both the Senate and the House of Representatives to craft and pass a sound, balanced budget.”
Wyss stated that Indiana is better poised to weather the nationwide economic downturn because of fiscally responsible policies and tightly crafted budgets in recent years. However, lawmakers must stay diligent and protect the $1.3 billion in the rainy day fund.
“We have no idea how long this recession is going to last,” Wyss said. “As a state, we need to live within our means and only tap our reserves when it’s absolutely necessary.”
Currently Indiana ranks first among Midwest states and 12th in the nation for its excellent business climate. To attract more 21st-century jobs, Indiana must focus on equipping its workforce with 21st-century skills. Experts estimate that 60 percent of future jobs will require skills that are currently possessed by only 20 percent of workers.
“I am committed to bolstering job creation through workforce education, low taxes, eliminating excessive government regulation and incentivizing business expansion and investment,” Kruse said. “We must also work to make certain that Indiana’s public schools, community colleges and four-year universities have the resources they need for the future success of our students.