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.
Editor’s Note: In the spirit of bipartisanship, Indy Politics is reprinting verbatim the assessment of the 2015 session of the Governor and four legislative leaders. We’ll have our own assessment in future blog post.