Members of the Indiana General Assembly are back at the Statehouse and legislative business is underway for the 2015 session.
Thank you to those in Senate District 16 who have already completed my 2015 legislative survey. I truly value your input as it helps me shape my approach to the issues discussed during session. If you haven’t had a chance to complete the survey, there’s still time to fill out the hard copy and return it to the Statehouse or complete the online version by visiting www.IndianaSenateRepublicans.com/Long .
There are a number of issues we will soon be voting on, so please return your survey responses by January 31.
The main focus this session will be crafting a new, two-year budget for the state of Indiana. When writing a budget, lawmakers must carefully consider a responsible balance between our state’s revenues and funding important services like infrastructure and education. I am confident we will build on our state’s strong national reputation for fiscal responsibility by passing another honestly balanced budget that funds our priorities and protects taxpayers.
Education will be one of the most debated topics this session. Legislators will be discussing ways to reward Indiana’s best teachers and outline a more effective and fair funding system for our schools.
Teaching is one of our society’s most cherished and important occupations. This session, my colleagues and I are going to make a concerted effort to ensure high performing teachers receive better compensation for the tremendous work that they do every day in the classroom.
Lawmakers will also tackle an overhaul of the school funding formula and work to create a more equitable basis for directing dollars to our schools. This will be a challenge, but we will do our best to evaluate the differences in need between urban, suburban and rural schools, and adequately gauge the appropriate funding foundation level.
Additionally, I expect discussions on other education-focused initiatives like improving the effectiveness of the State Board of Education, turning around failing schools and supporting school choice.
Job growth, government ethics, strengthening our state and local economies, protecting taxpayers, developing a state water resource plan and a host of other topics will also be addressed during the 2015 session.
As always, you can contact my office directly with your input, questions and concerns by email at Senator.Long@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.
I look forward to hearing your feedback.
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