Over the last decade, Indiana has emerged as a national leader in fiscal management and economic growth. We take pride in our common-sense budgeting and economic policies that attract top businesses who hire hard-working Hoosiers.
Our record for maintaining a balanced budget has helped Indiana hold a AAA credit rating from all three major credit rating agencies – Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch – since April 2010. Indiana has also been ranked best in the Midwest for our business tax climate by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation and ranked in the top 10 states for doing business by Chief Executive magazine.
While recognition for our economic achievements is gratifying, the best evidence that we are implementing the right policies is the positive impact they are having on the lives of everyday Hoosiers.
This year alone, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation has secured commitments to create nearly 18,000 new, high paying jobs, with employers investing $3.2 billion in their Indiana operations.
In October, our unemployment rate dropped to 4.4 percent. This is lower than all of our neighboring states, who saw an increase in unemployment in October, and lower than the national average.
Indiana’s labor force has also grown by 2.5 percent over the year, ranking Indiana ninth in the nation for citizens who have entered the workforce or are searching for a job.
With the 2017 legislative session around the corner, Indiana Senate Republicans will look to build on this record and continue to find ways to attract jobs and retain talent.
In the upcoming session, we will pass another balanced budget that prioritizes the things that support a strong and growing economy.
High on that list is transportation infrastructure. Without reliable, high-quality roads, businesses can’t get their products to market efficiently. We will build on the substantial road funding investments we have made over the last two years by crafting a long-term, comprehensive plan for funding our roads over the next decade and beyond. There are no easy solutions to this challenge, but the success of our manufacturing-focused economy depends on our ability to maintain our status as the Crossroads of America.
Another key area of investment in our next budget will be K-12 education. Legislators understand that not only are our schools the focal point of local communities across the state, they also represent the training ground for tomorrow’s workforce.
We will remain committed to educational success by continuing to devote over half of our General Fund budget to K-12 schools, and empowering families to choose the best school environment for each student’s needs.
By continuing to apply common-sense Hoosier principles to the challenges before us, I’m confident Indiana can continue to be a national leader in the years ahead.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and ideas concerning these and other topics. My office can be reached at 800-382-9467 or by email at Senator.Long@iga.in.gov.
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