Photo: Jasont82 (Wikimedia)
The Indiana General Assembly reconvenes Jan. 6, after a hiatus filled with political debates around the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, health care costs and options, and education policy, among other things. But yesterday, Governor Mike Pence shared his plan for the upcoming legislative session, an outline he is calling the 2014 Road Map.
Pence’s biggest goals for the non-budget session is to increase spending in certain areas and reduce state tax revenue. Below are the areas Pence wants to focus on and what he’s urging the General Assembly to work on.
- Eliminate business personal property tax in hopes more Hoosiers will pursue new investments.
- Increase entrepreneurship by helping potential businesses raise capital.
- Invest $400 million in highways and freight transportation.
- Adjust the way agricultural land is taxed based on productivity.
- Start the Indiana Teacher Innovation Fund, which will support teachers who are improving student success.
- Support teachers who move to an under-performing school or charter schools that cater to low-income students.
- Establish a pre-K voucher program.
- Improve charter school performance by changing how they manage their funds.
- Establish a task force that focuses on improving quality of higher education and making it more affordable.
- Improve recycling.
- Take first steps in a long-term water plan by streamlining the water quality permitting tasks.
- Try and extend the the federal government’s waiver that allows the Healthy Indiana Plan to continue covering uninsured Hoosiers.
- Expand access to the Military Relief Fund for veterans.
- Encourage Hoosier families to adopt children by offering a credit to pay for adoption expenses.