Indiana schools started the year with a new fiscal reality brought on by major changes to the state budget and a Constitutional amendment limiting property taxes. Governor Mitch Daniels was at the forefront of many of these changes during the last legislative session. But there are many other people working behind the scenes. They are the architects and advocates behind the money paying for your child’s education.
1. Director of the State Budget Agency Adam Horst
Because of his background with the Federal Office of Management and Budget, Governor Daniels probably took a more hands on approach to crafting the most recent state budget than previous officeholders, but the task of actually writing much of the language of the bill fell on the shoulders of State Budget Director Adam Horst.
His revenue projections were key in discussions surrounding proposed cuts to education funding and have been key in funding specific programs such as full day kindergarten
Prior to stepping into his current role, Horst served as Deputy Director of The State Budget Agency and Director of Government Efficiency and Fiscal Planning.
2. House Budget Committee Chair Jeff Espich
82nd District Representative Republican Jeff Espich is listed as the original sponsor of the state’s most recent budget and school funding formula. Most of the actual language of the bill originated with the Indiana Office of Management and Budget and the State Budget Agency, but Espich served as custodian of the legislation as it passed through the Indiana State House of Representatives.
Espich was first elected in 1972 and currently serves parts of Allen, Grant, and Wells counties. Along with his leadership role on the Budget Committee, Espich also chairs the powerful Ways and Means Committee. This is the chief fiscal committee in the House of Representatives.
3. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Luke Kenley
Senator Kenley is chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a serving member of the Education and Career Development and the Tax and Fiscal Policy committees. He was key in passing legislation which put into place limits on the rate at which schools can tax property. He was also at the forefront of advocating for the eventual passage of an amendment to the Indiana State Constitution which enshrined these limits in the state’s charter.
Luke Kenley was first elected to the Indiana State Senate in 1992 representing Noblesville and the surrounding area. Before that he served 15 years as a Noblesville City Court Judge.