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Indiana Chamber Seeks To Tighten Unemployment Benefits

An Indiana economist says he expects the economy to continue to improve.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce will push for tightening unemployment benefits, protecting the state’s recent education reforms and implementing pre-school programs during the General Assembly’s upcoming session, according to the Chamber’s 2013 legislative priorities announced Monday.

Despite the commitment by Governor-elect Mike Pence and legislative leaders to defend recent education reforms such as charter school expansion, school vouchers and teacher collective bargaining limitations, Indiana Chamber president Kevin Brinegar says, with the election of Democrat Glenda Ritz as state superintendent, the General Assembly should expect a push to repeal those reforms, which the chamber opposes.

The business organization also wants to strengthen eligibility standards for unemployment benefits, to avoid, as Brinegar says, benefits so high they encourage people not to find work.  Brinegar says the chamber also wants the state to reduce its dependence on taxation of business equipment and machinery. He says those taxes discourage capital investment.

Several of the chamber’s priorities fall in line with proposals Pence made during his gubernatorial campaign.

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