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Three Things To Look For In Tuesday's State Of The State

Gov. Mike Pence will address Hoosiers Tuesday night in his annual State of the State address. In last year's address, Pence focused on reforming Indiana's business personal property tax, expansion of the Healthy Indiana Plan and job growth.

Here are three things the address may highlight:

1. Education Funding

Pence has already deemed this legislative session the "education session," proposing a $200 million increase to K-12 funding in the next two years. It's likely the governor will discuss Indiana's school funding formula, which could see changes in the upcoming legislative session.

Pence has also recommended that charter schools receive more funding than in previous years. He's proposing $40 million for charter schools — a $1,500 per-pupil increase — though some legislators seem skeptical of that proposal.

On WFIU's Noon EditionState Senator Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said  charter schools add competition, but he is concerned about giving them additional money.

“When charter schools were first passed in the legislature, one of the primary selling points was, ‘we could do this for less,’” Kenley said. “Now we’re coming back to a different discussion and a different decision.”

2. Tax Reforms

Pence has spoken at length about tax reforms in both his 2013 and 2014 addresses. Last year, he specifically highlighted a reduction in the business personal property tax and pushed for an exemption for small businesses.

A committee of Indiana governmental and business leaders has recommended eliminating that tax.

Pence touted a 10-percent income tax cut proposal in his 2013 address. The final result of that proposal was a 5-percent cut over four years — the largest tax cut in the state's history, which Pence said helped Indiana become a leader in job growth.

Given the announcements of previous tax reform proposals, Indiana Public Broadcasting Statehouse reporter Brandon Smith says if the governor is planning to announce any changes to the tax code, he might announce them in this address.

3. Hints Of A Presidential Run

There's been plenty of speculation about whether Pence might make a 2016 run for the White House, and while no formal announcements regarding a potential presidential run have been made, Smith says it's possible viewers could see hints in the address.

The 2015 State of the State address will air live on WFIU 103.7 FM and WTIU World 30.2 at 7 p.m. Tuesday. It will re-air on WTIU HD 30.1 at 11 p.m.

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