Indiana closed out 2012 with a bang. Job growth, new company investment and state revenue all showed positive results, which means more Hoosiers are back to work, more small businesses are finding success and our state economy is growing at a significant rate.
Through November, Indiana added more than 57,000 new jobs in 2012, 11th best in the nation. Just last month, nine Hoosier companies from all areas of the state announced plans to add a combined 2,550 jobs within the next few years. Three of these companies are located here in Northeast Indiana.
Indiana has posted numbers like these in part thanks to tax and economic development policies that make it easier and less costly for employers to set up shop or expand in our state. When more hard-earned money remains in the hands of Hoosiers instead of the government, entrepreneurs are able to start new businesses, hire people and make new ideas profitable. This concept has guided the actions of state leaders for the past several years now.
Previous initiatives to eliminate the inheritance tax, cap property taxes, reduce the corporate income tax rate and pass a Right to Work law in Indiana have attracted new investments and assured small businesses we’re working for them. After just one year of having a Right to Work law in place, 39 companies have cited the policy as a factor in their decision to move to or expand in Indiana, committing to create 4,550 jobs.
Of course, creating a predictable, low tax environment only goes so far to grow our state economy. We must also have the skilled workforce ready to fill new jobs and the advanced infrastructure to support innovative companies and ideas.
That’s why, for the 2013 session, one of my top priorities is passing a two-year state budget that funds these essential state services critical to future growth while keeping our state books balanced.
With the new budget, lawmakers will invest state dollars in education to make sure students and teachers have the resources necessary to prepare young Hoosiers for success in college and the workforce. Improving the education of our students today will help our state be more economically successful when they are adults. To that end, the General Assembly will consider initiatives to support vocational education and job training programs in Indiana’s high schools, expand early education opportunities for Hoosiers and give high-performing schools greater flexibility and freedom from regulations.
Because Indiana has lived within its means, our state is in a strong position financially to expand programs that will be beneficial to all Hoosiers, while keeping taxes low so families and entrepreneurs can spend and save as they see fit.
During the next four months of this budget session, I hope to hear from many Senate District 16 residents. One way to provide your input is by taking my 2013 legislative survey online at in.gov/Senator.Long. I encourage you to share this survey with family and friends in our district so that I can better represent our community at the Statehouse.
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