Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is taking aim at the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund. One of his priorities for the upcoming legislative session is to pass a bill that brings premiums and benefits in balance.
That likely means a cut in benefits and a hike in premiums for Hoosier businesses, including the manufacturers of more than half of the nation’s RVs.
Republicans gained control of both the Indiana House and Senate in Tuesday’s election, making it more feasible for Daniels to enact the changes.
Daniels, who is entering the second half of his second term as the Hoosier governor (he can’t run for re-election) and whose name has surfaced as a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2012, said today (Nov. 4) that a balanced budget, K-12 education, local government reform and a fair redistricting plan are among his top priorities for 2011.
“I want to present to the citizens of our state the outlines of a very ambitious agenda for more positive change in Indiana,” said Daniels. “It’s a big set of assignments and we are really excited about the chance for Indiana to surge forward on all of these fronts.”
The governor said over the next several weeks specifics of the agenda will be further developed. Daniels has already begun to meet with legislators from both parties to jumpstart discussions about these ideas.
Here are the governor’s legislative priorities:
- Pass a balanced budget without a general tax increase.
- Enact a straightforward state government spending cap in the form of an automatic taxpayer refund.
- Put students first and strengthen local flexibility.
Evaluate teachers on student learning so we can pay our best teachers more
- Hold schools accountable for student learning while giving them the flexibility to deliver better results under local control.
- Provide more quality options so parents can make informed decisions.
- Reward and protect our best state employees.
Protect the paycheck of every state employee by prohibiting mandatory dues payments
- Require annual state employee performance reviews so we can identify the best performers.
- Update and streamline the state employee classification system so we can pay our best performers more.
Improve transparency and efficiency of local government
- Eliminate nepotism and conflict of interest in local government.
- Abolish township boards and other outdated layers of government.
- Broaden public-private partnerships for public infrastructure.
- Free state government to enlist the private sector as a partner in building new roads, bridges, and other infrastructure.
Develop a fair redistricting plan
- Redraw Indiana’s political districts on the basis of logical geographic and community boundaries.
Tackle the imbalance in the unemployment insurance trust fund
- Pass a bill that brings premiums and benefits in balance.
Address issues in Indiana’s sentencing laws
- Develop a comprehensive sentencing reform package that incarcerates all dangerous criminals while managing non-dangerous offenders in more cost-effective ways.
Audio of today’s news conference may be found here: http://in.gov/gov/files/Audio/110410.mp3.
Video of today’s news conference will be posted later today on the governor’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/ingovernor.