House Republicans:  A New Direction for Indiana

Overview of 2005 House GOP Legislative Agenda

 

Expanding Educational Choices for Hoosier Families

 

1)  A Highly Qualified Teacher in Every Classroom

 

Policy Goal:  Attract and retain high quality teachers in Indiana’s public schools.

 

Proposal:  Direct the Education Roundtable to study the following issues in order to ensure that each classroom has a highly qualified teacher and to provide financial and career incentives so more individuals enter the teaching profession.

 

  • Professional Development
  • Career ladder
  • Merit Pay
  • Teacher Testing
  • Incentive pay to teach in critical subject areas

 

2)  Expand Access to Charter Schools

 

Policy Goal:  Encourage the growth of charter schools.

 

Proposal:  Remove statutory numerical caps on how many charters can be created in a given year and prohibit any arbitrary monetary caps on charter school funding.   Allow private universities to sponsor charter schools.

 

3)  Parents Know Best  - Open Enrollment to Students in Failing Schools

 

Policy Goal:  Provide public school choice so no parent is forced to keep their child in a failing public school. 

 

Proposal:  Parents would be allowed to send their child to another school corporation if their child’s school is designated as not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).  The dollars would follow the students into the new school corporation so that parents would not have to pay the transfer tuition costs. 

 

4)  Make College Affordable for all Hoosiers

 

Policy Goal:  Make higher education more accessible and affordable for Hoosiers.

 

Proposal: 

  • Limit annual tuition increases for two years to the rate of inflation.
  • Require universities to offer a pricing option to parents and students that guarantees a fixed tuition rate for the first four years of college.

 

 

Promoting Government Accountability & Efficiency

 

1)  Reduce Voter Fraud – require photo ID to vote

 

Policy Goal:  Protect the integrity of the election process by reducing voter fraud.

 

Proposal:  Individuals would be required to show photo ID before they are allowed to vote.  For those persons without proper photo ID, alternative forms of ID would be accepted. 

 

2)  Implement the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Program

 

Policy Goal:  Enhance the business climate by reducing regulatory burdens and streamlining required state government processes for small business. 

 

Proposal: 

  • Small business defined as:  Employing fewer than 25 full-time employees or having gross annual sales of less than $5,000,000.

 

  • Designate a Small Business Advocate appointed by the Governor within each agency to act as a contact person on regulatory issues and rule-making activities.

 

  • Gives immunity from penalty to any small business that voluntarily discloses information to the appropriate agency about possible violation of a rule if:  1)Make disclosure within 45 days of discovered violation 2)Good faith effort to comply with the rule 3)Cooperate with the agency in any resulting investigation.

 

 

3)  Extend the Work of the Government Efficiency Commission

 

Policy Goal:  Continue the successful efforts of the Government Efficiency Commission in routing out government waste and inefficiency in the state’s bureaucracies.

 

Proposal: 

  • Extend the authorization of the Government Efficiency Commission to explore other agencies such as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Public Employee Retirement Fund. 
  • In addition, the Commission should examine the proliferation of statutory study committees which number over 100.

 

 

4)  Create the Legislative Office of Accountability

 

Policy Goal:  Provide proper oversight of state agencies to ensure that taxpayer dollars are accounted for and restore the public’s trust in the activities of our state agencies.

 

Proposal: 

  • Create the non-partisan Legislative Office of Accountability which would be under the supervision of the Legislative Council. 
  • The office would be able to conduct financial, operational and performance audits of state agencies.

 

 

Protecting Hoosier Families

 

1)  Allow Hoosier Voters to Speak on Marriage

 

Policy Goal:  Encourage open public debate on the definition of marriage and allow direct public input in the decision. 

 

Proposal: 

  • Pass a resolution to allow a public referendum on amending the State Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. 

 

2)  Help Hoosier Families Access Affordable Health Insurance

 

Policy Goal:  To provide a tax break to Hoosier families or individuals who are paying for health insurance out of their own pocket.

 

Proposal:  Allow health insurance premiums to be deducted in calculating your state taxable income.

 

3)  Provide Healthcare CHOICE for Hoosier Seniors

 

Policy Goal:  The General Assembly intended for the appropriations for the CHOICE program to be used for Hoosiers, not pad the state’s coffers.

 

Proposal:  

 

  • Retain unspent funding appropriated for the program at year end instead of allowing it to revert to the state general fund and allow it to be utilized in future years to provide services for more individuals.