INDIANAPOLIS (Indiana's NewsCenter) - In his sixth state of the state address, Governor Mitch Daniels calls for further fiscal restraint.
On Tuesday evening, Governor Daniels addressed a joint session of the legislature, and the state's revenue shortfall and loss mitigation efforts played a prominent roll.
"Together we brought this state from bankruptcy to solvency over a five-year period of careful budgets, stewardship, and reform. Per capita state government spending in Indiana is now sixth lowest in the nation, an eight-place improvement from a few years ago," touted Daniels. "State government has two-thirds fewer airplanes, thousands fewer vehicles; we have the fewest state employees since 1982. "
Property Tax reform has been a big issue for the Governor and the legislature. A bill to create property tax caps passed the legislature Tuesday.
Improving Indiana's unemployment picture has been another Daniels priority, with the worst of the unemployment apparently behind us. Daniels has been unrelenting in pushing new job creation in the state and new business investments as the best hedge against periods of economic downturn.
Education was also a major talking point within the speech. The Governor defended his $300 million cut to k-12 education while speaking out against what he calls "social promotion," the idea of advancing students to the next grade level despite a failure to meet the requirements.
"Sending an illiterate child on to higher grades is unfair to the next teacher, damaging to our state's future, but cruelest of all, disastrous to the young life being blighted by that failure. I ask you to pass our bill to stop social promotion, and to say to the world that Indiana never gives up on its children, not one single kid," pleaded Daniels.
Daniels also pushed for further reforms including legislative measures that would reform county governments, pursue gamblers who owe child support and reorganize the state's political districts-moves Daniels claims would help save $70 million.
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