Budgeting for Success

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence told the Downtown Evansville Kiwanis Club on Jan. 31 that Indiana is poised for an era of growth and opportunity.

“We are the fiscal envy of the country,” he said to a supportive audience at Casino Aztar. “(We are) one of only nine states in America that has a AAA bond rating. And we have the largest budget surplus in our state’s history.”

While in the Tri-State, Pence also visited Vuteq, a Toyota supplier in Gibson County that is planning a $4.3 million plant expansion and the addition of up to 93 jobs.

The governor also spent time on the campus of the University of Southern Indiana.

But it was at the Downtown Kiwanis Club that Pence outlined his proposed jobs budget, which he will present to the General Assembly.

The budget includes a 10 percent cut across the board in personal income tax rates for workers and small businesses. This tax relief, his office says, would put more than $500 million a year directly back into the Hoosier economy.

Pence’s proposed budget also directs 64 percent of its funds toward education. It provides a 1 percent increase for K-12 schools, colleges, and universities in each of the next two fiscal years.

Pence said his proposed budget would work to address the needs of 250,000 out-of-work residents and a number of schools that lag behind.

He says a stable balance sheet is the surest foundation for economic growth. The state must keep spending growth below the inflation rate, Pence said.

“Our budget is honestly balanced,” he said. “We hold the line on spending, we fund our priorities, we build our reserves, and we let hardworking Hoosiers keep more of what they earn.”

Pence originally planned to speak at the Downtown Kiwanis Club on Jan. 24. The trip was his first scheduled visit to an Indiana service organization after his Jan. 14 inauguration. However, he canceled his speech when his wife underwent emergency gall bladder surgery. Karen Pence has since recovered.

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