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20120524132415541

20120524132415541

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Published by: WisconsinOpenRecords on May 30, 2012
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10/13/2013

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Oling, Lane -GOV
From:
Sent:
To:
Subject:
Hi Team Indiana,
State
of
Indiana <indiana@subscriptions.in.gov>Thursday, May 12, 20111:08
PM
Fadness, Joseph F -
GOV
Gov.
Daniels' Recent Accomplishments
With the end
of
the Indiana General Assembly, Governor Daniels has signed into law his sweeping education reform agenda, includingschool choice, collective bargaining reform and a new teacher evaluation and compensation system. Indiana's recently-enacted budgetlowers the corporate tax rate and provides for an automatic tax refund if revenues exceed a specified level. The Governor's agendaalso broadens public-private partnerships for infrastructure, redraws legislative and congressional districts and consolidates duplicativelocal elections. Finally, during a recent trip to Washington last week, the Governor spoke about his heritage and the longing forfreedom in the Middle East in his remarks at the Arab-American Institute's Khalil Gibran "Spirit
of
Humanity" Awards, where he receivedthe Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service.
We
thought you might find the following news summaries
to
be
of
interest, and we'veincluded the text
of
the speech. As always, if you have any questions
or
would like additional information, please do not hesitate to ask.Thanks,Debbie and GriffinIndiana Federal RepresentativesDeborah Hohlt (Debbie@hohlt.com)Griffin Foster (griffin@hohlt.com)202-624-1474 (office)• REVIEW
&
OUTLOOK
• MAY6,2011
Indiana's Great Education Leap
The Hoosier State passes vouchers and dissolves teachertenure.
School choice is gaining new momentum, and one
of
the biggest political breakthroughs came this week in Indiana. Governor MitchDaniels signed legislation Thursday that includes far-reaching reforms in teacher assessment and tenure, as well the most ambitiousvoucher program in memory.Under the new
Jaw,
the state will provide 7,500 publicly financed scholarships
of
up
to
$4,500 a year
to
Hoosier elementary school kidswho have been in public schools for the last two semesters and then want to attend another school, public
or
private. That scholarship
1
 
number rises to 15,000 in the second year, with no cap in the third year and beyond. High school students can also qualify for avoucher
of
up to 90%
of
the state public school support, which varies by school district.The thinking here is that parents have to give the public schools a try, but then their children shouldn't be trapped
by
inferior schoolsmerely because
of
where they live. The voucher is means-tested by family income up to a maximum
of
roughly $60,000
or
so, with\ower-income families getting a larger payment. Mr. Daniels says about half
of
all Hoosier school children will qualify.Parents can take the money to any certified school in the state, Including religious schools. Though the unions will no doubt sue
to
block the reform, the law should pass both state and federal constitutional muster because it is religiously neutral and parents choosethe school for their children.Another common objection to vouchers is that they cost the state money by spending twice for each student, but Indiana's plan maysave money because Indianapolis public schools now spend about $9,000 per student,
or
twice what the vouchers will cost. The lawalso changes the state's school funding formula so it will be based
on
current year enrollment, giving public schools
an
incentive toimprove to retain students or lose money.The Indiana law also extends school choice in another way, by authorizing a $1,000 tax deduction for families that pay out
of
pocket forprivate school expenses. This helps middle-class parents pay for books, computers and the like
if
their children don't attend publicschools.There's also a major expansion
of
charter school opportunities. The law allows a state commission and the state's universities toauthorize new charters, which
now
number only 63 statewide. It also reduces one
of
the main disadvantages that charters havecompared
to
traditional schools by giving them access to unused school buildings, and it gives parents new rights to petition
to
turn apersistently failing school into a charter.The reform also makes major gains on teacher accountability, ending the last-in, first-out layoff policy that caused the firing
of
thestate's teacher
of
the year. School districts will be able to introduce pay for performance, using a new evaluation system based onstudent progress, not teacher tenure. The angel will have to come in the details of these evaluations, which the union will try to game,
but
this at least gives reformers a fighting chance to break up a status quo that now makes it nearly impossible to fire bad teachers.All
of
this is a major achievement for Mr. Daniels and his Republican legislative majority. Answering to the uniohs, Democrats tried theflee-to-Illinois strategy to block the reform but Mr. Daniels treaied them with gentle scorn and waited them out. The unions are sure totry to capture and water down all
of
this, so reformers will have to monitor the implementation. But the future just got considerablybrighter for Indiana's children.
10
~ - - - · - - - - - - - - · - - · -
Indiana
Gov. Daniels Signs Budget Bill, Legislation to Lower Corporate TaxRate
By
Nora Macaluso
05/12/2011LANSING, Mich.-lndiana
Gov. Mitch
Daniels(R)
signed
a
series
of
tax-related
bills
May
9
and
10, including
two-year
budget
legislation
(HEA
1001)
that
decouples
Indiana
from
some
federal income-tax
changes, requires certain
tax
preparers
to
file
2
 
electronic returns, changes the distribution formula for the cigarette and sales taxes,and exempts meals served at legislative meetings from the gross retail tax.The budget bill provides for
an
automatic refund for taxpayers if revenues exceed aspecified level. It also requires, beginning
in
2012, professional tax preparers who filemore than 50 returns to file them electronically, with the threshold falling to 10 returns
in
2013. The change is designed to save the state money, since processing paperfilings costs $2 to
$3
per return, compared with just 8 cents for a return filedelectronically.The decoupling affects about a dozen federal tax changes that would have resulted
in
the loss of "a considerable amount
of
revenue" for Indiana, Budget Director AdamHorst told BNA May 11. The sales tax formula was changed so that the entire amountcollected goes to the state's general fund, rather than diverting a portion to a masstransportation fund, Horst said. The transportation fund will receive its money throughan appropriation,
so
the move is "more
of
an
accounting change," he said.Cigarette tax revenues, Horst said, had been used to fund a retiree health benefitsplan, but under the new formula will be used to reimburse the general fund for the"overfunding"of the retiree plan. The switch will be
in
effect for the two years coveredby the budget.
Corporate Tax Rate Lowered
HEA 1004, also signed May
10,
lowers the state corporate income tax rate by 20percent over a four-year period starting
in
2013. Sen. Brandt Hershman (R), sponsor ofthat legislation, said Indiana's 8.5 percent tax rate is hindering job growth
in
the state.The bill "closes tax loopholes"to make the change revenue neutral, Hershman said.The "lion's share" of the savings comes from ending tax-free treatment of out-of-statemunicipal bond investments, he told BNA May
11.
"We were
an
outlier
in
that respect,"the only state
in
the nation not to tax interest on investments
in
municipal bonds ofother states, he said. Residents can continue to invest in Indiana municipal bonds andnot pay taxes on income from those, he said.
Bills
on
Tax Study, Industrial Recovery Credit
On May
8,
the governor signed S.B. 39, which requires the Commission
on
State Taxand Financing Policy to study how the Indiana income tax structure, including existingand potentially new income tax credits and deductions, may influence a senior'sdecision on residency
in
Indiana after retirement.The bill also requires the commission to study whether each of the local option incometaxes affects the ability
of
political subdivisions to provide services to nonresidents,whether there should be additional financing options available to such subdivisions for
3

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