What are your state legislators doing on your behalf? The Indiana House Republicans host a podcast each week to answer this question and talk about what’s happening in your state government. The podcast features one-on-one interviews with lawmakers who highlight new laws, events and other issues impacting Hoosiers.
This session, House Republicans are working on ways to put more dollars in teachers’ pockets. Three bills are making their way through the legislative process to help bolster the teaching profession and encourage schools to shift funds to educators.
Indiana spends more than $7 billion annually on K-12 education. Unfortunately, overhead costs have ballooned at many schools, and in some cases, less than 60 percent of the funding makes it to the classroom, taking critical dollars away from educators’ paychecks. To better compensate teachers, proposed legislation would incentivize schools to shift at least 85 percent of funds to the classroom. This new goal could free up millions of dollars and schools could drive funds to Hoosier educators and classrooms, potentially giving teachers statewide a 5 percent salary increase.
In addition, we are working to give teachers access to support and opportunities to grow professionally. Legislation would provide stronger incentives for schools to establish career ladders and mentorship programs where experienced educators would have the opportunity to earn more while helping guide new teachers during their first years in the classroom.
Another proposed law would establish a teacher residency grant pilot program. Similar to a traditional student teaching opportunity, the residency program would pair aspiring educators with veteran teachers for a full school year to gain critical classroom experience.
To track these and other bills, watch committee meetings and view session live, visit the Indiana General Assembly’s website here.
The 2019 legislative session kicked off this month and House Republicans are already working toward their legislative priorities, which include investing in our youth, workforce and future.
Legislators are working to further protect Hoosier youth with a proposal for a new law that would help reform the Department of Child Services, and another that would reduce Indiana’s infant mortality rate by engaging at-risk expecting mothers in early prenatal care. Another proposal addresses school safety concerns, and would increase physical security and mental health resources for students.
House Republicans are working to strengthen their commitment to students and teachers by incentivizing school corporations to shift dollars from operational expenses to teacher pay. To support the success of current and future teachers, other bills would improve professional development and mentoring programs.
While Indiana’s pro-growth policies and economic performance are ranked among the best in the nation, the state remains among the bottom third in most human capital and workforce rankings. To bolster Indiana’s workforce and talent pipeline, a bill would encourage early and continuing career exploration and navigation, reinvigorate career and technical education courses and encourage completion of certifications or postsecondary credentials. Another proposal would help honor Hoosier veterans while incentivizing them to stay and put their skills to work in Indiana.
Multiple resources are available to help you stay informed as new laws are being considered this session. Track legislation, watch committee meetings and view session live on the Indiana General Assembly’s website. Stay up-to-date with your local representative by signing up to receive electronic newsletters.
House Speaker Brian C. Bosma and House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta announced a partnership between the Indiana House of Representatives and the Indiana Division of The Salvation Army during the 2019 legislative session to increase awareness about child hunger.
Between lunch on Friday and breakfast on Monday, 1 in 5 Hoosier kids will go about 68 hours with limited or uncertain access to adequate food. Legislators and House staff are collecting new and gently used backpacks, and non-perishable food items like peanut butter, breakfast bars, cereal, canned fruit, crackers and oatmeal. On March 6, lawmakers plan to fill the backpacks at the Statehouse with collected food items, and The Salvation Army will distribute them to local schools across the state.
In addition to the donation drive, House lawmakers launched a social media campaign using #Eliminate68 to draw attention to the number of hours a child could be hungry over a weekend between school meals. Hoosiers can drop off donations outside of the House Chamber on the third floor of the Statehouse in Indianapolis through March 5, or make a monetary donation by contacting Susan Solmon at Susan_Solmon@usc.salvationarmy.org.
Nationally, The Salvation Army provides 156,000 meals every single day to people in need. Through our partnership, we want to help contribute to the organization’s massive impact in communities across the state and bring attention to food insecurity for Hoosier kids.
Indiana companies play an important role in making our state one of the nation’s top destinations for business, and they deserve to be recognized.
The Governor’s Century and Half Century Business Awards honor Indiana businesses that have remained in operation for at least 100 or 50 years, respectively, and have demonstrated a commitment to serving the community. Businesses eligible for an award are encouraged to complete the online application by Feb. 21.
Winners will be invited to the Indiana Statehouse in the spring for an award ceremony where Gov. Eric Holcomb will recognize their achievements and present them with a commemorative certificate.
For more information on qualifying criteria, visit the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s website.
Hoosier students are invited to spend a day at the Indiana Statehouse.
The Indiana House Page Program provides a unique hands-on experience, helping students learn how state laws are made while inspiring the next generation of leaders to get involved in public service. To be a page, applicants should be between the ages of 13 and 18, which is typically grades six through 12.
Students participating in this interactive, educational experience receive an excused absence from school. While at the Statehouse, House pages tour historical sites like the House and Senate chambers, the Indiana Supreme Court and the governor’s office. They have the opportunity to meet their state representative and observe the legislative session in the House chamber, where they can listen to debates on important policy issues. Pages are also assigned age-appropriate tasks like delivering important messages and sorting files.
House pages are scheduled to visit on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays for the duration of the legislative session, which begins Jan. 3 and concludes by April 30. Large groups and clubs can be scheduled to page together, typically on Wednesdays. If you would like to schedule participating siblings and friends together, please be sure to note that preference when signing up.
Page positions fill quickly, so please be sure to sign up early by clicking here.
Looking for a last-minute gift for the holidays? Investing in a child’s future has never been easier.
Indiana’s CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan helps families save for college expenses. These plans make it easy to start saving for higher education early with flexible investment options, a generous state tax incentive for contributions to a savings account, an affordable minimum contribution amount of $10, and easy ways for families and friends to contribute.
Accounts grow tax-free as long as the money is withdrawn to pay for qualified education expenses like books, tuition, room and board, computers, and other fees. Account beneficiaries may use their savings at any college or university that accepts federal financial aid, not just Indiana institutions.
Thanks to Indiana’s CollegeChoice 529 Plans, more than $4.5 billion has been invested in more than 350,000 accounts, helping make higher education more accessible for young Hoosiers.
To learn more or to open a CollegeChoice 529 account, click here.
The scholarship program offers $3,125 per semester or $2,083 per trimester for up to five years of post-secondary civil engineering education, which can be used on educational expenses, fees and books. Recipients will work in full-time, paid positions with INDOT during summer breaks and upon graduation.
To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be accepted or enrolled in one of Indiana’s certified civil engineering schools, which include Purdue University Fort Wayne, Purdue University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Trine University, University of Evansville, University of Notre Dame, University of Southern Indiana and Valparaiso University.
Click here to learn more and apply. Applications are due by Monday, Dec. 31.
Applications for the 2019 Innovate WithIN pitch competition are now open to high school students across Indiana.
Innovate WithIN gives Hoosier students the opportunity to create their own business plans and showcase entrepreneurial ideas. Participants are invited to work individually or in small groups to submit an innovative idea for a business, product, service or venture. Students will then receive feedback from experienced professionals while competing against like-minded youth from across the state.
The competition is split into nine regions based on school districts, and students compete against others in their area for the chance to pitch at the state level. The overall winners of the state competition will each receive a $10,000 cash prize, $10,000 toward one year of in-state tuition, internship opportunities and mentoring services.
New to this year’s program, middle school students will also have the opportunity to participate in workshops aimed at fostering entrepreneurial and critical-thinking skills while introducing them to real-world business concepts.
To apply, students must register online and submit a video pitch before the Feb. 6 deadline. To learn more about the competition, watch last year’s winning pitches, and find tips on how to prepare, visit innovatewithin.org.
Our state is home to 500,000 small businesses that employ more than 1.2 million Hoosiers. Indiana’s economy depends on our friends, family and neighbors who embrace the entrepreneurial spirit by starting their own business.
As consumers, we can do our part by shopping at locally owned shops. On Saturday, Nov. 24, we will be celebrating Small Business Saturday to recognize and support small businesses. Click here to learn how to get involved, find local businesses or promote your own business.
If you’re feeling inspired this Small Business Saturday, check out INBiz, a one-stop resource for small-business owners. Whether you want to start a new business, register a company name or file required paperwork, INBiz can help you along the way. The Indiana Department of Revenue also offers the New and Small Business Education Center to help small-business owners better understand state laws, the tax-filing process and what services are available to help as your business grows.
Small businesses bring jobs, innovation and progress to our state, and they deserve our support. Show off your great finds this Small Business Saturday by using #ShopSmall and #INSmallBiz on social media.