Many of us choose to live in Indiana because we’re close to family and friends, our low cost of living and our strong communities. As a state, Indiana continues to be recognized as one of the best in the country for our commitment to fiscal responsibility, as a top location for workers and employers, for our long-term investment in our roads and bridges and resolute support of our state’s youngest Hoosiers.
Our strong record of living within our means and saving for rainy days puts us ahead of the curve and positioned our state well to meet the needs of Hoosiers during the pandemic. U.S. News and World Report ranked Indiana second in the nation for the best “long-term fiscal stability.” What does this mean? Hoosiers can count on their tax dollars being wisely invested back into our communities and state.
We developed a responsible, long-term road funding plan that does not burden future generations with debt. Our comprehensive and sustainable funding program got Indiana recognized by CNBC as No. 1 in the nation for infrastructure. From our state highways to our neighborhood streets and country roads, we continue to see local road improvements and repairs happening.
Because of our low cost of living and workforce training efforts, employers are choosing Indiana to set up shop. Chief Executive Magazine lists Indiana as the fifth best state in the country and the best in the Midwest to do business. This year alone businesses have committed to creating more than 23,000 new Hoosier jobs at more than $27 an hour.
Thanks to our strong fiscal discipline, Indiana added a historic $763 million in new money to our last budget for K-12 funding, with traditional public schools receiving more than 93 percent of the total tuition support. This record investment in K-12 highlights our commitment to our schools.
A strong education system provides equal opportunities for every student to learn and succeed, and a child’s ZIP code or family’s income should not limit their options. In Indiana, we have not only made record investments in our schools, but we have also provided parents the flexibility to choose a school that best meets their child’s needs. We rank third in the nation on the Center of Education Reform’s Parent Power! Index for our school choice opportunities, teacher quality and innovative programs.
Hoosier families are stepping up in a big way. With nearly 2,500 Hoosier youth adopted through the Indiana Department of Child Services in the last year, Indiana currently ranks first in the nation for its increase in the number of adoptions from foster care. Increasing funding for DCS, limiting social workers’ caseloads, allowing young Hoosiers to receive foster care services through the age of 21 and establishing an adoption unit within DCS is helping our most vulnerable throughout the state.
Every life is precious, and House Republicans are working to ensure Hoosier moms and babies have access to critical resources before, during and after birth, and now the state is experiencing the lowest infant mortality rate in its history. We are working diligently to protect our youngest Hoosiers, and these results indicate the start of a trend, not the end.
All these reasons and more make Indiana a great state to call home. We will continue supporting policies that put Hoosiers first and move our state in the right direction.