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Senate GOP: We're ready to balance budget, consider Daniels' reforms

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 11, 2011) - Indiana Senate Republicans say their caucus stands ready to work with Gov. Mitch Daniels and other lawmakers to balance the state's two-year state budget and to consider reforms outlined in Tuesday's State of the State Address.

"Many challenges lay ahead for both Governor Daniels and the Indiana General Assembly during this long, budget-writing session," State Sen. Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville) said. "Like many Hoosiers, I desire to see Indiana's economy improve. Aiding in the creation of a balanced budget that benefits hard-working taxpayers tops the list of my 2011 priorities."

Daniels' seventh State of the State called on lawmakers to pass legislation improving Indiana schools, reforming local government and updating the state's criminal justice system.

Tomes said most Senate Republicans are philosophically supportive of Daniels' call to identify and reward successful teachers and principals; instill accountability and provide assistance for turning around poor performing schools; and allow more education options for families trapped by failing schools.

"I will be taking the ideas we heard tonight back to my constituents at town hall meetings, so I can listen to their opinions," Tomes said. "Senate GOP objectives like fostering job growth, cutting government red tape and promoting fair redistricting will all continue to be topics of discussion."

Sen. Jim Tomes

Sen. Tomes represents Senate District 49, which includes portions of Gibson, Posey and Vanderburgh counties.