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

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 11, 2011) - Indiana Senate Republicans said 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.

"I appreciate the governor's plans to improve teacher accountability," State Sen. Carlin Yoder (R-Middlebury) said. "For too long, our best and brightest teachers have been underappreciated. The governor's agenda would give our best teachers the credit they so richly deserve and improve our education system."

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.

Yoder 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.

"Input from the public and bipartisanship is needed if we are to achieve these goals," Yoder said.

Yoder said other Senate GOP objectives for the 2011 legislative session include fostering private-sector job growth, cutting government red tape and promoting fair redistricting.

Sen. Yoder represents Senate District 12, which includes portions of Elkhart County.