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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.

"Gov. Daniels is focused on improving Indiana," State Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) said. "In the next four months, his guidance and the bipartisan efforts of state lawmakers will be crucial. By working together as a team, we can do great things for our state."

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.

Charbonneau 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.

"How Indiana should best achieve these goals requires a lot of research and debate by lawmakers and much-needed public input," Charbonneau said.

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

Sen. Charbonneau represents Senate District 5, which includes Starke County and portions of Porter, LaPorte, Marshall, Jasper, Pulaski and St. Joseph counties.

Sen. Ed Charbonneau