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Senate GOP: We're ready to balance the 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.

"State lawmakers will be making important decisions on the major issues Gov. Daniels brought up tonight," State Sen. Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen) said. "In the next four months, there will be a lot of open discussions and debates on proposed reforms that will affect people living in Indiana. I encourage residents in Senate District 9 to stay informed and engaged, so that changes made to better Indiana best represent the will of the people."

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.

Mishler 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. "Determining exactly how Indiana gets there will require much homework by lawmakers and much input from the public," he added.

Mishler 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. Mishler represents Senate District 9, which includes portions of Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall and St. Joseph counties.