07/19/11 State Senator Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) tied for third place in the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s rankings of the state’s 50 Senate members and their votes in favor of pro-jobs, pro-economy policies.
Charbonneau is credited by the statewide organization – representing the interests of more than 26,000 Hoosier businesses, their employees and customers – for supporting job growth and economic development in the state.
“Because we are working for the people of Indiana, more progress can be made when policymakers and vital organizations like the Indiana Chamber of Commerce agree on common goals,” Charbonneau said. “I applaud the chamber for focusing on these issues and keeping Hoosiers informed on what their elected officials are doing to spur job and economic growth.”
Votes on nearly 100 bills covering issues ranging from education reform to transportation and energy determined rankings. Charbonneau crafted proposals and supported in committee and on the Senate floor several new laws advocated by the Indiana Chamber during the 2011 legislative session.
Charbonneau said that while government doesn’t really create jobs – except in vital services like national security, public safety and education – it can help foster a pro-growth environment for job creation. He said several 2011 legislative measures he voted in favor of may have the combined effect of being the most aggressive private-sector jobs package in state history.
To make Indiana more appealing to current and potential employers and competitive among other states, Charbonneau supported reducing the relatively high corporate tax rate from 8.5 percent to 6.5 percent.
Because costs for rehabilitating empty factories sometimes prevented new business start-ups at those sites, Charbonneau sponsored a new law improving the Industrial Recovery Tax Credit. He said by updating the Industrial Recovery Tax Credit, hard-hit communities will be able to defer up-front capital costs to upgrade abandoned industrial sites.
“This will help businesses redevelop once-vibrant facilities and put Hoosiers to work,” Charbonneau said.
He also worked to protect scarce unemployment insurance funds by supporting legislation that suspends benefits for individuals failing to take or pass drug tests, thus making themselves ineligible for employment. This law also allows Indiana residents to take advantage of extended federal benefits, providing up to 13 additional weeks of help for those still out of work.
Charbonneau backed a new comprehensive energy plan helping the state meet increasing energy demands of the future; a “Buy Local” initiative supporting community businesses; a “Young Entrepreneurs” program assisting Hoosiers with new business start-ups; and a new Indiana grain certification process ensuring local farmers are at the forefront of foreign markets.
In addition to economic policies, Charbonneau helped enact a comprehensive education-reform package allowing qualifying families to use a portion of their child’s state tuition support to help pay costs at participating non-governmental schools and state-funded scholarships for students who complete high school requirements one year early can use to attend college or technical schools.
He also joined colleagues in giving all Indiana counties the option of using voting centers to provide convenience Hoosiers and supported a new law strengthening consumer protections throughout the state by allowing cell phone users to utilize the popular “Do Not Call” list to curb unwanted solicitations.