Local News Politics

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has unveiled his legislative priorities for the 2011 session. Daniels’ fellow Republicans will control both the House and Senate next year.       

The governor says lawmakers should be able to pass a balanced budget without relying on any tax increases.

He also wants to expand the state’s charter school system and establish merit pay for teachers.

After hundreds of millions of dollars in public education cuts over the past year because of slumping revenues, Daniels says further reductions will likely be avoided.

“There’s some concern in that community that there might be a second round. Based on anything we’ve seen—we’re now four months into the second year—there won’t be,” he said.

Daniels says changes will have to be made to fix the state’s out-of-balance unemployment insurance program, including a reduction of benefits. The top Democrat in the House says such a cut would be ‘disastrous.’

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."