2013 Indiana General Assembly

$30 billion Ind. budget wins committee approval

2013-02-19T11:40:00Z 2013-02-19T19:40:08Z $30 billion Ind. budget wins committee approvalDan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
February 19, 2013 11:40 am  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | The House Ways and Means Committee voted 16-7 Tuesday to send a two-year budget plan to the full chamber that increases spending on education and provides new funding for roads, but does not reduce the income tax rate.

House Bill 1001 spends $30 billion during the 2014-15 budget period, which begins July 1. That's a 10 percent increase compared to the current two-year budget.

Elementary, high school and college education, along with teacher pensions, make up 63 percent of state spending under the new budget. Education spending is set to increase $344 million compared to the 2012-13 budget.

Lawmakers juggled funding for other state agencies and agreed to dedicate a portion of the sales tax from gasoline purchases to provide $250 million in new annual funding for roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

However, they did not include Republican Gov. Mike Pence's demand that the state's individual income tax rate be reduced to 3.06 percent from 3.4 percent. 

Democrats have promised to force a vote on Pence's tax cut when the budget is considered by the full House over the next week.

The Ways and Means chairman, state Rep. Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, said the budget process is still in the early stages.

He said the budget will be changed when it goes to the Senate and the final spending plan will also be shaped by automatic federal budget cuts set to take effect March 1 and the results of the state's April revenue forecast. 

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