2013 Indiana General Assembly

State budget wins Indiana House approval

2013-02-25T22:15:00Z 2013-02-26T08:12:03Z State budget wins Indiana House approvalDan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
February 25, 2013 10:15 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana House approved late Monday night a two-year state budget that increases funding for education and roads, but does not include an income tax cut or account for scheduled reductions in federal spending.

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

It was approved in a 68-28 vote late Monday.

Under the spending plan, most Northwest Indiana school corporations would receive modest funding boosts of 1 to 3 percent. However, school corporations with shrinking enrollments, such as Gary, would see their funding decline.

Overall, 63 percent of state spending will go toward elementary, high school and college education, as well as teacher pensions. The budget maintains funding for full-day kindergarten and supports a new preschool voucher pilot program.

Lawmakers juggled spending 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.

House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, attempted last week to add Republican Gov. Mike Pence's call for a 10 percent reduction in the state's individual income tax rate to the budget.

But Pelath's proposal was blocked by House Republicans using a procedural maneuver.

House Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, said the governor's tax cut may still make it in the budget after the state's revised revenue forecast is issued in April.

Brown said he's certain the Senate will also need to adjust the budget to account for federal sequestration, automatic budget cuts set to hit March 1, that will reduce federal education, military and other payments to the state.

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