Budget in Focus at Statehouse

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While leaders on both sides of the aisle have plans to focus on education and work force, a new two-year state budget will dominate discussions in the 2015 legislative session, which begins today in Indianapolis. Republicans hold a super-majority in the House and Senate. House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) says GOP lawmakers will seek a balanced budget without raising taxes and House Minority Leader Scott Pelath's (D-9) agenda centers on the state's "suffering middle class." Republicans say the four categories it will focus on are the budget, education, ethics and public safety.

Democrats have countered with an agenda that contains many of the same major elements, but also includes a call to boost cities and towns throughout the state that Pelath says are "struggling to remain vibrant."

Another hotly-contested issue that could be brought up in the coming months is changing the State Superintendent of Public Instruction position, currently held by Glenda Ritz, from elected to appointed. The Indiana Chamber is pushing for such a move.

Sources: Indiana House Republican Caucus, Inside House Democratic Caucus, The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Inside INdiana Business