Parties Agree on Work Force, Spar on Wages

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The Indiana General Assembly is entering the second week of the budget-writing session. Party leaders agree on the need for more vocational training to produce a more skilled work force, but differ on how the state should get there. House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-9) tells Inside INdiana Business Television lawmakers should focus on lifelong education and raising wages, giving middle class workers more money to pursue training and education. Also on this weekend's program, State Senator Brandt Hershman (R-7) said a minimum wage hike would be a "job killer," and says more skilled workers will lead to increased competition and higher incomes. You can view the video with Senator Hershman by clicking here.

The Indiana State Budget Committee has projected modest revenue growth for the next two years. Hershmann says, although the budget remains tight, it's better to "argue over money you have than money you don't have." GOP lawmakers have said they will focus on passing a balanced budget without raising taxes.

The Democrat agenda focuses on what the caucus calls the "suffering middle class" and includes eliminating the textbook tax and funding full-day kindergarten.

Republicans hold a super-majority in the House and Senate.

Sources: Indiana House Republican Caucus, Inside House Democratic Caucus, Inside INdiana Business