House GOP Unveils Budget Proposal

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The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Rep. Todd Huston (R-Fishers) has unveiled the House Republicans' two-year state budget proposal. The caucus says the $34.6 billion spending plan includes funding increases for education, school safety and the Indiana Department of Child Services.

The proposal, which covers state spending for 2020 and 2021, would increase K-12 school funding by 4.3 percent, and also includes Governor Eric Holcomb's plan to use $150 million from the state's reserves to pay off a teacher pension liability. The governor announced the plan during his State of the State address and said it would save schools $70 million annually, and schools are being encouraged to use that savings to increase teacher pay.

House Republicans say the proposal will also provide $30 million a year for Teacher Appreciation Grants, $5 million for Teacher and Student Achievement Grants, and $1 million for the Teacher Residency Grant Pilot Program. The latter two programs are included in separate bills being considered by the legislature.

The Secured School Safety Grant Program will also see a funding increase of $5 million per yer to be used for student mental health, according to the proposal. The proposal would also fully fund the DCS with $286 million in new funding each year, which comes in addition to what Huston calls "major reforms" through administrative changes in House Bill 1006.

“Our conservative plan is responsibly balanced while funding key priorities and maintaining healthy reserves,” said Huston, who is the co-chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. “We continue to strengthen our commitment to Hoosier students and educators, and to those in the state’s child welfare system. Our budget also funds key workforce initiatives while promoting Career and Technical Education to better prepare Indiana’s next generation of Hoosier workers.” 

The House Ways and Means Committee passed the budget bill, House Bill 1001, on a party line vote. The bill now heads to the full House for consideration.

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