State lawmakers are set today to vote on a two-year budget, which includes a $760 million increase for schools. Governor Eric Holcomb supports the spending plan, saying it protects the state’s reserves and increases K-12 funding "as much as we possibly could."
The budget does not mandate an increase in teacher pay, but does include a measure to pay down pension liabilities, designed to free up $70 million per year that could be used to raise salaries. The spending plan also includes a $500 million boost for the Department of Child Services over two years, which is less than Holcomb had originally requested. It leaves the state with about $2 billion in reserve.
The proposal also allocates more than $40 million for the 21st Century Research & Technology Fund, which promotes entrepreneurship and Hoosier startups. A major push for that funding came from the Indiana Technology & Innovation Association, which formed last year.
You can see the full budget by clicking here.
Statement from Governor Eric Holcomb:
“From the very beginning, my administration, the House and the Senate shared our top two priorities – passing a balanced budget and protecting our reserves that in turn protects our AAA credit rating and increasing K-12 funding as much as we possibly could. This budget proposal does both. I appreciate the hard work of all of our colleagues as we near the end of this legislative session.”
Statement from Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody:
“Governor Holcomb and Statehouse Republicans continue to disrespect hardworking Indiana teachers by delaying significant pay hikes for teachers with the slowest-growing salaries in the country. Hoosier teachers have accepted an ‘I owe u’ from Statehouse Republicans for the better part of a decade and that didn’t change this session. Empty promises don’t pay the bills. Today’s event reinforced the simple fact that Indiana Republicans don’t value teachers’ dedication enough to even give them a seat at the table.”
Statement from Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma:
“The state budget proposal represents our strong commitment to funding the state’s priorities while holding the line on spending and maintaining reserves. We responsibly boosted investments in public K-12 education, school safety and proven workforce programs. Republican leaders in the House and Senate along with Gov. Eric Holcomb worked hard to meet the state’s needs and maintain a structurally balanced budget.”