House Republicans revealed a budget plan Friday that spends significantly more than Governor Pence has proposed.
Chairman of the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee, Dr. Tim Brown says education funding is the top priority. The House proposal would restore school funding cuts made by then-Governor Mitch Daniels three years ago, and add additional money.
The proposal includes $344 million more for K through 12 education. Governor Pence has proposed a one-percent increase for schools, which would still leave them below 2010 levels. The House budget plan also includes $250 million a year for roads and infrastructure, which is more than Governor Pence had proposed.
The plan does not include Pence’s proposed 10-percent tax cut. The House plan would spend about one-percent less on operating expenses than the state takes in, but would dip into reserves for some one-time projects. Under current projections, the House budget plan would leave the state with reserves between 10-percent and 12.5-percent, which would be enough to trigger the state’s automatic tax rebate.
Pence’s budget calls for a 15-percent reserve. Brown says his goal is to have a balanced budget by April 29th. Brown says they’re ready to talk.
He adds that lawmakers must maintain fiscal integrity to uphold the state’s AAA bond rating which is also crucial for the bond ratings of cities across the state. Brown says the measure could potentially be amended before Tuesday when it is expected to goes to the House floor.