The Indiana House gives final approval today to Republicans’ budget — probably without Democratic support.
Minority Leader Scott Pelath credits Republicans with “some innovative ideas” in the budget. But he says nothing stands out as a positive reason to vote for the plan, and says he expects most Democrats won’t.
Pelath says including Republican Governor Mike Pence’s tax cut might have picked up a couple of Democratic votes — he accuses Republicans of sending conflicting signals by omitting it.
House G-O-P leaders say they want to wait until they see the updated state economic forecast in April before deciding on the tax cut. Pelath estimates about half the house democrats would support the tax cut as a way to help the middle class.
Without the tax cut, Pelath says what’s left is a budget that doesn’t create jobs fast enough and creates “instability” in schools.
Democrats wanted a bigger funding increase for schools than the three-percent boost over two years Republicans have proposed, but Pelath says the larger issue is the continued expansion of private-school vouchers and other changes pushed through by former governor Mitch Daniels.
The republicans’ overwhelming 69-31 majority means they’ll have no trouble passing the budget. A Senate version and a final agreement still lie ahead.