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Final Work Begins On State Budget

Legislators continue work on the budget as the 2011 session winds down.

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Photo: Dan Goldblatt/WFIU News

One of the most pressing issues legislators face this session is approving the budget.

As the Indiana General Assembly works in its final week of session, one of the biggest issues left to tackle is the budget. Representatives from both houses began final work on the bill Monday. Budget authors and sponsors Jeff Espich and Luke Kenley say they remain committed to creating a responsible budget without raising taxes. Espich says he also wants to keep plenty money in the reserves so the state has a safety net.

“And I want a reserve balance that’s something in the neighborhood of $1.1 billion at the end of the biennium and that means that would be about 8 percent reserves,” said Espich.

But Democrats say leaving $1.1 billion in reserves is too much considering all the other areas that need more funding. They cite public education and health care for seniors as examples. Work on the budget will continue throughout the week in the conference committee before it moves back to both houses for final approval.

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