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Senate Democrats Agree With Major Parts Of GOP Budget

Ranking minority leaders say they agree with most of the Republican budget but would still like some changes to be made.

Senate

Photo: Dan Goldblatt/WFIU News

The Senate is considering the state's budget bill after it passed the House.

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee says the minority party agrees on significant portions of the budget bill presented by House Republicans.

Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) says the budget produced by House Republicans recognizes the state is coming out of a recession. It implements significant spending increases to help offset cuts made in recent years.

She also acknowledges that Republicans made sure to leave enough money in reserve while paying down debt. Still, Tallian says there are tweaks that should be made.

“We think there should be a little more money in K-12 education. Get us back to the level that we were when the former governor started making cuts in 2010,” she says.

Tallian also says if Governor Pence’s proposed 10-percent income tax cut is put in the budget, the automatic taxpayer refund has to go.

Senate Appropriations Chair Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) says Pence’s proposal, and Tallian’s suggestion, are part of a larger discussion the General Assembly must have.

“To always look at your tax system to see if you can do better, have a more moderate tax program which will draw people to Indiana, give more money to people in the private economy to spend money, I think we’re all in agreement on that,” he says. “The question is how and what and when.”

Much of the final decisions on the budget, including the fate of Pence’s tax cut, will not be made until late April after a new state revenue forecast is released.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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