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Lawmakers Uncertain Of Federal Impact On State Budget

Senate Appropriations Chair Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) looks on as House Ways and Means Chair Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) speaks to reporters at the Statehouse.

Top fiscal lawmakers say the potential impact of President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed reforms could upend the new state budget they’ll write early next year.

Budget-writing lawmakers received a new economic forecast earlier this month; that helps provide guidance as they determine how much money they can spend in the next two-year state budget.

But House Ways and Means Chair Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) acknowledges that potential federal changes – something like altering the tax code or significant health care reform – could dramatically change the picture.

And so, he says, House Republicans will put together a task force to monitor and evaluate federal legislation.

“And I think we’d have time to analyze it and get back for a short session,” Brown says.

Senate Appropriations Chair Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) says he’s especially watching for changes to the tax code, which he notes federal legislators seem eager to embrace.

“So maybe that makes this economic forecast a little more viable, even though it’s a little rosier than I thought it was going to be,” Kenley says.

A national analyst who provided an economic forecast to state lawmakers admitted he didn’t include potential federal reforms in his outlook, because they were too uncertain.

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