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Week In Review: Budget, Pre-K and Abortion Bills


Photo: Intiaz Rahim (flickr)

The Indiana statehouse at night.

The Indiana House this week approved legislation creating a preschool pilot program and expanding the state’s school voucher program but received the most attention for a measure it would not consider.

House Democrats called for an up-or-down vote on Governor Mike Pence’s proposed ten percent income tax cut when the budget bill reached the House floor. But Republicans blocked the vote, citing parliamentary procedure. House Minority Leader Scott Pelath called a vote in an effort to overturn Speaker Brian Bosma’s decision not to hear the tax cut proposal itself. But Republicans said it is simply a matter of following House rules.

Elsewhere, legislation creating a preschool pilot program is headed to the Senate. The House-approved measure would give up to $6,800 to low-income families to send their children to state-approved preschools. The pilot program would only be available in five counties and total spending capped at $7 million.

House lawmakers also passed a bill expanding the state’s school voucher program by removing the requirement that voucher recipients spend at least one year in public school. It also raises the amount of the voucher $1,000 in the next two years.

And a Senate committee approved a bill requiring women who receive abortion-inducing drugs at Indiana abortion clinics to have ultrasounds both before and after they take the drug. Proponents of the bill say it is to ensure the women’s safety. Opponents say the procedures are medically unnecessary.

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