The Senate Republicans released their budget proposal this week in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Chairman Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) introduced the amendment to HB 1001. The Senate Republican budget is a $31.5 billion two-year budget with ongoing revenues to exceed ongoing expenditures. The proposal ends the biennium with $1.88 billion in reserves. K-12 education funding is increased by $466 million over the biennium (2.3% in FY 2016 and 2.3% increase in FY 2017). However, disparities in certain school districts still remain a point of contention. To view the school funding formula, please click here.
For economic development, the budget includes $10 million each year to fund the Governor’s Regional Cities Initiative; this is significantly less than the original amount requested by the administration. The budget also includes $200 million per year for Major Moves 2020 highway projects. To view the entire Senate budget proposal, pleaseclick here.
Governor Pence responded to the Senate budget: “While I appreciate the Senate’s focus on school funding, I prefer the House budget’s approach to the public school funding formula where the dollars more closely follow the students in growing suburban areas. I also prefer my budget’s approach where more funding is provided to public charter schools serving students in our urban areas. My budget also includes full funding for our regional cities program, and I am hopeful we can work with the House and Senate to achieve the full potential of this innovative approach to economic development.”
HB 1019, a repeal of the common construction wage, passed the Senate Tax & Fiscal Policy Committee this week to proceed to the Senate floor. Amendments were made in committee to include an increase in the “small project” cap for a public works project from $150,000 to $300,000. Also, unless required by federal or state law, the bill prohibits a public agency from establishing, mandating, or otherwise requiring a wage scale or wage schedule for a public works project. The bill is on second reading in the Senate next week.
The committee report deadline in both the House and Senate occurred this week. Any bills that did not pass out of committee the second half of session are still eligible as a potential amendment in another bill. The second reading deadline in the House and Senate is Tuesday, April 14 and the third reading deadline in the House and Senate is Wednesday, April 15. Conference committees will most likely begin scheduling late next week.