Republicans declared “mission accomplished” on the new budget as they brought a close to the 2015 legislative session.
The $31 billion two-year budget creates a record-increase in K-12 education spending, allocates more money for domestic violence prevention and treatment, the Department of Child Services, and public retirees.
Senate fiscal leader Luke Kenley says the budget reserves are a little less than the 12 percent level they’d been aiming for. And Kenley says he consulted with the governor about that, with the Noblesville Senator expressing concern about the state’s triple-A bond rating.
“And he and his advisors called New York, the Standard and Poor’s people, to see if they approved of that approach to our balance sheet," says Kenley. "And apparently they do.”
But Indianapolis Democratic Representative Greg Porter says the budget is really about missed opportunities for bipartisanship.
“We wanted to eliminate the cost of textbooks for schoolchildren," says Porter. "We wanted to make college affordable and guarantee that tuition would not increase over the four year period.”
The House and Senate approved the budget bill with just minutes to spare before their midnight deadline.