Politics & Government
11:48 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Ways and Means approves GOP budget

The House Ways and Means committee approved the House GOP budget proposal Monday and is expected to move the budget bill to the full House Tuesday.  But Democrats say there’s still more work to do.

Democrats on the Ways and Means committee praised Chairman Tim Brown and his fiscal team for their work on the state’s budget, applauding certain portions of the bill such as its commitment to increased infrastructure funding.  And while Brown touted a $344 million K-12 school funding increase, ranking Democrat Greg Porter says he’s concerned that figure doesn’t tell the whole story.

“It’s foggy. Representative Klinker thinks it says one thing, I think it says another and therefore the windows are tinted,” Porter said. “We talk about transparency?  These are dark-tinted windows when it comes to the school K through 12 formula.”

Porter specifically cited concerns that money cut from K-12 schools in 2010 was not fully restored to all school districts.  Brown says the way the funding formula works – with dollars following the child to a school – means no single school corporation is guaranteed an increase.

“Each corporation is going to have either excitement or disappointment,” Brown said. “Each individual corporation may be impacted different than the general two percent, one percent.”

The Ways and Means committee will consider majority and minority party amendments to the budget bill Tuesday before passing it through to the House.