Governor Mike Pence says he wants the 2015 meeting of the General Assembly to be an “education session,” and the budget Pence proposed Thursday shares that focus.
The proposal contains a $200 million increase in K-12 school funding over the next two years. That includes about $41 million more specifically set aside for charter schools.
Office of Management and Budget Director Chris Atkins says that money would be used to increase per-pupil funding by $1,500 and would reduce inequity between funding of charters and traditional public schools.
Governor Mike Pence says he wants the State Budget Committee to release the second half of the Major Moves 2020 fund. That would amount to $200 million dollars for road projects.
Listen to Brandon Smith's story on Gov. Pence's request to release the rest of the money from the Major Moves 2020 fund.
Two years ago, lawmakers put aside $400 million into what they called the Major Moves 2020 fund. It was meant for long-term, future projects. Pence last year secured the release of half of the fund to add lanes to major interstates. The governor Tuesday announced he will ask the State Budget Committee to approve the transfer of the remaining 200 million. He says it will be used for capacity building.
A recent book detailing Mitch Daniels’ near-presidential campaign makes it clear that Cheri Daniels and their kids were the biggest factor in the former governor opting against a run for the White House. As speculation swirls about a potential Mike Pence presidential run, Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith talked to Indiana First Lady Karen Pence about what she thinks about the issue.
Hoosier First Lady Karen Pence says the struggles of being a family in politics are something she thinks about.
Voices calling for Indiana to create an independent redistricting commission are getting louder this session.
Last session, Speaker Brian Bosma coauthored legislation creating a redistricting commission, with members appointed by legislative leaders of both parties. While that bill passed the House, it never received a hearing in the Senate.
Bosma says he will offer the bill again, but notes both chambers need to buy-in this time.
State leaders say they’re cautiously optimistic about Indiana’s fiscal future after a new revenue forecast unveiled Thursday predicts two to three percent growth in the next budget cycle.
That growth would mean more than $800 million in new money over the next two years.
But Senate Appropriations Chair Luke Kenley says even that kind of increase shouldn’t start a spending frenzy. He notes that even before the forecast he’s been receiving budget requests that total almost double that amount.