Indiana lawmakers have signed off on a new two-year state budget, bringing this year’s legislative session to a close.
One big focus in this year’s budget deal was improving the state’s lagging teacher pay. This deal includes a 2.5% increase in base school funding over each of the next two years.
Republicans called the deal “historic” and say it helps the state hang on to its $2 billion in cash reserves. Democrats argued it did not go far enough to earmark a certain amount of that increased funding specifically for teacher pay.
“We balanced our budget for the eighth straight time and protected our AAA credit rating,” said Governor Eric Holcomb. “We’re making historic investments in K-12 education, expanding our school safety efforts, and implementing all the recommendations to improve our child services. We are strengthening our already transformational road and rail programs, doubling down on our Next Level Jobs programs, and connecting more Hoosiers to affordable broadband service. We passed a bias crimes law and modernized our tax code. We’ll help more babies reach their first birthdays. Indiana is on a roll.”
Lt. Governor Crouch releases a statement following the conclusion of the Indiana General Assembly session:
“The conclusion of the 121st General Assembly legislative session brought about many positive changes for families and businesses in Indiana. Funding was secured for the Next Level Veterans Initiative, which brings skilled military individuals to Indiana to fill jobs in our ever-growing economy.
Connecting Hoosiers across rural Indiana by increasing funding for broadband was one of the top priorities this session. Though we still have strides to make, bridging the digital divide is becoming a reality.
Through the passage of House Enrolled Act 1394, we look forward to celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage throughout the entire state.
With the passage of HEA 1488, the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Task Force, which concluded at the end of 2018, is now able to meet through 2025 to further assess and help the nearly 100,000 individuals who are in need. The Task Force was able to recommend increased funding for First Steps in the budget bill. These two items help us continue the important work of addressing the needs and services for individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability.
Finally, HEA 1115 transformed the Indiana tourism department into a quasi-state agency, which allows the tourism industry to continue to grow and thrive with additional resources.
I’m humbled to serve as the 52nd Lt. Governor and President of the Senate, alongside Governor Holcomb and the hardworking legislators of the General Assembly.
Though session has concluded, I look forward to building upon the bills that lawmakers enacted and further connecting with Hoosiers across our state while creating a positive quality of place for all those who call Indiana home.”