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Daniels Issues New Budget Proposal

Last updated on Tuesday, June 2, 2009

(STATEHOUSE) - Early reviews are good for Governor Daniels’ budget proposal.

The governor called for a two-percent increase in school spending, with every school getting more money per-pupil.

He's loosening the purse strings on state reserve funds and federal stimulus money.

All of those have been top democratic priorities.

House Speaker Patrick Bauer cautions "the devil is in the details" of the school funding formula, he says he'll need to review it in detail to make sure every school does have more money to work with.

But he says the broad outline gives hope of reaching agreement by the June 30 deadline.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley calls the outline "a promising start."

He says it looks a lot like the version he crafted in the senate, but with less money, reflecting a one-point-one-billion-dollar drop in the official forecast of what the state can expect to collect in taxes over the next two years.

House Minority Leader Brian Bosma issued a statement endorsing the plan for protecting both education and the state's reserves.

House republicans voted en masse against a last-ditch compromise at the end of the regular session in April, joining 24 democrats in defeating the bill.

With senate republicans declaring gambling legislation off limits in the special session, house GOP support could be critical to passing a spending plan.

Daniels' speech included few specific numbers.

He'll lay out full details Tuesday for an eight-member legislative subcommittee assigned to start work on a budget before Daniels reconvenes the full general assembly.

The governor made no mention of Indy's Capital Improvement Board. Bauer says administration officials have told him to expect a CIB proposal at the subcommittee's second meeting, on Thursday.

Bosma says Daniels' full budget will include nearly one-and-a-half-billion dollars for local road and street projects and university construction projects.

That's been another key democratic priority as a means of stimulating the economy.

Bauer says he's glad to see that money included, but says he wants to review the full plan to be sure it represents new state spending, not a repackaging of federal stimulus money.

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