(STATEHOUSE) - The senate has passed its version of a new state budget, leaving eight days to negotiate a final spending plan with the house.
The senate budget holds most state spending flat, with schools receiving a .5% increase in the first year and 1% in the second.
The proposal estimates a state surplus of a billion dollars; 7% of total spending.
Governor Daniels has said the state needs 10% to feel fully secure. Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley's budget formalizes a threshold of 12%; the budget calls for any surplus beyond that to be used to pay down an unfunded liability in the teachers' retirement fund.
Evansville Republican Vaneta Becker joined Democrats in voting no; they say a school funding formula directly linking budgets to enrollment, along with other education bills, could yank the rug out from under several districts.
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