(STATEHOUSE) - Indiana's House and Senate are in recess for the rest of the week, before turning their attention to each other's bills starting on Monday.
Legislators have kept most of Governor Pence's agenda moving through the first half, including an adoption tax credit, an increased income tax deduction for dependents and an incentive fund for teachers. House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says he expects all those bills to pass, though he says there are negotiations ahead on competing House and Senate bills to cut the business personal property tax.
House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) says there's bipartisan support to expand state aid for preschool, though Bosma acknowledges there's still pushback from some Republicans.
But Pelath says both business property tax bills are watered down from Pence's original call to phase out the tax entirely, though Pence has said he'd support either version. And Pelath contends the bills won't create the jobs Republicans predict, while Democratic tax cut proposals and a call to increase the minimum wage were ignored.
Pelath had authored a bill to exempt Hoosier students who earn science or technology degrees from the income tax for five years if they remain in Indiana for that time.
The House and Senate have until March 4 to pass each other's bills. They'll then have 10 days to reconcile differences.
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