Pence ‘disappointed’ in House budget; Dem Pelath to push for vote
By Matt Mikus firstname.lastname@example.org February 15, 2013 4:03PM
Updated: February 15, 2013 6:10PM
INDIANAPOLIS — The House’s state budget plan released Friday would put more funding into education and transportation spending, skipping over Gov. Mike Pence’s proposal for a $500 million tax cut.
Pence said he was “disappointed” with the House budget, and House Minority Leader Scott Pelath said he would push for a vote on the governor’s tax plan.
In the House’s plan, K-12 funding would increase $344 million, or by 3.3 percent, over the next two years, and the budget would place $250 million into transportation spending, bypassing Pence’s proposal for a $500 million tax cut.
The budget also proposes funding for full-day kindergarten, and $7 million to fund a pre-kindergarten pilot program.
Higher education funding for the state would also increase more than $42.2 million over two years, and would allow for new university capital projects.
The House budget also proposes $250,000 for a feasibility study for a new trauma center and teaching hospital in Northwest Indiana.
House Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, said the House hasn’t ruled out Pence’s tax cut, but said approving the cut would mean reduced funding for the priorities of increased education spending and transportation.
Pence says he’s “disappointed” with the move and would “protect taxpayers” from the House GOP plan in ongoing budget negotiations.
Pelath said Friday the House should vote on Pence’s $500 million proposed cut to Indiana’s personal income tax. He vigorously denied his stance was a political move to back House Republicans into a corner.
The Associated Press
contributed to this report