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Senate passes state budget

 

State Senator Sue Glick (R-LaGrange) lauded the passage of a new state budget that provides hundreds of millions of dollars in tax relief to Hoosier families. The two-year fiscal plan includes a 5 percent individual income tax cut phased in from 2015 to 2017 and provides increased funding for roads, and child protection, as well as K-12 and higher education. House Bill 1001 now awaits the governor’s signature.

“This budget works for Indiana,” Glick said. “Its provisions for education, infrastructure and workforce development make our state a place that welcomes both businesses and families. Because of that, Indiana will continue to stand out among other states.”

Highlights of the honestly balanced budget include:

Tax relief and job creation

Cuts individual income tax rate 5 percent (3 percent cut beginning in 2015 and another 2 percent cut beginning in 2017).

Eliminates state inheritance tax, retroactively effective to Jan. 1, 2013.

Includes funding for vocational education and workforce development initiatives.

Education

Increases K-12 funding by $333 million over the biennium (2 percent increase in FY 2014 and 1 percent increase in FY 2015).

Increases university funding by more than $100 million per year.

Increases student aid by $75 million over the biennium.

Roads

Increases road and infrastructure funding by $200 million per year and sets aside another $400 million over the biennium for future transportation needs.

Child protection

Increases funding for Department of Child Services by $35 million per year.

Provides $10 million per year for school resource officers (contained in SB 1).

Health care

Transfers $250 million in FY 2014 to the Medicaid Contingency and Reserve Account.

Paying taxpayer-funded debt

One hundred percent of excess surplus in FY 2013 goes to Pension Stabilization Fund.

Pays back $91 million charter school loan to the Common School Fund.

Provides $215 million cash funding for university capital projects.

In addition to the budget, Glick pointed out a few noteworthy bills that she authored during the 2013 legislative session:

·        Senate Bill 24 – Creates the County Extradition and Sheriff’s Assistance Fund to provide money for extraditing criminal defendants, training and equipping law enforcement officers and offsetting other costs incurred in providing law enforcement services.

·        Senate Bill 115 - Requires state colleges and universities with at least 200 veteran students to establish a “combat to college” program, creating administrative and educational assistance for veteran students.

·           Senate Bill 367 - Expands the ability to hold and maintain conservation easements to all nonprofit organizations.

The Senate is now adjourned “sine die”— which signifies the end of the 2013 Indiana General Assembly.