Pence reveals budget designed to boost education, transportation

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INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence has released the details of his budget plan—a proposal that focuses on education and transportation.

Office of Management and Budget Director Chris Atkins presented the plan Tuesday to the Budget Committee.

“This is a jobs budget,” said Pence. “It holds the line on spending, funds our priorities, and allows Hoosiers and most small businesses to keep more of their hard-earned income.”

The administration said the plan is a balanced budget designed to expand the state economy. Pence wants to invest in transportation and education while lowering taxes and maintaining the state’s financial reserves to protect against another economic downtown.

In terms of education, the budget would double growth in K-12 spending, provide permanent funding for full-day kindergarten and provide $6 million to give raises to high-performing teachers.

Pence plans to increase funding for public colleges and universities and pour $18 million into adult workforce improvement funds. The budget invests an additional $6 million to create Indiana Works Councils designed to expand technical and vocational education around the Hoosier State.

The governor will invest $3 million over the next two years to develop a partnership with Indiana’s life science industry and universities. The budget also identifies $300 million in excess reserves that can be reinvested into Indiana’s roads and infrastructure.

Another centerpiece is a plan to reduce the personal income tax by 10 percent, putting an estimated $500 million back into the Hoosier economy and reduce the tax burden on small businesses and farms.

Pence will continue to expand the Department of Child Services, spending $35 million to hire more caseworkers and expand the emergency hotline. The budget also funds the forecasted Medicaid expansion and provides for an assessment of school security. The Medicaid forecast is the projected increase in enrollment in Medicaid in the next two years.

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