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More money for DCS, school safety, and teacher pay raises included in Holcomb’s 2-year budget proposal

Indiana Statehouse (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Governor Eric Holcomb’s office has unveiled the state budget proposal, which will fund state agencies for the next two years. Thursday morning at the statehouse, Micah Vincent, Indiana’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, presented the multi-billion dollar budget proposal to state lawmakers.

Among the notable items included in the biennium budget proporal are more money for DCS, added funds for school safety, and money to increase teacher pay.

According to officials, the governor proposes giving DCS about $965.3 million each year for the next two years. The struggling agency was at the center of a report which recommended added funding in order to fix some of the problems it is facing.

The state also proposed to fully fund its Medicaid programs for the next two years, along with an additional $20 million going to augment teacher salaries.

They’re proposing an additional $14 million set aside for school safety improvements, which is separate from the standard K-12 funding.

Officials say in order to craft which agencies got which funds, the baseline for each agency was established by taking the amount an agency spent in fiscal year 2018, and then adding on to it. Officials say no agency will receive less money than it spent in 2018.

Discussions have been had regarding additional state funding for the Capital Improvement Board, or CIB, which manages and finances Indianapolis buildings that have a public benefit, like Lucas Oil Stadium and Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Officials say those talks are ongoing, and no funding was including in the budget proposal presented Thursday.

The state also is proposing to no longer subsidize Amtrak’s Hoosier State Line, which it says the Department of Transportation has been informed of.

Indianapolis Democratic Party Chairman John Zody issued this statement:

“Even after ‘finding’ additional resources, Governor Holcomb’s budget doesn’t earmark even one dime specifically for teacher pay raises. ‘I owe u’s’ and empty promises won’t cut it for hardworking teachers. Budgets are about priorities, that Holcomb failed to include a teacher pay raise or significantly expand preschool sure looks like a governor without a serious plan.”

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