House Republicans Reject Democrats' State Surplus Money Proposals

Jan 9, 2020

The Indiana Statehouse
Credit Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Indiana House Republicans rejected all of Democrats’ attempts Thursday to change how the state will use its extra state surplus money.

The state collected nearly $300 million more last year than expected. Republicans plan to use it to pay cash for higher education building projects that were approved in the last budget.

Democrats’ proposals included dollars to expand pre-K education, boost teacher pay, lower prescription drug costs and fund more school safety programs. But House GOP fiscal leader Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) says the state already decided how to prioritize its dollars in the 2019 budget.

“And this is reorganizing all these different priorities into all these programs and different amounts of money,” Brown says.

But Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) says new money should mean new plans.

“Is there a family in this state that if they found that they suddenly had additional money would try to avoid figuring out what to do with it?" DeLaney says. "And that’s what we’re doing. We’re very busy avoiding the problem of success.”

The House is expected to approve the bill and send it to the Senate as early as Monday.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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