With only three days left in session, lawmakers are crafting a final version of the budget, and doing so with less money than they’d planned.
Senate Leader David Long (R-Fort Wayne) and House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) both say money for K-12 education is safe – the $466 million increase in both House and Senate budgets will remain intact.
And Long says they’re standing firm on maintaining a strong budget reserve.
“I think it’s important to do that given our recent memories of how tough it was when the recession hit,” Long says.
Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) says while cuts aren’t out of the question, there are some areas – such as money for child services or funding to alleviate the HIV epidemic in southern Indiana – that can’t be touched.
“And so if that means, yeah, instead of being a $1.8 billion surplus, it ends up being a 1.6 or a 1.5 even, I’d say let’s take care of business,” Lanane says.
Both House and Senate proposed budgets aimed to end the next two-year budget cycle with about $1.8 billion in reserve.