Democrats propose budget alternatives as spending bill advances to House floor
Indiana House Democrats proposed their own ideas for the new state budget Monday as lawmakers advanced the $43 billion spending bill to the full House.
Many of the House Democrats’ proposals were not fundamentally different from the House Republican budget, HB 1001 – they simply went further.
READ MORE: House GOP unveils budget proposal, including big eduction increases and accelerated tax cuts
That includes spending on public health. The House GOP funds an increase in public health spending far short of what the governor and his public health commission want. Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D-Indiana) said the state needs to fully fund public health.
“In too many areas in the state of Indiana, we fall short on being healthy as a state,” Pryor said.
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Where Democrats diverge most from Republicans in the budget is on education. The House GOP plan dramatically expands private school vouchers. Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) pointed out that includes allowing families of four earning up to about $220,000 a year to access vouchers.
“So, the argument that we heard when we adopted vouchers, that we were helping the poor kids have choices – that’s gone, is it not?” DeLaney said.
The budget advanced to the full House on a party line vote.
Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.