Listen Live
Indiana Statehouse

Source: Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

STATEHOUSE — The Indiana Senate was busy on Tuesday passing two highly talked about bills.

First, the Senate passed its version of a two-year state budget. The Senate’s version of the budget bill passed Tuesday. Some provisions that were rejected before the bill advanced include the proposal to raise the cigarette tax to fund mental health measures.

Now, House and Senate lawmakers will negotiate the final budget.

Then a bill to provide state-funded firearm training to teachers advanced out of the State Senate as well.

The bill passed on a party-line vote and now heads to the full Senate for consideration with less than two weeks left in the legislative session. Democrats as a whole in the Senate opposed the bill.

“This bill is an acknowledgment that every day we are sending our teachers and our kids into a war zone, into a life or death situation,” said State. Sen Andrea Hunley (D-Indianapolis). “And all we can offer is 40 hours of training and maybe some thoughts and prayers.”

“These kids’ lives are precious,” retorted State Sen. Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville). “But, we ought to quit worrying about the gun and focus on the human component. That’s what we’re dealing with. We have a meanness in our society, an evilness in our society.”

Teachers in Indiana are allowed to have guns in their classrooms as long as they have permission from their school boards.

This bill would then provide voluntary firearm training to these teachers with the state footing the bill for it. It passed the full Senate on Tuesday and returns to the House again since changes were made in the Senate.