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Bills in high denominations

Source: PHOTO: Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock

STATEHOUSE — Indiana Statehouse Republicans have unveiled their state budget for the next two years. A spending plan of more than $44 billion includes $2 billion for school funding, $1 billion for the school voucher program, the elimination of textbook fees, and increases eligibility for free and reduced lunches.

Republicans also put a focus on mental health, pledging $50 million per year for community mental health, as well as offering budget cuts to income taxes.

The rest of the budget includes the following:

  • Appropriates $75M in FY 24 and $150M in FY 25 to support a public/private partnership approach to local public health services
  • Creates a $500M deal closing fund for the IEDC to pursue transformative economic development projects Establishes a $150M revolving fund for site acquisition to complement the IEDC’s deal closing fund
  • Appropriates $1.25B in FY 23 to finish the remaining

    capital projects originally funded in the 2021 budget

Both chambers still have to hold final up-or-down votes on the budget. Those votes likely will happen Thursday. Historically, the legislative session has ended once lawmakers approve the budget.

Gov. Holcomb will still need to sign or veto the budget bill, as with any other legislation. Unlike governors in 44 states, Indiana’s governors lack line-item veto, which would allow them to veto individual parts of the budget while still giving the underlying bill their final approval.