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(INDIANAPOLIS) – House Republicans have sent their version of a new state budget to the Senate.

The House passed the two-year spending plan on a party-line vote. Ways and Means co-chairman Todd Huston (R-Fishers) says the bill is fiscally responsible, maintaining a nearly two-billion-dollar surplus while pumping money into education. If you exclude Medicaid and a big funding boost for the Department of Child Services, Huston says two-thirds of the state’s expected income growth will be funneled to schools.

Indianapolis Representative Greg Porter, House Democrats top budget negotiator, says the bill has good points but neglects Indiana’s “human infrastructure.” He says the state could have maintained a healthy surplus while spending more money on schools, preschool, home health care, and food deserts.

The Senate Appropriations Committee opens hearings on the budget next Monday. The House and Senate have until the end of April to agree on a final version.

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