By HILLARY CHERRY
Press Secretary, Sen. Ryan Mishler
Sen. Ryan Mishler has announced the passage of a new state budget that provides significant funding increases for K-12 education.
The Indiana budget passed by the Indiana General Assembly is honestly balanced, focused on funding Indiana’s most important needs and creating a strong foundation for our economic future. The two-year budget plan provides increased funding to K-12 and higher education, roads and infrastructure and public safety.
“This is a budget that will benefit all Hoosiers and focuses on education funding,” Mishler said. “It is balanced and allocates money to the areas of greatest need such as our classrooms, both K-12 and higher education, while maintaining reserves that protect Indiana taxpayers.”
Highlights of the budget include:
- Increases K-12 funding by $474 million (2.3 percent increase in FY 2016 and a 2.3 percent increase in FY 2017)
- Increases total university funds by $197 million over the biennium, including one-time funding of $25 million for repair and maintenance at all regional campuses
- Balanced Budget
- Ongoing revenues exceed ongoing expenditures
- Ends biennium with $1.85 billion in reserves
- Public Safety and Corrections
- Provides community corrections funding of $116 million over the biennium
- Increases funding for offender mental health and addiction treatment by $30 million over the biennium
- Funds the Larue Carter Mental Health Hospital building plan
- Economic Development
- $200 million for Major Moves 2020 highway projects
- Establishes a statewide “Launch Indiana” program for aspiring Hoosier entrepreneurs
- Provides up to $84 million over the biennium for the governor’s Regional Cities Initiative, funded with proceeds from a tax amnesty program
Mishler also authored Senate Enrolled Act 566 to reward Indiana’s best teachers. This bill would shift additional education dollars toward the classroom instead of overhead by increasing pay for effective teachers.
The Senate is now adjourned “sine die” which signifies the end of the 2015 Indiana General Assembly.