Tue January 15, 2013
Pence Budget Proposal Presented To Lawmakers
Gov. Mike Pence is asking lawmakers to spend most of Indiana's cash surplus on a 10 percent cut in the personal income tax.
Pence Budget Director Chris Atkins submitted a two-year spending plan Tuesday with a modest increase for the embattled Department of Child Services and 1 percent more spending for education.
But the new Republican governor limits spending growth in his roughly $29 billion budget to cover the $790 million cost of the tax cut.
Pence also wants $64 million in performance grants for schools and a transportation fund paid for by diverting potential pension fund payments.
Atkins briefed members of the State Budget Committee on the governor's proposal. Republican and Democratic budget leaders on the panel had few questions for the new budget chief.
Republican Sen. Luke Kenley called the proposal a good starting point for debate.
"I think the articulated principles that we’re working with give us a good guideline for discussion about where we want to go," he said.
Atkins says the governor’s proposal holds the line on spending while funding the state’s priorities and allowing taxpayers to keep more of their income.