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Indiana Legislative Update – A Budget is Born

GOP Leaders released the much-anticipated $44 billion State of Indiana budget earlier today. You can find an overview here and the complete bill here. There are still some big issues being negotiated and debated, such as health care reforms (HB1004), property taxes (HB1499), and workforce/education (HB1002). Now that they have released the budget, they will wait at least 24 hours to begin debate on the House and Senate floor and have final votes. In the meantime, they will finalize the ~45 other bills that are still not fully decided. 

Budget highlights include:

  • Taxes: saves taxpayers more than $430M this biennium
    • Accelerates the 2022 individual income tax rate cuts to 2.9% by 2027 instead of 2029
    • $70M in additional tax cuts including deductions for new parents, updating the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and exemptions for active-duty military members
  • Economic Development
    • Funds the Residential Housing Infrastructure Assistance Program (HB1005); expected to generate $3.2B in low interest loans over 25 years
    • $500M over the biennium for READI 2.0
    • Creates $500M deal closing fund for the IEDC to pursue transformative economic development projects
    • $150M revolving loan fund for site acquisition to support IEDC’s deal closing fund
    • Invests in “strategic economic initiatives around the state,” specifically supporting regional plans in NE and North Central Indiana. 
    • $26M for airport improvement projects
  • Education
    • PreK:
      • Increases funding for On My Way Pre-K and expands eligibility to 150% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
      • Creates the Employer Child Care Expenditure tax credit
    • K-12
      • $2B in new dollars for K-12 education over the biennium compared to FY23 levels
      • $1.2B (8%) increase over the biennium for K-12 tuition support
      • Increases the eligibility for Choice Scholarships to 400% of Free & Reduced Lunch & eliminates barriers for students to meet eligibility for Choice Scholarships
      • Eliminates fees for textbooks and curricular materials
    • Higher Education
      • Increases university operating appropriations by 4% in FY24 and an additional 2% in FY25
      • Cash funds the top capital project priority for each state university, including $83M for USI’s academic building renovation
      • Doubles appropriations for certain teaching scholarships
    • Adult Education: Funds Governor’s proposed Adult Education budget ($16.3M), including the opportunity to create an Excel Center in Evansville
  • Healthy Workforce
    • Local Public Health: $75M in FY24 and $150M in FY25 to support public/private partnership approach 
    • Mental Health: $50M/year for Community Mental Health (SB1), $10M for regional mental health facility grants, and $1M/year for child behavioral health services
    • Veterans: $1M/year for suicide prevention and $2M/year for career & relocation assistance

We expect the legislature to adjourn “sine die” (without a day) late Thursday evening. We’ll be in your inboxes on Friday with a report wrapping up all the activities of these last days of session.