Budget-writing Indiana lawmakers hear from agencies

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State agency heads are giving lawmakers some insights into the challenges they face as Indiana prepares to write its next biennial budget.

The picture they painted over the course of two meeting with the State Budget Committee this week was largely tranquil but not without some new requests. The head of Indiana's Department of Corrections pointed out that prison population was decreasing while also noting that contracts will require the department to increase spending in certain areas.

The preliminary review comes as lawmakers prepare to write the budget during next year's session. Lawmakers head into the session with roughly $2 billion in cash reserves and a surplus of about $500 million. They expect to see how tax collections are going when they receive a revenue forecast next month.

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