Indiana panel advances $30B budget on partisan vote

WTHR file photo of Indiana Statehouse chambers

House Republicans are advancing a $30 billion budget that trades Governor Mike Pence's priority tax cut for more spending on roads and schools.

The House Ways and Means Committee voted 16-7 Tuesday along party lines to advance the budget.

Pence has dug in on his proposal to cut the state's personal income tax and continues to say this week that he is "disappointed" in the House GOP changes.

The proposal now moves to the House where Democrats hope to force a vote on Pence's tax cut.

The House plan spends roughly $200 million more on education than what Pence had sought. It also funnels $500 million to the state's transportation fund by no longer diverting the gas tax to the State Police, Bureau of Motor Vehicles and elsewhere.

The GOP plan tops Gov. Mike Pence's budget by more than $1 billion.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma says most of the new money would go toward restoring education cuts made during the recession and paying for road construction and repairs. The budget also speeds the phase-out of the state inheritance tax.

Pence said Monday he is not budging on the issue and said it is still "early" in negotiations with lawmakers.

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