Senate budget leader: Schools, roads need boost


The Indiana Senate's top budget-writer says the Legislature has been aggressive in cutting taxes over recent years but that doesn't rule out Republican Gov. Mike Pence's proposed 10 percent cut in the personal income tax rate.

The Senate Appropriations Committee held its first formal discussion of the state budget proposal on Thursday. The House-approved spending plan calls for $700 million more in school and road spending than Pence proposed and left out the governor's tax cut.

Committee Chairman Luke Kenley says the new budget should increase funding for schools and road projects and that a right balance needs to be found with any tax cuts.

The GOP-controlled Legislature has previously cut the state's corporate income tax and a phase out of the state inheritance tax.

The Senate committee is expected to spend the next several weeks holding budget hearings before advancing a proposal by mid-April.

Pence argues the state can afford cutting the income tax rate from 3.4 percent to 3.06 percent and that it would spur economic growth.

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