Brown: House GOP budget proposal funds vital services, protects reserves

Posted by: Courtney Heiden  | Wednesday, February 15, 2017 1:00 pm

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 15, 2017) — State Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) released the House Republican state budget proposal today to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

“Our honestly balanced budget works to meet the needs of Hoosiers while remaining fiscally responsible,” said Brown, chair of the Ways and Means committee. “We fund key priorities like education and public safety while retaining healthy reserves and supporting our top-rated business climate. This budget also works alongside our long-term road funding plan, which holds firm to our proven commitment to conservative principles and won’t burden future generations with debt. 

“The House Republicans’ conservative budget proposal ensures Indiana will continue to live within its means, maintain healthy reserves and preserve our AAA credit rating,” House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) said. “I’m thankful for the work of Chairman Tim Brown and the Ways and Means committee, and their commitment to keeping our fiscal house in order – especially as we work to fund our roads and bridges for the next generation.”

According to Brown, the $31 billion budget provides the fiscal blueprint for state operations in 2018 and 2019. General fund appropriations include K-12 education, higher education, Medicaid, health and human services, general government, corrections, public safety and capital projects.

Brown said the proposal increases the base per-student funding by 4.7 percent over the biennium in addition to providing an overall increase for local school tuition support funding. The budget also provides modest funding increases for higher education and doubles state funding for Indiana’s high-quality pre-K pilot program, which helps low-income, at-risk students.

“Unlike other states, Indiana is inheriting opportunities, not deficits,” Brown said. “While being fiscally prudent, the largest funding increase in this budget is dedicated to supporting education and helping all students.” 

The House Republican budget provides for an increase in Indiana State Police salaries and significantly increases the state income tax exemption for military pensions and survivor’s benefits. Brown said the proposal also includes funding to address the state’s opioid epidemic and incorporates the creation of an Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement at the recommendation of Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Brown said when crafting the balanced budget proposal, emphasis was placed on investing in innovation and workforce development, including efforts to advance bioscience research in Indiana and programs that deliver high-value training to Hoosier workers like the WorkINdiana program. 

Members of the House Committee on Ways and Means are expected to vote on House Bill 1001 on Thursday. If approved, the budget bill will be considered by all members of the House of Representatives. 

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Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) represents House District 41,
which includes portions of Boone, Montgomery and Tippecanoe counties. 

A high-resolution photo of Brown can be downloaded by clicking here.