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With Roads Deal Done, Negotiators Focus on New Budget

Differenes remain on school funding, university construction projects

With a deal reached on road funding, legislators are stepping up discussion on a new state budget, with a goal of reaching an agreement Thursday night.

Senate Republicans' budget gives schools more money than the House version, and Speaker Brian Bosma says there are also differences on the formula which determines how much each individual school district receives. Negotiators are also seeking agreement on which building projects to approve at Indiana colleges, and on language unrelated to monetary amounts.

Bosma says negotiators were still talking when he left budget discussions around 11 p-m Wednesday.

The road funding deal includes a gradual shift of gasoline sales taxes to roads. That'll drain an estimated 105-million dollars from the next budget, but Bosma says it doesn't affect the negotiations on this one. Of the seven cents' tax you pay on every dollar of gas, two-and-a-half cents goes to roads already, but existing law already ratchets that up to four cents over the next two years.

The road funding package will earmark an additional three-quarters-of-a-penny for roads in each of the four years after that.

Budget negotiators Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville, left) and Rep. Timothy N. Brown (D-Crawfordsville). (WIBC.com photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

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