Here's What You Need to Understand About Gov. Holcomb's Budget Proposal
(Photo: Eric Berman)
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has submitted his budget proposal to the Indiana General Assembly, and while boosting teacher pay was touted as the primary focus of the current session, WIBC political correspondent Eric Berman tells Tony Katz that's not necessarily the case.
"The teacher pay thing will probably take until the end of April to resolve, but the Republican position on this that they're not going to earmark specific money for teachers. Instead, it will be a part of the regular school money and they want to set rules for how that gets spent at the local level.
Now in fact, this budget kills an existing teacher pay plan, redirecting most of a $30 million 'teacher appreciation grant' fund to boost the amount going to schools.
Holcomb is expected to outline a long-term proposal for teacher salaries in Tuesday's State of the State address, according to Berman.
The other conversation surrounding the current session of the state assembly is a request to increase funding to the Department of Child Services.
"They're clearly going to get a big increase. For one thing, that money is to cover money that was put into the budget as a one-time thing last year. The Governor dipped into reserves and said 'Look, we've got to cover some immediate needs.' Now they want to make that part of the baseline.
But there's going to be some debate over how you do that. The reason you've got such a giant case load is that you have a major opioid problem right now. The drug crisis and opioids in particular is what causes a lot of calls to homes and what ultimately leads to a lot of children being pulled out of homes."
Legislators in both parties call the budget a good starting point, said Berman, but they'll be looking for more school money.
Click the link below to hear Tony's full interview with Eric Berman: