Indiana State Capitol Building, in Indianapolis, Indiana on SEPTEMBER 30, 2012.
(Photo By Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Teacher Pay Front And Center As State Lawmakers Return To Statehouse

STATEHOUSE — The lawmakers at the Indiana statehouse get back to work today after taking all of last week off during inauguration week and with what police said was a heightened risk of violence at state capitol buildings across the country.

“We used an abundance of caution this working with state police chief Doug Carter we chose to not have session,” said Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston to All Indiana Politics on WISH-TV. “We kept people involved in the legislative process say and we’re anxious to get back on Monday and resume our schedule.”

No protesters showed up at all during the whole of last week as Joe Biden was sworn in as President of the United States.

As lawmakers get back to work, Huston said they are working to make sure they tackle many of the issues Gov. Eric Holcomb laid out in his State of the State address, which took place last Wednesday.

One of those issues is teacher pay. Huston again believes decisions on how increased money to schools is spent should be left up to the school districts.

“You know we partner with our local school districts, you know, they determine teacher raises,” he said. “They determine the most and best appropriate use for those dollars.”

Statehouse Democrats feel it should be more targeted than that and that legislation should be passed requiring schools to set aside a certain amount of increased funding just for teacher raises.

“We increased education funding by over $763 million in the last bi-annual budget,” Huston said. “It’s always going to remain a strong priority for the House Republican caucus and it will again this year. Over half the state budget goes into K-12 education.”

Huston added that they also plan to look over the findings of a study committee on expanding pregnancy accommodations for working women in Indiana. A bill to address that was denied by the legislature last year.

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