Indiana budget with $2 billion in reserves draws criticism

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Republican leaders say the newly approved state budget is a prudent plan that keeps the state protected in case of an economic recession.

The spending plan approved Wednesday night in party-lines votes anticipates the state keeping $2 billion in cash reserves, which Democrats maintain is done by ignoring important needs.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma says keeping strong state reserves was a purposeful decision. The new budget includes what Bosma says is a prudent measure of giving schools a base funding increase of 2.5% percent each of the next two years.

Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane argues more could’ve been directed to teacher pay raises and programs such as child welfare services if Republicans didn’t “worship at this altar of a $2 billion surplus.”

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