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The 2023 session of the Indiana General Assembly comes to an end, as lawmakers approve a two-year budget



Indianapolis, Indiana – The 2023 legislative session of the Indiana General Assembly has come to a close after about 18 hours of discussion.

The Indiana Senate and House of Representatives debated the state’s two-year budget proposal until early Friday morning. Around 2:50 in the morning, the Indiana Senate approved the plan after the House had done so about an hour earlier.

The session, according to governor Eric Holcomb, was successful because it concentrated on important elements of his 2023 Next Level Agenda.

Education, especially pay increases for teachers, was one of the main discussion points. Democrats in the House and Senate continued to have doubts about the budget, claiming there isn’t enough money to give teachers a raise.

“I don’t think so. I don’t know how,” said House Minority Leader State Rep. Phil GiaQuinta.

The largest teachers’ organization in the state, the Indiana State Teachers Association, led the criticism.

“It’s really not a game changer for public schools in the state. And in the second year we are really concerned what it means for public school,” said Dan Holub.

The objective is to get teachers paid an average of $60,000.

“We are going to need some help from the local bargaining unit for sure, but this is an unprecedented level coming on the heels of previous budget that increase it by a billion back to back. So yes this can go a long way in realizing that goal, but it will be case by case,” said Gov. Holcomb about the proposed raise.

Additionally, the state’s school voucher program grew. Families with incomes up to $220,000 are now eligible. Late changes by lawmakers to the budget package included $300 million more for K–12 tuition assistance.

“I’m proud of what was accomplished this legislative session and through collaboration and hard work we will be able to make transformational investments that will better the lives of Hoosiers and build a better today and stronger tomorrow,” said Holcomb in a statement.

Public health and grants to entice workers to Indiana are two other areas that received significant support.

Additionally, the budget increased the starting pay for Indiana state troopers. The annual income rises from $53,690 to $70,000.

According to Holcomb, lawmakers have balanced the state budget for ten years running.