Indiana panel rejects proposed $291 million teacher pay hike

Photo Supplied / Indiana Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS (AP): An Indiana House committee rejected on Tuesday a Democratic proposal to direct $291 million in unexpected state tax revenue toward one-time teacher pay bonuses.

The Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee voted 13-7 along party lines against the proposal, going along with arguments from GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb’s budget director that it wouldn’t be the best use of the money.

Committee Republicans endorsed a bill directing the $291 million on paying cash rather than borrowing money for several planned college campus construction projects that were allowed under the state budget approved in April.

State Budget Director Zach Jackson told the committee the state could save about $135 million in interest payments, making that money available for future state spending.

Democratic Rep. Ed DeLaney of Indianapolis said he believed that with current low interest rates the available tax money would be better spent on addressing the state’s lagging teacher pay.

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

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