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Pence, Bosma, Long Still Negotiating Budget As Deadline Approaches

Jim Grey

The budget deal announced last night isn‘t final yet. Governor Pence spent about 40 minutes behind closed doors with House and Senate leaders and legislative and administration fiscal analysts today working out the final numbers.

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says the last-minute snags aren‘t significant -- he says there will be changes to what he calls "limitations and line items" that came to light after the administration and other stakeholders were able to read through the entire 250-page document. He says the broad outlines of the bill will remain the same.

Pence says there‘s "progress" on the bill. He didn‘t specify what changes he‘s requested, but is praising the budget‘s funding for education, including a new grant program for charter schools to reduce a funding gap with traditional public schools.

Negotiators addressed a scaled-back economic forecast by chopping in half a planned $400 million in highway funding. Bosma notes that money was earmarked for a special Major Moves 2020 account, in addition to a billion dollars in road funding already in the budget. Legislators must pass a budget before midnight.