Greg Porter

Noah Coffey /

Republicans declared “mission accomplished” on the new budget as they brought a close to the 2015 legislative session.  

Noah Coffey /

House Republicans Monday rejected Democrats’ attempts to make changes to the state budget bill. 

Keith Cooper /

Despite tax revenues that struggled for much of the fiscal year, Indiana closes its book with a surplus of more than $100 million and reserves topping $2 billion.  But Democrats say the state is hoarding money to make its bottom line look good.

Going into the final month of the fiscal year, Indiana was about $50 million short of expectations.  But a strong June helped the state end the year about $13 million above projected levels. 

The Indiana General Assembly adopted a two year, $30 billion budget, one Republicans say contains the largest tax cut in state history. However, Democrats say the tax cut is an illusion.

The House Education Committee Monday will consider legislation aimed at curbing the spread of bullying in schools.  The bill’s author wants to get schools across Indiana on the same page.

Representative Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) says bullying has become an epidemic, with dropouts and absenteeism on the rise as a result.  Porter says one of the most important things his bill can do is create a definition.

Following the retirement of its two longtime leaders, the House Ways and Means committee will look significantly different when the Indiana General Assembly begins its session in January. 

Between them, representatives Jeff Espich (R-Uniondale) and Bill Crawford (D-Indianapolis) had 80 years of legislative experience.  The two men led the House Ways and Means Committee when their party was in control.  But both are retiring this year.