Senate Appropriations Committee

Senate GOP Leader David Long (R-Fort Wayne) didn’t wait long to anoint a new chair for the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Long named Sen. Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen) to replace retiring lawmaker Luke Kenley as the Senate’s budget architect. Mishler has served for five years as the No. 2 senator on the Appropriations Committee.

Senate Budget Architect Kenley To Retire This Fall

Jul 5, 2017

Indiana State Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville), one of the most influential lawmakers at the Statehouse, will retire later this year after 25 years in office. His service includes the last nine sessions as the chamber’s budget architect, chairing the Appropriations Committee.

Kenley was re-elected to another four-year term just last November. But he says he told people on the campaign trail he had two final goals: passing another balanced budget and creating a long term road funding plan.

Washington State Department of Transporation / https://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/

House Republicans will propose this coming session a comprehensive, long-term road funding measure.  That bill will likely push the state to study tolling major interstates from border to border.  However, some lawmakers are skeptical about that proposal’s potential.

Nic McPhee / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee

Indiana's sales tax revenues have under-performed this fiscal year and a new revenue forecast predicts the state won't collects as much as previously expected. 

Sales tax collections are down more than 3 percent from expected levels through nearly half of the fiscal year. And a new revenue forecast predicts the state will collects more than $300 million less in sales tax over the next two years than previously expected. House Ways and Means Chair Tim Brown says what concerns him about that depressed outlook is Indiana's aging population.

Nic McPhee / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee

A new revenue forecast unveiled Thursday by state fiscal analysts predicts Indiana will collect $175 million less in tax revenue over the next two years than previously expected.  

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

A bill that would create an initiative granting funding to collaborating groups in regions around the state is moving through the Indiana Senate.

The Regional City Fund would grant or loan regions money to improve the area based on a proposed growth plan.

Indiana Economic Development Corporation President Eric Doden says it’s similar to the state’s existing Stellar Communities grants, but the new initiative is more collaborative.