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Daniels Discusses Special Session

In his first public remarks since the passage of a new state budget, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said the compromise bill passed during the just-completed special General Assembly session will leave the state in sound fiscal shape without increasing taxes. Daniels spoke Wednesday morning at a press conference in Indianapolis.The Republican governor says the two-year, $27.8 billion spending plan increases overall funding for public schools and protects the state's rainy day fund.The budget was approved just hours before a midnight deadline Tuesday.It ended a special session during which lawmakers struggled to find ways to offset a sharp drop in revenues. Daniels says they may face similar struggles again in two years if economic conditions don't improve."Based on recent history, there's not a high percentage of that. So even if we just meet these projections, we'll have to make some hard decisions again," Daniels saidOn another matter, Daniels said he's not opposed to the idea of tolls as a way to help pay for new Ohio River bridges between Louisville and southern Indiana.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.