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Indiana Senate Panel Advances Budget Plan

The Indiana Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a new, two-year state budget.The spending plan was boosted by last Friday’s news that Indiana will take in nearly $650 million more in revenue than previously expected.About $150 million of that will be directed to education, which fell under the budget ax last year amid a drop in tax receipts.    Much of the rest of the money will be put into reserves.The Republican-led committee voted 8-3 along party lines to advance the plan.    One of the Democrats voting no was Earline Rogers, who says even though the plan boosts overall education funding, she’s troubled that some districts with declining enrollment will get less money."I liken it to sending canaries into a coal mine and hopefully they come out and I’m hoping the students we’re sending into our public schools come out and are better prepared," she said.The plan passed today is an amended version of the House budget.  It now goes to the full Senate.

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