The Indy Star has several articles on Monday’s legislative activity.
The Senate approved its $24.2 billion state spending package Monday and set the stage for tough choices over how much additional money can be spent on public schools and whether cigarette smokers should pay for it.
Republicans, for the most part, banded together to advance the budget proposal, 29-21. The proposal gives schools modest funding increases, although 129 of the state’s 293 school districts still would lose money.
“This is a straight up, stay-in-line budget,” said Sen. Robert Meeks, R-LaGrange, the budget’s chief architect.
The budget stays in line at the expense of public schools, argues Sen. Vi Simpson, D-Ellettsville. The Senate’s school funding formula sets aside an additional 1.2 percent in 2006 and 1.3 percent in 2007 for schools.
During the gubernatorial campaign, Mitch Daniels proposed several common-sense reforms, including extension of the renewal period for driver’s licenses from four to six years; allowing car dealerships to approve titles and registrations at the time of sale; discounted multiyear vehicle registration; and ending forced political donations as part of the price of personalized license plates.