Indiana House Republicans are officially unveiling their budget, which includes more money for schools, but no mandate that it is spent on teacher pay.

The $34.6 billion two-year spending plan includes approximately $611 million in new funds for education.  Approximately $462 million goes toward general state aid for schools and lawmakers are spending more than $150 million toward paying off the outstanding debt in one of Indiana’s teacher pension funds which would free up dollars for schools to dedicate towards teacher pay.

House Ways and Means Co-Chair Todd Huston says the state wants to “encourage” schools to use the additional dollars for teacher salaries as opposed to a mandate.

Some of the other highlights of the House GOP spending plan include…

  • Increasing school safety grant funding by $5 million annually.
  • Fulfilling the Governor’s request for DCS funding to the tune of $286 million.
  • A $27 million increase for higher education.
  • Increasing money for Indiana’s counties from $18 million to $30 million annually to address jail overcrowding.
  • $10 million for election security needs.
  • Increasing funding for the Indiana Public Defender Commission by $4 million.
  • $20 million annually to improve Indiana’s water infrastructure.

The budget does not include any new funding from a proposed cigarette tax increase nor new gaming revenue.

The budget will formally be presented at 8:30 Tuesday morning.