Indiana lawmakers approve state budget, finish session


FILE – In this Tuesday, April 23, 2019, file photo, Sen. Ryan Mishler, R-Bremen, speaks during a hearing at the Statehouse, in Indianapolis. The Indiana Senate Appropriations Committee that Mishler chairs, on Thursday, April 8, 2021, endorsed a state budget plan that scales back a proposed expansion of Indiana’s private school voucher program while still boosting the program’s spending by about 25%. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers have given final approval to a new two-year $37 billion state budget as they wrapped up this year’s regular legislative session.

That Republican-written budget plan is highlighted by an overall school funding increase of about 4.5% in each of the next two years. The budget bill cleared the House in a 96-2 vote and the Senate by a 46-3 margin. Several Democratic legislators called it the best state spending plan in years, crediting President Joe Biden for helping the state with $3 billion in federal coronavirus relief money.

The state budget also includes money for numerous economic grant programs and construction projects drawing on that federal money.

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