- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

Here are key points of the two-year state budget signed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence after it was approved by the General Assembly last week:

- Overall: Spends $31 billion over the two years, ending with nearly $1.9 billion in projected reserves.

- Education funding: Increases K-12 funding by about $460 million, or 2.3 percent per year, over the budget’s two years. It sets a three-year phase-in of funding shifts from many urban and rural districts with shrinking enrollments to growing suburban districts.

- Charter schools: Includes about $10 million each year toward additional grants for charter schools, giving them money for buildings and transportation that traditional school districts receive through local property taxes. That’s about one-quarter of the $40 million per year requested by Pence and amounts to potentially $500 per child.

- Transportation: Dedicates $100 million per year for additional highway projects, potentially including adding lanes to Interstate 70 and I-65 and completing the I-69 extension near Indianapolis. That amount was cut in half from preliminary budget plans after a decline in projected state tax collections over the next two years.

- Criminal justice: Increases by about $80 million over two years the amount going to county-level probation and treatment programs as part of an overhaul of criminal sentencing laws designed to keep more low-level offenders out of prison. It doesn’t include the $51 million Pence requested to pay for prison expansions.

- Child Services: Gives $7.5 million more per year to the Department of Child Services to add more than 100 child welfare workers. Pence requested the money in March after the agency was criticized for not meeting the state law on workload standards for case managers.

- Regional Cities program: Provides the $84 million over two years that Pence had requested for a new program providing grants to regional groups around the state for economic development projects. Money for the initiative would come from a planned amnesty program for payment of overdue individual or corporate taxes.


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