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Indiana Has A New State Budget

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The Indiana General Assembly approved a two-year, $30 billion budget early Saturday. 

The new two-year budget included a modest increase in school funding, increased the school voucher program, gives new money for roads and highways and roughly $350 million in new tax cuts. The tax cut that Gov Pence wanted was 10 % he got 5 % and it will be phased in starting in 2015.

Lawmakers also approved a proposal to halt implementation of the national Common Core education standards while state budget officials and a legislative panel look at concerns the education rules might strip autonomy from the state.

Changes to sentencing laws were approved that would require those convicted of the most serious crimes to spend more time in prison.

A proposal that would make it illegal to secretly take videos or photographs that could make a business look bad, dubbed the "ag gag" bill by opponents, was not passed.

 Several proposals failed to advance, including an effort to speed implementation of a deal requiring Amazon.com to start collecting sales taxes for online purchases in July instead of next year as previously approved. 

The state legislature adjourned this session just before 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

 

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