Holcomb holding off on teacher pay, preschool spending boost

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb

Indiana Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb discusses the state’s fiscal condition following the close of Fiscal Year at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Monday, July 25, 2016. Holcomb is Gov. Mike Pence’s pick to take his place as the Republican candidate for governor following his withdrawal to become Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate. The Republican state […]

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb is aiming to preserve Indiana’s $1.8 billion state budget surplus while not directing more money toward goals of increasing teacher pay or expanding the state-funded preschool program.

Holcomb announced Thursday his agenda priorities for the upcoming legislative session during which lawmakers will be debating a new two-year state spending plan.

Holcomb is seeking state money for a variety of tax breaks for attracting businesses, along with modest boosts in job training and drug-abuse treatment programs.

But education spending makes up more than 60 percent of the state’s $16.4 billion budget this year. Holcomb proposes examining over the next two years how best to boost teacher pay, while keeping the preschool program for poor children limited to its current 20 counties and $20 million annual budget.

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