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Indiana Senate panel set to begin state budget work

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indiana Senate is set to take its turn at working on the state’s new two-year budget.

The state spending plan approved last week by House Republicans is scheduled to be presented to the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.

That $31 billion House proposal includes 2.3 percent increases in school funding in both years. But the proposed shifting of tens of millions of dollars to growing suburban districts would lead to cuts for many urban and rural districts with shrinking enrollments.

The Senate committee has several budget hearings scheduled over the coming month before an expected vote on its version of the budget in early April. The House and Senate must agree on a spending plan before the Legislature’s adjournment deadline in late April.