Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) released the following comments after the State Budget Committee released its December revenue forecast report:

“Indiana is in a good fiscal position, yet it could be better. In the next budget we are preparing to draft, we have an opportunity to make some great investments in our state.

“My two biggest complaints after the Budget Committee meeting are with the governor. First, I question the governor’s judgment that Indiana cannot afford to pay our teachers an adequate salary. I just don’t buy it. Our teachers need raises now, and there are options available to fund these raises. For example, one way to build additional revenue would be to put an end to the additional corporate tax cuts that are set to continue through 2022. These further rate cuts are costing our state millions of dollars each year

“Further, in light of the nearly $600 million budget request from the Department of Children Services, the operations of that agency need to be strictly scrutinized.

“Secondly, it is not the role of the governor to dictate how money is appropriated in this state. So why has he unilaterally announced how we will spend the one billion dollars from increased truck fees on the toll road that will result from the state’s revised contract with the Indiana Roll Road Concession Company?”