INDIANAPOLIS –State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) released the following comments after the Indiana House Republican Caucus released their state biennial budget proposal:

“Why is it that the House budget does not guarantee one cent for teacher pay raises? It is clear that teachers require a pay raise this session, but the House Republicans refuse to guarantee that any education dollars would go directly to teachers. Their budget doesn’t even increase tax credits for teacher school supplies. Instead, the House Republicans divert even more education dollars to private and charter schools through grants and vouchers. We obviously have the money to give teachers a pay raise, and I implore the Senate to rectify the House’s mistake.

“It also seems that, once again, $1 billion in new toll revenue is mysteriously missing. These new funds do not show up at all in the House budget bill. We know that this money is available, and it is the constitutional obligation of the legislature to decide how this money is spent.

“Lastly, the House follows the governor’s lead and provides millions in extra funding for the Department of Child Services (DCS) without listing any guidelines to remedy the agency’s operational mishaps. I want the Senate to make sure that DCS complies with the report that provided recommendations for the department before receiving extra funding. It’s important that we fully fund DCS, but to ensure our children’s safety, this money must not be mishandled.”