INDIANAPOLIS –State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) released the following comments after the governor released his proposed biennial budget:

“Once again, the governor is trying to pull the wool over Hoosiers’ eyes. He says that we don’t have enough money to add new funding for teachers’ salaries. All we can do, according to the governor, is give tax credits for school supplies – while still expecting teachers to use their own money to support their classrooms. This budget does not guarantee one cent for teacher pay raises. As much as Republicans might like to think it does, a tax credit does not increase teacher pay. The Senate Democrats, on the other hand, have a proposal to directly give raises to teachers.

“Where is the $1 billion in new toll revenue, governor? This money does not show up at all in your budget proposal. This money is real, and it is available. The governor must let the legislature do its constitutional job and appropriate this money. If we allocate half of this surplus, that is $500 million in new money for teacher pay.

“Lastly, I encourage the governor to look at his proposed funding for the Department of Child Services (DCS). The governor’s budget awards over $500 million in extra funding for DCS without addressing the problems in that agency’s operations. We need to be assured that DCS complies with the report that provided recommendations for the department. Hoosier children must be kept safe, and Hoosier families must be kept together.”