INDIANAPOLIS–On Thursday, State Senator Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) released the following statement after voting against the state’s biennial budget, House Bill (HB) 1001:

“The final version of HB 1001 was a vast improvement over what we saw when it first passed out of the House and Senate,” Sen. Lanane said. “With the changes made in conference committee, the budget saw a substantial increase in funding for K-12 education and food banks. We saw funding restored to mental health and addiction, as well as to our Art’s Commission, which I worked to see fully supported. We provided support to our direct support professionals and our aging community enrolled in the CHOICE program. As it stands, there are a lot of good democratic values finally being reflected in our budget.

“However, despite the significant improvements that were able to be made to HB 1001 with the federal support from the American Rescue Plan, the disproportionate allocation of new dollars to voucher programs at the expense of traditional public schools remains an issue.

“I am philosophically opposed to public dollars being directed to voucher school programs. At the end of the day, it‘s about principle–it’s a matter of deciding whether supporting this proposal is worth the price of abandoning that value. I don’t believe it is–which is why I ultimately felt obligated to vote in opposition to this legislation.”