INDIANAPOLIS—Today, the Senate advanced House Bill 1001 out of the chamber with a vote of 40-10. Ranking minority member of the Senate Appropriations Committee State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) voted in opposition to this bill.

“Although the Senate-proposed budget is a vast improvement to what we saw come out of the House—there were still some glaring concerns that ultimately led me to oppose the bill. It doesn’t fully fund the recommendations from the Behavioral Health Commission (Senate Bill 1) or the Governor’s Commission on Public Health (Senate Bill 4), and it also allows charter schools to receive a share of local property tax revenue that currently only goes to traditional public schools. Essentially, the improvements in the school funding formula are completely eroded by the property tax-sharing language. This is a new concept that hasn’t been vetted and sets a bad precedent, and I could not support it.

“Because I know we can go further and make bolder investments to support public health and funding for traditional public schools, I will be voting no on this budget. However, I’ll reserve the right to change my vote as discussions continue and improvements are made to HB 1001. I will continue to negotiate with Chairmen Mishler and Thompson and advocate for key provisions to support Indiana residents’ best interests.”