INDIANAPOLIS─Today, State Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) proposed six amendments to Indiana’s biennial state budget. These amendments included efforts to raise teacher pay, improve unemployment insurance benefits, help the state save money, and redirect resources to programs that help families. All but one of her amendments were rejected.

Sen. Tallian’s Amendment #7 would have ended the Mike Pence corporate tax cuts that are still phasing in all these years later. Stopping this last cut would save about $48 million per year going forward.

Amendment #2 proposed paying off Indiana’s pension debt over an additional seven years, reducing Indiana’s annual expenses by $100 million. The budget savings from this “pension smoothing” would fund a program to raise teacher pay. Under her amendment, school corporations that raised the minimum teacher pay to $40,000 would receive an extra $100 per student per year.

On Amendment #2, Senator Tallian had the following comment:

“For years, Senate Democrats have been fighting to raise teacher pay. While Republicans are talking about the structural surplus in our state of around $200 million, I put forward a plan to raise teacher pay to the tune of $100 million each year and offered a plan to pay for it without adding any structural debt. That means every dollar in this teacher pay raise was accounted for and paid by the proposal I put forward. I also want to be abundantly clear: this bill would not have affected teacher pension payments in any way, but it would have given our teachers the raise they have deserved for years now.”

Amendment two was voted down.