Indiana lawmakers approve state budget, finish session

The House of Representative meet in the chamber at the Statehouse, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers have given final approval to a new two-year $37 billion state budget as they wrapped up this year’s regular legislative session.

That Republican-written budget plan is highlighted by an overall school funding increase of about 4.5% in each of the next two years. The budget bill cleared the House in a 96-2 vote and the Senate by a 46-3 margin.

Several Democratic legislators called it the best state spending plan in years, crediting President Joe Biden for helping the state with $3 billion in federal coronavirus relief money. The state budget also includes money for numerous economic grant programs and construction projects drawing on that federal money.