Indiana Senate defies Gov. Eric Holcomb, passes reduced pre-k bill

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Senate has approved a bill slashing a request by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb to increase funding for a program sending needy kids to preschool.

The bill passed Tuesday on a 41-9 vote. It trims Holcomb’s $10 million requested increase to $3 million.

It also sets aside $1 million for an online preschool program that House Speaker Brian Bosma is skeptical of. Lawmakers are looking at a program by Utah-based Waterford Institute that offers 15-minute-long daily online lessons for preschoolers.

Supporters of the measure by Republican Sen. Travis Holdman of Markle say it takes an important step that will grow the state’s fledging pre-kindergarten program.

Some Democrats say much more funding is needed, but they supported the bill to keep the effort alive.