Last week, the Indiana House of Representatives passed its proposed budget. The budget, also known as House Bill (HB) 1001, allocates funds for a variety of programs. Let’s take a look at how the proposed budget would impact equity and the potential for economic mobility in Indiana.
House Budget Education Supports
Education has been at the forefront of the 2023 legislative session. The primary focus has been on expanding access in a variety of ways. This includes:
- A 23% increase in non-English speaking program per-student grants
- An increase in funding for adult learners by $17M.
The proposed budget also provides Career Scholarship Account (CSA) program funding at $5k per participant. One of Governor Holcomb’s primary focuses of this session is to eliminate fees for textbooks and curricular materials for K-12 students, which is also included in the proposed budget.
House Budget Support for Women and Children
There has also been some movement in the area of support for Hoosier women and children. House Bill 1001 provides $5 million for housing support and $8.2 million for maternal & child health.
If passed, the House Budget would increase funding for Indiana’s On My Way pre-K program. This program provides free pre-K for eligible children between the ages of 4 and 5.
House Bill 1001 also doubles funding for sexual assault victims to $4 million.
With the widespread support of Senate Bill 1 in both chambers (a bill that would increase mental health services in Indiana), it is no surprise that the House Budget increased funding for mental health-related programs. Here are some of the highlights.
- $10M for mental health facility grant for a regional approach to mental health
- $6.5M to provide reimbursement for services in group home setting
- $1M each year for suicide prevention; $2M for career and relocation assistance
Welfare and Economic Assistance
The governor also proposed an increase in the Medicaid reimbursement rate. The proposed budget would increase reimbursement for physician services to 90% of medicare by FY 2025. The current reimbursement rate is 83%.
The proposed budget also funds Residential Housing Infrastructure Assistance Program (found in HB 1005) and the state employee pay raises granted by the governor. Additionally, it would double funding for food banks.
The proposed budget passed through the House and will now go through the same process in the Senate Appropriations Committee. After the Senate creates its version of the budget, the two chambers will reconcile the changes in the budget in the conference committee. Once both chambers agree with the language of the bill, it will be sent to Governor Holcomb to sign.