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Indiana lawmakers facing tight budget, hate crimes debate

Indiana statehouse
Posted at 2:16 PM, Jan 02, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers could struggle to give more than minimal funding increases to public schools in the new state budget that will emerge from this year's legislative session.

Members of the General Assembly will return Thursday to the Statehouse in Indianapolis for a session expected to last until late April.

Republicans are entering their seventh year of supermajorities in both the House and the Senate that give them complete control of legislative action. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and GOP legislative leaders have said boosting teacher pay is a top priority, but that will compete for money with growing Medicaid and child protection expenses.

The legislative session could get sidetracked by a possible heated debate over adopting a state hate crimes law and proposals to allow sports betting in the state.