Final day for legislative session arrives

(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana lawmakers have until midnight to pass a new, two-year state budget and resolve several bills still on the table.

The 2015 Indiana General Assembly ends Wednesday. Legislators released specifics for the budget agreement late Tuesday evening.

It’s a $31 billion budget. Key features include increases in K-12 funding by 2.3 percent a year, or about $460 million.

Much of the debate will be over the school funding formula, which shifts money from urban school districts with declining enrollment to suburban school districts with increasing enrollment.

The budget also includes about $10 million a year toward grants for charter schools, for building work and transportation. The governor had requested $40 million a year for this.

Also still unresolved, a bill that would remove State School Superintendent Glenda Ritz and future superintendents as the head of the Board of Education. The current version wouldn’t permit the board to elect its own president until 2017, which is after the 2016 election, where Ritz is expected to run for re-election.

Also still up in the air is funding for a new soccer stadium for the Indy Eleven, and the bill that includes changes for the gambling industry.

No matter what happens, this is a session that will be remembered because of RFRA, the Religious Freedom Law and its eventual ‘fix’ that put Indiana in the national spotlight at the end of March.

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