Grim budget picture shapes up for Ind. lawmakers - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Grim budget picture shapes up for Ind. lawmakers

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Predictions of stagnant state tax collections and dwindling gambling revenue could dash any hopes agencies and universities have of getting more money when lawmakers write Indiana's next two-year budget.

Many groups have seen cuts over the last four years and are eager to replenish their coffers. But lawmakers aren't giving them much encouragement as they warily eye the increased competition for gambling dollars from neighboring states and an economy that's still dragging.

Indiana has cash reserves worth an estimated $2 billion, but Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley says tax collections could grow by just 1.5 percent over the next year. That could give lawmakers little room to increase spending.

New House Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown says he'll wait to see the December revenue forecast before worrying.

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