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GOP House blocks Dems' push for Pence tax-cut vote

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House Republicans blocked a vote Thursday on Gov. Mike Pence's proposed tax cut, fending off — at least for now — an attempt by Democrats to force them into the awkward position of rejecting one of the new GOP governor's top legislative priorities amid questions about the cost.

Republicans voted along party lines to keep House Democrats from forcing a vote on the tax cut, citing a procedural rule. The parliamentary politicking came as lawmakers advanced a $30 billion biennial budget that swaps the cut for more spending on schools and roads.

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, said Pence deserves an up-or-down vote on his top priority. But Rep. Jerry Torr, R-Carmel, argued that any vote should wait until after lawmakers see an updated estimate this April of how much the state will rake in tax collections.

Pelath made a series of backhanded compliments for Pence as he argued for a vote on the tax cut.

"Our governor was elected for one reason, he supported a 10-percent reduction in Indiana's income tax," Pelath said. "It's one of the best ideas that's been expressed from the second floor."

Rep. Terry Goodin, D-Crothersville, sought to amend the budget to include Pence's tax cut. But Torr relied on a procedural maneuver dubbed "bill pending" which allows lawmakers to block any amendment if the same language is in a bill already filed in a House committee.

House Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, submitted the Pence tax cut last month, but never brought it up for consideration in his committee.

Republican leaders in the General Assembly have said they want to see how much money the state will collect in the coming years before signing off on the $500 million tax cut.

"You may very well get a chance to vote on that tax cut the governor has proposed in April, after the April revenue forecast," Torr told Pelath.

The House also rejected Democrats' efforts Thursday to reshape the budget to spend more on schools and offer a progressive tax cut or textbook tax credit to school parents.

Republicans hold a supermajority in the chamber of 69-31.

The House budget still includes much of what Democrats have been seeking, after years of cuts by former Gov. Mitch Daniels. It adds another $200 million more for education than Pence sought and spends $250 million on roads.

House Republican leaders have insisted over the last few weeks that they have not ruled out approving the Pence tax cut, but the budget they drafted makes that cut highly unlikely. Pence has said that he is "disappointed" in the House budget, but acknowledged it's still relatively early in the session, which runs through April 29.

The issue will shift to Senate after House lawmakers take a final vote on the budget next week.

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

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