Budgeters have an additional 290-million dollars to work with as they make final decisions on state spending and a possible tax cut.
State forecasters have sharply improved their expectations for income tax collections over the next two years. The three-percent increase more than makes up for downgraded projections for sales and gaming taxes.
The House had omitted Governor Pence‘s proposed 10-percent income tax cut from its budget -- leaders said then they wanted to see the forecast first.
Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown now says it‘ll be part of the discussion.
But Brown and Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley say there‘s still a debate to be had over what mix of cuts would do the most for the economy.
And while Pence budget director Chris Atkins says the extra money gives the administration room to move closer to House and Senate proposals for road and school spending, negotiators are studiously avoiding a public endorsement of increased spending.
House Democrats have supported the tax cut plan.
But Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane says it amounts to just 10 dollars a month for the average Hoosier.
He says spending the extra money on roads and schools instead would accomplish more.