Jim Inman (Photo: John P Cleary, The Herald Bulletin)
On Thursday, Hoosier lawmakers passed a two-year state budget.
One of the highlights of the bill was $1.9 billion allocated to K-12 schools over two-year period. That amount is more than twice the original proposed amount in budget discussions.
The funds will assist with tuition support for Indiana public schools while offering expansion opportunities for private schools.
The budget dictates that school districts direct at least 45% of their tuition support dollars to teacher pay, and not reduce spending on salaries from one year to the next.
The state’s budget highlights come from an economy that is recovering faster than predicted. The rollout of vaccines and the stimulus checks received by Hoosiers are part of that recovery.
The state also received approximately $3 billion from the American Rescue Plan. Those funds are available to assist with one-time expenses, such as infrastructure.
The budget also includes $900 million for infrastructure, $250 million for broadband expansion and $500 million for a regional development initiative. $30 million will be available to state police and local police to purchase body cameras.
More than $1 billion has been allocated to pay down state debt.
Earlier this week the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced that the 2021 Indianapolis 500 will have approximately 135,000 available seats for attendees.
Yesterday, the Indianapolis Indians announced that they will have fans in the stands for their season. A six-game homestand is scheduled for May 11-16, with tickets going on sale next Wednesday.
The six-game series will offer 25% of the available seating at Victory Field, and the hope is for increased numbers as vaccinations continue across the nation.
According to the release, Victory Field can accommodate 3,450 fans at the 25% capacity level.
Attendees for the games will be required to wear masks, unless eating or drinking in their ticketed location.
Seating options will be available in pairs, with up to six seats total, to provide social distancing.
While concessions will be available at the games, Indians fans should bring debit or credit cards – no cash will be accepted.
2021 marks Victory Field’s 25th anniversary.