The Department of Child Services delivered its funding request earlier this week – asking for $286 million more a year, for the next two years.
Lawmakers will use next week’s state revenue forecast to help determine if they can fulfill that budget request – and many others.
But House Ways and Means co-chair Rep. Todd Huston (R-Fishers) says the DCS request is likely locked in.
"We’ll take our cues from the administration as they look at DCS," Huston says. "But if they bring in, in their budget, the $286 [million] it’d be hard for us to envision reducing that number."
Republican leaders say that doesn’t leave much new money left for other priorities. But Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) rejects that premise. She points to a billion new dollars Gov. Eric Holcomb unilaterally secured from a renegotiated Toll Road deal.
"The legislature, through the budget process, needs to decide where that money is going," Tallian says.
The legislative session begins in January.