Speaker Bosma backs preschool, but senate unmoved
House Speaker Brian Bosma endorsed Gov. Mike Pence’s plan to establish Indiana’s first state-funded preschool program Wednesday, but there was just one problem.
The Republican-dominated Senate Education Committee, where a similar proposal was dismantled last year, is showing no signs of budging this time around despite the enthusiasm of other party leaders.
“I don’t know why they are giving this such a high priority on their agenda of things,” said committee Chairman Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn. “I don’t sense there is any renewed interest in doing anything this year of any consequence.”
Gov. Mike Pence has made state-funded preschool for up to 44,000 poor children in Indiana a centerpiece of his legislative agenda, but budget and education leaders in the senate have balked, including appropriations committee Chairman Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, saying they did not want to create a program with new costs to the state during the non-budget “short” session of the legislature. The next two-year budget will be written in 2015.