INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana's House Republicans are looking to spend $750,000 on renovations to office furniture, new carpeting and ceiling repairs in their Statehouse chamber in the coming years.
The House GOP added the measure to the $30 billion budget it approved last month as a single line item reading only "renovation." The Associated Press discovered it in a review of the budget Thursday.
House Republican spokeswoman Tory Flynn said the spending is routine maintenance included in most budgets and accounts for improvements such as replacing handles on broken desk drawers. The money also covers repairs to leather chairs in the House chamber and committee room, repairs to the House's ice machine and fixes to the bathrooms.
House Democrats pointed out Thursday that the line item was never publicly discussed.
The discovery comes as an Indiana tea party group announced it would begin airing ads opposing the House budget for spending too much. Americans for Prosperity and others want the budget to include a 10 percent tax cut sought by Gov. Mike Pence.
Republicans, including House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, have criticized the new School Superintendent Glenda Ritz, a Democrat, for spending $86,000 putting up new walls in her Statehouse office.