This session, State Senator Tim Skinner opposed a bill that would greatly expand Indiana’s private school voucher program. Under House Bill (HB) 1003, the voucher program would be extended to any student who lives in an attendance zone with a failing school or has a sibling already participating in the program. In addition, the legislation permanently lifts the cap on the number of vouchers and increases eligibility to those earning up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Senate Democrats have opposed this measure due to the more than $100 million in funding it will take away from public education between fiscal years 2014-15, as well as the unknown future costs of a fully expanded program. In an effort to slow this expansion, Senate Democrats proposed a summer study committee to research the effect voucher expansion will have on public education and its potential costs, but they were rejected along party-line votes. HB 1003 is likely to undergo additional changes during conference committees, where Sen. Skinner will shape final negotiations.