Lawmaker Upset by Senate Cut in DCS Budget Plan

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ The Senate budget proposal that reduces the amount of money House lawmakers allocated for Indiana’s Department of Child Services is drawing concern from a lawmaker who’s been critical of the agency.
  House lawmakers had approved a $40 million annual increase for DCS. The Senate has scaled that back by $10 million.
  Democratic Rep. Gail Riecken of Evansville says the additional money is needed to implement changes, including closer review of child abuse reports made by school or medical personnel, law-enforcement officials or social workers.
  The DCS reported Monday that 40 children died of abuse and neglect in 2011. That’s up from 25 the year before.
  Riecken says she hopes the additional money is included in the compromise budget agreement lawmakers are expected to settle this week.