House Speaker chooses doctor to write budget

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma has chosen a doctor to write the next state budget. Representative Tim Brown of Crawfordsville, an emergency room physician, is the new chairman of the Ways and Means committee, one of the most powerful positions in the General Assembly.

Brown replaces Jeff Espich, who retired after serving as the top Republican budget writer for 15 years. He knows his task is a tough one. "It's easy to write a budget when there's no money," said Rep. Brown. "It's harder to write a budget when there's a little bit of money. But we're going to have to set priorities for the future."

Speaker Bosma considered 6 or 7 candidates but said that medicaid changes and health care reform helped him settle on Brown, who has served as chair of the Health Committee as well as Ways and Means. "I just felt that Tim Brown was the right person to bring the team together," said Bosma, "to lead it."

The Democrats also have a new point man on the Ways and Means Committee. Democrat Greg Porter of Indianapolis replaces Bill Crawford, who also retired.

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