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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Ind. Gov't. - "Indiana Senate [re]approves balanced budget amendment"

Back on May 1, 2015 the ILB had a post headed "Balanced Budget Amendment Passes First Round In General Assembly." It points to a "must-read in full article from Payne Horning of WFYI." The link is still good and the article is still worth reading.

Proposed constitutional amendments must pass two separately-elected General Assemblies, so the proposal may be adopted again in the 2017 or 2018 term of the current General Assembly. Here is Dan Carden's story yesterday in the NWI Times, reporting the approval of the amendment by the Indiana Senate. Some quotes:

On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Indiana Senate voted 43-4 for Senate Joint Resolution 7, a proposed constitutional amendment requiring lawmakers spend no more in a two-year budget period than is expected to come in through tax collections.

State officials of both political parties have long followed that practice in accordance with the constitution's general prohibition on most types of state debt. * * *

State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, was among the four senators voting against the amendment.

She suggested Hershman's proposal is imprecisely worded and could effectively prevent the state from ever spending its $2 billion reserve fund, or require billions of dollars be spent immediately to prop up state pension accounts if a stock market dip reduces their funding levels.

"I do not believe that we need this as a constitutional amendment," Tallian said.

The proposed amendment now goes to the Republican-controlled House, which overwhelmingly approved identical language in 2015.

If representatives again endorse the amendment, Hoosier voters will be asked to ratify or reject it at the 2018 general election.

Here is SJR 7.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 25, 2017 09:33 AM
Posted to Indiana Government