Monday, April 20, 2009

Indy Lawmakers Demanding Reform Over Bailout

Three Indianapolis lawmakers, Rep. Ed DeLaney (D), Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan (D) and Rep. Phil Hinkle (R) are touting a plan for the CIB's short-term finances to be shored up by government loans rather than a host of new taxes in order to allow lawmakers more time to permanently reform the CIB. DeLaney, speaking for the three lawmakers, says that nearly $50 million in surplus money held by Marion County's township trustees should be tapped to serve as a pledge to help cover the CIB's $17 million loan repayment due to the state , which he would like to see the state temporarily defer, and another $26 million debt obligation that will come due in September to free up enough money in its current budget. DeLaney says his plan is getting lukewarm support. Why? He says because the plan calls for reform of the CIB as a opposed to a bailout. DeLaney says it's wrong for government to ask taxpayers to pay more taxes when the government is holding money in its left pocket that it can share with its right pocket.

DeLaney's harsh words for the plan passed by the Senate and backed by Mayor Greg Ballard and CIB President Bob Grand is a blow to the Indianapolis bailout push. DeLaney is a former, long-time partner at Barnes & Thornburg where Grand currently serves as managing partner. Ironically, DeLaney and his wife, Ann, are very close to former Mayor Bart Peterson and his former CIB President, Fred Glass, both of whom share much of the blame for the current financial mess in which the CIB finds itself. Sullivan's husband is an executive with Shiel-Sexton, the construction company which won big contracts for Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indiana Convention Center and the J.W. Marriott convention hotel projects. Hinkle is a former City-County Councilor who has butted heads with the administration over its bailout plan, as well as its handling of the government consolidation efforts in Indianapolis. Hinkle's concerns have been largely ignored by the Ballard administration.

The plan's chances of success doesn't sound encouraging from DeLaney's comments today about the lukewarm support it's getting, but it's one of the only good ideas I've heard coming from the State House to date. More importantly, it buys time for both lawmakers and Indianapolis City-County Councilors to conduct a top-down investigation of the CIB's finances, find out what has gone wrong and come up with a permanent solution to the madness of continuing to feed this CIB monster without any accountability.

Meanwhile, as Ballard devotes all of his energies to raising taxes for the billionaire sports team owners, IPS announces plans to lay off more than 300 teachers district wide as it closes more schools. This comes on the heels of new test results showing a failing performance grade for most of Indianapolis' public schools. As long as we have the absolute best sports palaces in the country, who gives a damn how bad our public schools are?

9 comments:

Shorebreak said...

Here's the part that I love. They make a plan to take taxpayer money, and then DeLaney says this:

"The last thing we should do is look to the taxpayers when we have problems," DeLaney said. "The first thing we should do is look to what resources we have and how we can better marshal those at no cost to the citizens."

So where did the trustee funds come from if not from the taxpayers? Does anyone know?

Advance Indiana said...

It's tax money that has already been collected from taxpayers is his point. Do you think the Trustees are going to give the money back. If the townships are abolished and consolidated into Marion County, it's going to be spent elsewhere, anyway, if past is prologue. Note that he's asking that it be used to cover the CIB's debt obligations, not to give the Simons $15 million a year more.

Terrapin said...

Shorebreak - did I miss something? Both Indystar and AI portray these as loans/collateral to float short term. More importantly, reform CIB.

from star -
"He and the other legislators proposed that the state delay the June payment, and that the townships allow $27 million of their reserves be posted as security for the September payment.

That, he said, would give breathing space to come up with a more long-term solution."

I know said...

Like I said before all that money for education, job creation, quality of life, arts, after school programs would be far better served than paying Tinsley $20M to stay home and then bailout the CIB.

Makes the next generation wonder what principles are. To think legislators keep standing at the pulpit and scream about taxes and bailouts piling up on our children. Then they turn around a give tax dollars already paid or raise a few and pay for thugs and friends to get richer while our teachers lose their jobs.

Sounds like priorities to me!

kdm said...

I can't imagine the townships willingly unlocking those boxes. What legislative maneuvers will be needed to get these 'resources' transferred from township coffers to the CIB?

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

MAKES SENSE:
"DeLaney says it's wrong for government to ask taxpayers to pay more taxes when the government is holding money in its left pocket that it can share with its right pocket."

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

HOW MANY ADMINISTRATORS ARE THEY GOING TO LAY OFF????

They might solve the root of the problem by getting rid of some of those freeloading educrats.

guy77money said...

Well the CIB could just not pay the state of Indiana the 16.9 million and just let Daniels take over Lucas Oil. Make the Simon's deal with the 15 million operating costs on Conseco. Then maybe they could close up shop and let some adults who understand financing and how to run a business take over. Ok I am dreaming! Why in heaven did it take them so long to come up with budget cuts when they were in the red for so long? It's time to turn the management over to professionals who understand the business.

artfuggins said...

Dr. White isn't really laying off any administrators. He is just moving them around and giving most of them a raise. Dr. White is the one who needs to be laid off. He is running IPS into bankruptcy.