House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath accused Pence of "throwing cutlets of red meat" to Iowa Republican caucus voters, while Senate Democratic leader Tim Lanane said "it was more about politics than it was policy."
Even Republican leaders weren't impressed with the last-minute inclusion. Senate President Pro Tem David Long tried to be polite in responding to reporters' question about the proposal: "It will be minimalist, whatever we end up with," said Long, "but try to make sure you don’t hamstring yourself in the future." Speaker Brian Bosma downplayed the significance of the proposal. "I also have to add that I don’t think it was the most important thing I heard tonight." Bosma added, "I considered it more of a footnote, really."
Here's the debt restriction language in Indiana Constitution:
No law shall authorize any debt to be contracted, on behalf of the State, except in the following cases: to meet casual deficits in the revenue; to pay the interest on the State Debt; to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or, if hostilities be threatened, provide for the public defense.Our neighboring state of Illinois has the following balanced budget language in its constitution:
Appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year.Even with the balanced budget language, Illinois has been running budget deficits for years. The state's incoming Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner will assume office with a deficit of about $12 billion in the state's general funds account, which includes more than $6.8 billion in unpaid bills.