Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Gov. Mike Pence's Not So Welcome Surprise In His State Of State Address

Gov. Mike Pence's staff said there would be a surprise in his State of the State speech tonight. It turned out to be a call for a balanced budget amendment. Are you kidding?  Indiana has been running a surplus of close to $2 billion, and the Indiana Constitution already contains restrictive language on incurring debt.

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.


Anonymous said...

Build Indiana Fund...Are we in debt...probably...Remember lost dollars during our illustrious man mitch...Seriously...What a fiasco.

Anonymous said...

What a joke. And Indiana's financial situation isn't as rosy as Pence would have you believe... $24B in state debt.


Anonymous said...

I have never seen anything other than Crouch/Pence's announcements that tout that $2B surplus; are there any .gov sites or other reputable sources that confirm this?

I'll just add that I find it pretty...unusual how many State Auditors have quit during his term.

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

This proves my contention, and my too-late realization, that Mike Pence is far more attempt at style than a real man of solid philosophical substance. Like most any RINO pretend-Conservative, Pence masters a few phrases tossed to the crowds to make himself appear erudite and a politician with a solid backbone.

Mike Pence is another wannabe who will never again receive a vote from me. That anyone considers him anywhere near viable as a presidential candidate is beyond me.

"Republicans" like Mike Pence are causing conservative Democrats and Republicans to tune out and turn off and find substantive activities on election days other than pointless treks to polling booths where no vote changes anything other than the deck chairs.

Pete Boggs said...

If there's no reconciliation of CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) within the state's annual budget; there's no real discussion. For detail on what a CAFR is & how it works: www.cafrman.com/index.html

Anonymous said...

Lots of people are quitting within state offices -- not just the auditors' office. We've always had a balanced budget -- what is the big deal with an amendment, especially based on what some bean counter "thinks" will be the incoming revenue for the state, which has missed more than been right. I was really surprised by it -- we already have a provision for not allowing for overspending. What?????