Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Daniels Contradicts Self On CIB Bailout

Here's what Gov. Mitch Daniels said on Monday night when he delivered his televised budget address about adding "favorite causes" to the state's budget:

"If legislators want to spend more on some favorite cause, that's fine as long as they offset it elsewhere," Daniels said. "Add a dollar, cut a dollar. And, of course, no gimmicks, and no tax increases."
Apparently, Indianapolis' Capital Improvement Board is an essential part of the state budget and not a "favorite cause" based on what the Governor told lawmakers according to WIBC's Eric Berman:

At a hearing of the legislative subcommittee preparing the budget, House Ways and Means Vice Chairman Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) dangled the suggestion Daniels had forced the special session when it became clear legislators weren't going to pass a CIB plan. Daniels says his opposition to the budget crafted by legislators was based purely on financial realities. But he says he views the CIB as part of the state budget, not a side issue to be logrolled into it.

Daniels says the Indiana Convention Center, which the CIB oversees, generates sales tax dollars for the entire state. With the center expanding next year in a bid to attract ever-larger gatherings, Daniels says the state can't afford to let the CIB's deficit drag it down.

Daniels says he's open to moving one of Gary's two riverboat casinos inland in an attempt to generate more money for the city. But he's again backing Senate President Pro Tem David Long's (R-Fort Wayne) declaration that gambling issues will not be considered in next week's special session. Daniels says legislators can study the Gary casino license and other gambling issues over the summer, then debate the issue in full in next year's session. He says the special session must be reserved for the budget, including the CIB.

The CIB also oversees the Colts' Lucas Oil Stadium, the Pacers' Conseco Fieldhouse, and the Indianapolis Indians' Victory Field.

The board has shaved $10 million so far off an estimated $47 million shortfall.
Hmmm. The CIB has never been a component of the state budget. Should I say the emperor has no clothes?

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