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Governor Daniels statement on General Assembly progress toward next state budget

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Uploaded on Apr 24, 2009

April 24, 2009: As a difficult session nears its scheduled completion, I want to thank the legislators for their hard work and express the hope that only a few more days of effort remain. I am as eager as all the members I talk to that the session end on time. Special sessions were once common, but despite annual predictions Indiana has not needed one during the last four years.

One way a governor can help prevent a special session is to avoid surprises, by being clear about what is and is not acceptable. Another is to be reasonable and flexible about details.

Speaker Bauer said to me this week that there are really just two items that must be achieved before adjournment. One is a fair overhaul of the state's out-of-balance unemployment insurance system. The other is a budget that protects vital services and taxpayers both now and in the future.

As of now, neither the House nor the Senate proposals meet that test. I'm not finding fault or criticizing anyone; it's just that both budgets were built on revenue assumptions that turn out to be way off. To illustrate, the shortfall part way through April is already larger than the Senate budget assumes through the end of June. A budget that ignores reality will spend money we won't have, quickly devour our rainy day funds, and force tax increases and massive service cutbacks like those going on in other states.

With $4 billion of federal stimulus dollars added in, Indiana will see record public spending the next two years under any state budget. Let's work together to see that Hoosier workers and taxpayers are protected during this cycle and beyond.

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