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[r25] The Budget
Start Date: 2/19/2013Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Date: 2/19/2013End Time: 8:00 AM
Entry Description

The Budget

Every two years, the House Ways and Means Committee is tasked with the creation of the Indiana budget. It is one of the most significant pieces of legislation to come out of the General Assembly biennially because it essentially paves the way for Indiana’s next two years of spending. 

House Republicans have a proven track record of creating an honestly balanced budget that conservatively handles taxpayers’ money. In 2005, we balanced the budget for the first time in a decade - without raising taxes. At that time, the current budget was $550 million out of balance with $750 million still owed to schools, cities and universities. 

In 2009, we had to make difficult decisions which included the $1 billion spending cuts to keep Indiana from sliding into the red – and as difficult as it was, we did it again without raising taxes. In 2011, we were faced with passing a balanced budget during the most challenging economic downturn in generation, and we again succeeded without raising taxes or resorting to cheap budget gimmicks.

The budget process is like that of every other piece of legislation; it goes through a committee, is passed out with a vote, gets amended by the House on second reading and is voted on as a whole by the House on third reading. It then goes to the Senate for the same process and, after both the House and Senate pass it, it goes to the governor for signing.

One interesting aspect of the budget that makes it unlike other legislation is that the governor submits his own idea of what it should look like. Governor Pence submitted his budget proposal in January, outlining the funding, tax cuts and expenditures he would like to see the House include in our budget.

About 90 percent of Governor Pence’s budget matches up pretty closely with our proposed budget outlined by Chairman Brown in his press conference last week. The biggest, most obvious, difference in the two suggested budgets is the 10 percent “jobs” tax cut highlighted in the governor’s. 

First of all, I would like to emphasize that this tax cut is not off the table. The Speaker of the House, Brian Bosma, has not said we aren’t considering this a possibility. It is still open for discussion in the General Assembly, as the Senate has yet to put their input in regarding the budget.

Secondly, the funds that Governor Pence readily cuts from his budget have an important purpose in the House budget. More than $10 million of those funds goes to running the Department of Child Services (DCS). About $295 million is directed at road and infrastructure improvement and creation and $185 million goes to education. 

The proposed House budget includes money for DCS, roads and education and still offers a tax cut of nearly $270 million. If we’ve learned anything from the recession of the past few years, it is that unnecessary spending only leads to financial strain. Looking at the situation our federal government is in, we chose to take the conservative approach to spending, ensuring that if another fiscal crisis occurs, we will be able to address it without reducing needed services to our communities. 

Responsibly handling taxpayer dollars and doing what is best for Hoosiers – those are the goals of the House Republican agenda. We’ll work on it until we have the best plan for Indiana, that I promise you.

-30-

State Rep. Don Lehe serves as Chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. He also serves on the Environmental Affairs Committee and the Public Health Committee.  Rep. Lehe represents portions of White, Cass, Carroll, Clinton and Tippecanoe Counties.
Contact Information:
Name: Maggie Johnson
Phone: 317-232-9693
Email: majohnso@iga.in.gov
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    > The Budget
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Government
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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