(STATEHOUSE) - In the House Ways and Means Committee today, House Democrats added millions of dollars in spending to the already spendthrift House Democratic budget with about 30 amendments.
State Rep. Randy Borror (R-Fort Wayne), a member of the committee, said the amendments would drain an additional $13.6 million from the state's general fund in 2010 and $12.3 million in 2011. The House Democrat amendments also drain $72.7 million more from the state's Rainy Day Fund, Borror said.
"Even before amendments, the Democrats' budget overspent by more than $1 billion," Rep. Borror said. "Tax increases down the road for every Hoosier already were a guarantee. Now, we're looking at around $41 million in reserves by the end of the 2011 - and that's a conservative estimate. Worst-case scenario: We could be in the red by 2012.
"This would be unacceptable in any economic climate, but facing staggering job losses, large-scale bankruptcies and the worst recession this nation has seen in decades, it's a slap in the face to the taxpaying, hard-working citizens of this state."
A few of the spending amendments added today:
Without their added spending provisions, the House Democrats' budget would have left us with $161 million in reserves by the end of the 2011 fiscal year. With this additional spending, the state would be left with about $41 million - barely enough to keep the state running for one day by the Democrats' proposed spending levels.
"This budget proposal is not feasible. It cannot pass in its current form without bankrupting our state," Rep. Borror said. "I'm expecting a big turnaround before we see this budget in its final form. Otherwise, we won't have a budget by the June 30 deadline."
Indiana legislators returned to the Statehouse June 11 in order to fulfill their constitutionally required duty to pass a state budget. This is the first budget-writing special session since 1997.
To watch the special session from the House or Senate chambers, visit www.in.gov/legislative/session/video.html.