INDIANAPOLIS – On Friday, the State Budget Committee, with State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) as the Senate Democratic member, met to discuss funding projects and allocations. Among those projects approved was the expansion for the Professional Sports Development Area in Marion County. The expansion will allow the Marion County Capital Improvement Board to support renovation projects in Indianapolis including work on the Indiana Pacers’ home arena.
Sen. Tallian also used the meeting to bring attention to the governor’s planned use of excess surplus dollars on projects already allocated in the 2019 state budget bill.
“I posed the question to the committee on whether the governor’s plan for these projects would affect our work in the next legislative session,” Sen. Tallian said. “Since the projects the governor wants to pay for are already allocated, will we have to reopen the state budget in 2020? Well, the short answer is yes. The legislature will need to rework the budget to account for all of these changes the governor proposes.
“In my opinion, this is an opportunity to right past wrongs. This will be the perfect time to consider spending a portion of this unintended surplus on those programs that were unjustifiably and abruptly cut at the last minute this past session.
“I assure you that these programs – ones that Republican budget leaders originally promised to fund – are only a drop in the bucket compared to our massive surplus. $20,000 for doula services and $800,000 for the Army Corps of Engineers beach erosion study don’t even come close to putting a dent in our reserves.
“Be on the lookout for some budget amendments next session to get some necessary programs their funding again.”