Going Down to the Last Day … Again

A supposed budget agreement on April 29, the last day of the regular legislative session, fell apart when barely a quarter of the 100 House represenatives voted for it. Let’s hope for better results Tuesday, when all 150 legislators will cast their votes on a budget compromise and plan to help Indianapolis’ Capital Improvement Board.

Key legislators worked behind the scenes, Gov. Mitch Daniels offered his insights and legislative caucus meetings were undoubtedly interesting. But as the budget bill was being printed Monday,  House members called it a day. While there were rumors of a Senate vote to come yet tonight, Democrats there opted to go home.

No complaints with either of those decisions. Rushed votes, without a true understanding of what is in the legislation, would likely lead to an unfortunate outcome. The state can’t really afford that.

Few details are known at this point, other than the core of the agreement being the Republicans’ two-year plan instead of the Democrats’ one-year proposal. How far the compromises went on education funding and other key issues is yet to be seen.

The good news is there is a bill to vote on, a step many have doubted in recent days. The uncertain news is in the details of the hundreds of pages of the proposal and what legislators will do tomorrow. It’s not the last day of the special session then, but the final opportunity to avoid a state government shutdown.

Good luck to all!