Governor Mike Pence Tuesday announced in his State of the State address that he wants to add a balanced budget amendment to the Indiana Constitution.
Pence notes that Indiana is one of only a few states that doesn’t have a balanced budget amendment in its Constitution. The Constitution does say the state budget cannot spend more than it’s projected to take in. But Republican legislative leaders say that language can be reinforced, though Senate President Pro Tem David Long says it must be done cautiously.
“Try and make sure that you don’t hamstring yourself in the future but that you do require fiscal discipline for future generations of leaders,” says Long.
But House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says Indiana’s General Assembly already has legal guidelines for fiscal management, making Pence’s proposal unnecessary:
“What we have here is a rhetorical flourish," says Pelath. "It’s a solution in search of a problem.”
Pelath says if the amendment is just a reaffirmation of existing practices, it could be something he can vote for.