Chris Atkins

Brandon Smith /

Governor Mike Pence’s fiscal leadership team is getting a shake-up as longtime advisor Chris Atkins leaves the administration for the private sector. 

Chris Atkins has been with the Pence team since the 2012 campaign, serving as a senior advisor for Pence’s gubernatorial run. 

He’s led the Office of Management and Budget since Pence took office and previously served at the agency under Governor Mitch Daniels.

Indiana’s bicentennial is next year and Governor Mike Pence’s proposed budget includes funding for several parts of the celebration.  But the Senate’s budget architect says the governor might be doing too much celebrating.

The governor’s proposed budget includes more than 50 million dollars for several bicentennial projects.  Office of Management and Budget Director Chris Atkins says that includes money for a statewide torch relay, a Bicentennial Plaza next to the Statehouse and an education center at the State Library.

Indiana House GOP

Statehouse Democrats say the budget proposal Governor Mike Pence unveiled Thursday doesn’t tell a true story when it comes to increasing education funding, with some lawmakers saying Pence is using “fuzzy math.”

Brandon Smith /

Governor Mike Pence says he wants the 2015 meeting of the General Assembly to be an “education session.” 

Governor Pence’s proposed budget contains a $200-million increase in K-12 school funding over the next two years.  That includes about $41-million more specifically set aside for charter schools.  Office of Management and Budget Director Chris Atkins says that money would be used to increase per pupil funding by $1,500 and would reduce inequity between funding of charters and traditional public schools.

Chris Potter /

The General Assembly‘s fiscal analysts release their updated economic forecast next week, kicking off the four-month process of crafting a new state budget.

Governor Pence and fiscal leaders in the House and Senate have said they intend to propose increased school funding for the next two years, but they‘ll rely on next week‘s forecast to fill in the specific dollar amounts for schools and the rest of state government.

February revenue report

Mar 8, 2013

Indiana’s general revenues were lower than expected last month.

The report from the State Budget Agency shows total receipts were 3% below projections and a fraction lower than February, 2012.

Sales tax revenue was down slightly compared to what was expected, but individual income taxes were 28% above target. Due to a large amount of corporate tax refunds paid out in February, those receipts were off by more than 300%.

Still, for the fiscal year so far, revenues are ahead of the December forecast.

Indiana revenues had another strong showing in January, far ahead of projections for the fiscal year.  However, the state’s sales tax revenues aren’t doing as well as hoped.

In order to meet projections for this fiscal year, state tax collections need to increase 1.5%.  Through the first seven months of the fiscal year, revenues have increased four percent, putting the state $176 million ahead of projections.

Governor Mike Pence wants a one percent increase for K through 12 school funding in each of the next two years, but schools would have to earn the extra money in the second year. 

The governor’s budget includes around $190 million in additional funding for K-12 schools.  Some, like Representative Terry Goodin (D-Crothersville) says that’s not enough.

“Our public schools are the number one economic development tool in our state.  So if that’s the case, we need to fund those economic development tools properly.  One percent’s probably not going to do that.”