For more than a decade, Indiana has led the nation in fiscal responsibility by passing balanced budgets, cutting taxes, and reducing the size of state government.
The fiscally responsible foundation we have built here in the Hoosier state has helped encourage economic growth and lower unemployment rates.
In the last four years, Indiana’s unemployment rate has dropped by more than half, and at 3.9 percent, it is currently the lowest among all of our neighboring states and below the national average.
I am proud of the progress Indiana has made in recent years and glad to see it benefiting Hoosiers across the state.
To help ensure Indiana’s sound budgeting principles continue for generations to come, lawmakers passed Senate Joint Resolution 7 this legislative session.
SJR 7 is a balanced budget amendment to Indiana’s Constitution. It would prohibit state spending from exceeding state revenue unless two-thirds of the Indiana General Assembly approves the use of emergency spending measures.
The resolution includes a requirement for Indiana’s public pension funds to be actuarially funded, which protects teachers and prevents court-ordered tax increases without approval from the General Assembly.
Without an amendment to the state’s Constitution, Indiana’s future financial stability is not secure.
Currently, a balanced budget is not mandatory in Indiana. In fact, we are one of only four states who do not require it, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers.
Adding a Constitutional amendment would require future generations of lawmakers to maintain the state’s fiscal strength which will protect taxpayers and give employers confidence that Indiana will continue to be a great place to invest and create jobs.
Now that SJR 7 has passed the Indiana General Assembly, it will be included on the 2018 general election ballot for Indiana voters to consider. If approved by voters, the state’s Constitution will be amended to include the language in the resolution.
I look forward to Hoosiers having the opportunity to vote on this issue for the future of our state. I believe a balanced budget amendment is common sense public policy, and I think Hoosiers will agree at the ballot box.
As always, I welcome your questions, comments or concerns regarding this or any other topic. My office can be reached by phone at 800-382-9467 or by email at Senator.Long@iga.in.gov.
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