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Balanced budget amendment on state ballot is a solution in search of a problem

A ballot measure for Hoosiers this election has gotten little attention and some voters may be confused as to what the question even means.

Voters are being asked to vote to approve amending the Indiana Constitution to require that the General Assembly enact a balanced budget for each biennial budget.

ISTA opposes the amendment and urges voters to vote “no.”

The amendment’s supporters claim that amending the state’s more than 160-year-old Constitution is necessary to ensure the state’s fiscal health.

However, efforts behind the amendment are more posturing for political purposes. It is too simplistic to try to equate government accounting with household accounting — especially when essential services for Hoosiers are at stake. Besides, the Indiana General Assembly already takes ample precautions to secure responsible and balanced budgets.

Inaccurate information is circulating on social media on how the ballot initiative impacts pensions. Regardless of the outcome, the balanced budget amendment will have no impact on pre-funded public pension funds.

The Indiana Public Retirement System confirmed in a posting to their Facebook page stating the, “amendment has no impact on pay go funds and funds that are not paid into by the state of Indiana’s biennial budget.”

Indiana voters have approved all 11 constitutional amendments referred to the ballot since 1996.