Revenue forecast casts shadow on governor's roadmap
The 2014 session of the General Assembly begins January 6th. It is a "short" session meaning that final adjournment is set for mid-March (as opposed to end of April). The main driver of the "shortness" is that budget/fiscal proposals are not generally entertained.
Yet, we have a governor who has unfolded his legislative "roadmap" for 2014 which is chock full of cutting and spending for his favorites.
First in line is his proposal to eliminate the business personal property tax (a $1 billion cut).
Not far behind is the private preschool voucher program, the charter school teacher funding favoritism bill, the acceleration of takeovers of public schools by private management companies, and the expansion of charter school "recovery" schools.
But one key legislator in this debate, Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville and chairperson of Senate Appropriations), has gone on record to remind the governor and others that this is a short session that is convening after a revenue forecast that was less than robust ($182.6 million in 2014 and $115.1 million in 2015 less than expected).
Kenley said, "...I'm glad to talk about them (the governor's tax cut and spending proposals) in 2014, but I doubt if we're going to see real action on these until we get to the 2015 budget...For one thing, all of these things that have a fiscal impact need to be discussed at the same time that every other funding or tax cut request would be impacting the budget so that we have a playing field where everybody has an equal chance to present their case." The Statehouse File; December 20, 2013
However, short session or not, you can be sure that the governor will be pushing legislators hard for these "stops on his roadmap."
Lobbying is not the sole province of the governor. We do that, too.
You can easily contact your legislators and let them know what you think.
And don't forget the Lobbying Kickoff Event: January 13th. Register here.