Governor Mike Pence wants an amendment added to the Indiana Constitution requiring the state to always pass a balanced budget. That's one of the priorities Pence outlined in his 2015 State of the State.
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 cannot pass a law that creates debt – essentially, the state budget cannot spend more than it’s projected to take in. But Pence says past administrations and legislatures have recklessly spent down the state’s reserves.
“A balanced budget requirement in the Constitution of the state of Indiana will assure Hoosiers that today and tomorrow Indiana will spend wisely, protect our state from an economic downturn, and unlike Washington, D.C., we won’t bury our children and grandchildren under mountains of debt,” says Pence.
The governor also urged lawmakers to simplify Indiana’s tax code, though he didn’t elaborate on that proposal. The earliest his proposed balanced budget amendment could go to the voters for approval would be the 2018 fall election.