Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels visited New Albany Thursday to drum up support for a new state budget proposal crafted by the Republican-led Senate.
Daniels (pictured at right) says a one-year budget plan passed by the Democratic-controlled House would deplete the state’s reserve fund and force a tax hike; Democrats contend that, among other things, the two-year GOP proposal doesn’t provide enough support for public education.
The governor says he believes many House Democrats would be willing to back the Senate proposal but they don’t want to alienate House Speaker Patrick Bauer.
“It’s really time for speaker bauer to liberate his people to vote their conscience,” Daniels said.
But Democratic Representative Steven Stemler of Jeffersonville (below right) says he’s not sure the support is that strong.
“I think there’s still a lot that’s unknown about the Senate plan. A majority of the members just recently got some information about it, so that may be a little bit premature,” Stemler said.
Indiana lawmakers have until the end of Tuesday to approve a new state budget or face the prospect of a government shutdown.