Budget Deadline Looms In Indiana

Time is running out on Indiana state lawmakers to approve a new state budget before the close of the fiscal year Tuesday.

A House-Senate conference committee has been trying for nearly a week to reconcile differing budget proposals.

Republicans who control the Senate say the one-year plan passed by the Democratic-led House would deplete the state’s rainy day fund and force a tax increase.

Democrats contend the Republican budget proposal falls short in the funding of public education and other areas.

Republican Governor Mitch Daniels said Friday he was still optimistic that an agreement would be reached before the arrival of July 1st, but he’s prepared use his emergency powers in the event of a government shutdown.

“I want to assure the public that if, amazingly, they choose not to act by Tuesday night, vital services, the most vital services will continue,”  Daniels said.

He said that means state police and the prison system would continue to operate as usual and public assistance checks would still be issued. State parks, the Bureau of  Motor Vehicles and most other state offices would be closed and some 30,000 government workers would be furloughed.