Democrats in the Indiana House are just full of ideas lately. Let's divert $800 million from Major Moves for local projects:
Rep. Terri J. Austin, the Anderson Democrat who authored the package, which she admitted is "a work in progress," said the state can use that money to replace funds shifted to local government.
The point, she said, is to get state money as quickly as possible into the hands of local governments -- with strings attached to force them to spend it on companies whose work forces are at least 80 percent Indiana residents. Any money not spent in two years would revert to the Major Moves fund, created by the Toll Road lease.
Oh, sure. Let's spend money on local projects instead of state projects and put more strings on the money. That'll certainly stimulate that nasty old economy. Oh, and while we're at it:
Unlike the proposed budget from Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, House Democrats proposed a 2 percent increase in K-12 funding for 2010. Daniels had proposed keeping education spending flat for the next two years.
The Democratic proposal also calls for an increase in funding for full-day kindergarten from $58.5 million to $86.5 million and proposes spending $100 million in state reserves.
It's getting harder to tell the Republicans and Democrats apart in Washington. Republicans no longer argue against the whole idea that the government can or should stimulate the economy. They just argue about whether the Obama-backed bill is really stimulative in the right way.
At least at the state level, there seems to still be a useful distinction. Democrats in the House are in there pitching all the time: Spend, spend, spend. And Republicans in the Senate are there to put the brakes on: No, no, no.