The good news for Hoosiers about the General Assembly session starting tomorrow is that legislators should be able to do only minimal harm, since they can't really afford to do much this year. Of course they'll keep trying:
Indiana lawmakers know they have no new money to spend during the legislative session opening Tuesday.
"There'll be a lot of talk, but whether there's any real action will be very, very interesting to see," said Brian Vargus, a political analyst and professor at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.
Lawmakers know they must raise revenue, "but how do you do that without ticking off your constituents? They're between the proverbial rock and a hard place," Vargus said.
But that mythical area between the rock and a hard place exists only if you buy into the false dichotomy that lawmakers must choose between raising revenue and angering constituents. There is a third option, which so far has seen the state through revenues being around $1.5 billion short of expectations in fiscay year 2009 and about half a billion so far in fiscal year 2010 (which started in July): Cut spending.