Say, isn't it wonderful that both the Indiana House and Senate have Republican supermajorities and we can get through an entire legislative session without a big fight? Oh, wait . . .
Legislative Republicans‘ budget differences with Governor Pence go well beyond his tax-cut plan. Speaker Brian Bosma says the Republican House will propose more school funding than the one-percent increases offered by the new governor.
And he says $350 million Pence has proposed in conditional transportation funds is too low and too iffy. Pence has proposed rewriting the state‘s automatic tax rebate law, which caps state reserves at one-eighth of spending and divides the rest between taxpayers and state pension funds.
Instead of pensions, Pence wants to use that law to generate transportation funds. Bosma says highways are too critical to put funding at the back of the line.
I have no idea how this will turn out. Guess we'll see how Pence's leadership skills stack up. I know Bosma is right that we've cut a lot from education and transportation funding is important, but my sympathies are still with Pence's call for a cut. Note that Pence and Bosma even differ on the overall size of the budget. Pence says the state shouldn't spend more than it takes in. Bosma says the state can afford to dip into reserves for one-time projects.
"One time" -- right. Spending is a drug that even conservative Republicans are in danger of becoming addicted to.