The legislators passed a budget with hours to spare. The real winner here? The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. Niki Kelly, writing for that paper, accurately reported that a failure to pass a budget would have been the first such failure since 1887. Meanwhile, the Journal Gazette’s Fort Wayne rival, the News Sentinel boldly, but wrongly, proclaimed that “No other General Assembly in Indiana history has failed to pass a new budget, even when a special session was required. Legislators are under tremendous pressure to not become the first ones to fail.”
The budget is a Republican budget, but that’s probably o.k. since they control 2 of the 3 branches responsible for adopting a budget. The Democrats got some compromise, but not as much as many wanted. They worked to increase educational spending and were successful in getting it increased from the levels proposed by Gov. Daniels and the Senate. But, there are still apparently 100 school districts that will see a decrease.
The bill passed the House with 14 Democratic votes and all 48 Republican votes. In the Senate, it passed 34 – 16. Senator Kenley had a good line that aptly summed up the process: “I ask you to vote ‘yes’ even though you hate this budget. It’s better than no budget.”