The AP is reporting that the Indiana House of Representatives did not adjourn sine die as it had hoped to do. Instead, the House has adjourned until next Wednesday and will reconvene to see if some final compromises can be worked out in this year’s short session.
In particular, measures hang in the balance that would allow schools access to some funds that would help mitigate the some of the spectacular shortfalls that have resulted from the decision to shift the funding of school operations from stable property taxes to much more variable sales and income taxes.
Unfortunately, for some reason, that issue seems to be tied to the even thornier issue of the unemployment insurance fund. After largely ignoring the underfunding of the UI fund for many years which caused it to run out of money and has required Indiana to borrow money from the federal government to stay afloat, in 2009, lawmakers reached a bipartisan compromise even though nobody had any particular appetite for the needed fix. But, now there is a push afoot to undo or at least delay that fix even though it probably requires borrowing even more money from D.C. (nevermind about our constant bellyaching about the federal government). The Senate has pushed a measure to delay the solution for a year. The House has adopted a measure that would scrap the solution altogether and “crack down on employers who misclassify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying jobless premiums, expand eligibility for benefits in order get $148 million in federal stimulus dollars for the fund, and increase weekly maximum benefits.”
So, I guess we wait another few days to see what happens. I’m sure the teachers in my school district, among many others, are waiting anxiously.