The Indiana House and Senate convene this afternoon and the publisher of IndyPolitics.org says two major issues may not be resolved this legislative session. Abdul-Hakim Shabazz says he would not be surprised if Governor Mike Pence's call for the phase out the business personal property tax is sent to a study committee to determine how to make for up lost revenue. He also believes there is a “very good chance” a proposed amendment to the state Constitution further defining marriage will be changed, which would start the approval process over. Governor Pence says eliminating the business personal property tax would make Indiana more economically competitive Opponents say local governments would pay the price through a loss of revenue. Pence has not ruled out the option of potential county income tax increases to bridge the gap.
Abdul believes a proposal to fund early childhood education will have the easiest road among the major proposals. He says both sides seem to favor the idea, although there are differences on how far-reaching it should be. Abdul says Republicans favor a voucher program for low-income families, while many Democrats want the funding to be more universal. He says lawmakers will also have to decide how to fund the effort in a non-budget year.
The Indiana General Assembly is slated to begin its 2014 session at 3:30 this afternoon after being delayed by a day.
Sources: IndyPolitics.org, Inside INdiana Business