A proposal that would put a balanced budget amendment in the hands of Hoosier voters is moving forward. The resolution, authored by Senator Brandt Hershman (R-7), has been approved by the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee and now heads to the full Senate.
If approved, Senate Joint Resolution 7 would mandate in the Indiana Constitution that expenses approved in the biennial budget cannot exceed revenue estimates, unless two-thirds of each chamber of the General Assembly votes to allow overspending in case of emergency. Though not currently written into the Constitution, state regulations already require the budget to be balanced.
Hershman says "Indiana has become a national leader in fiscal responsibility, and a balanced budget is vital to the long-term success of our economy. Amending our constitution to include this balanced budget requirement will protect future generations of taxpayers and maintain our state’s fiscal strength for years to come."
SJR-7 also includes provisions requiring appropriation of funds for Indiana’s prefunded pensions "in the amount necessary to actuarially fund the accrued liability of all such pension funds during the budget period." Court-ordered tax increases would also be prohibited unless approved by the legislature.
You can read the full resolution by clicking here.