Indiana Dem Leader Criticizes State Budget Process

Indiana Democrats are speaking out against the current state budget process.

House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath out of Michigan City held a news availability to answer questions about what he says are over exuberant elected representatives and the continued murkiness of Indiana’s budget process.

Legislators started work on Indiana’s two-year budget earlier this month and reviewed anticipated revenue estimates in December. Pelath says there are conditions where the General Assembly is “allegedly” appropriating dollars.

“They are going back and telling their constituents that they are going back and doing all these wonderful things for them, and they know darn well that the chief executive has no intention of following what they suggested in the budget process,” says Pelath.

The state still has time to adopt a budget resolution. Pelath says, however, incentives are in place to allow room for “sleights of hand” when it comes to collecting and distributing money in the Hoosier state.

State democrats are also addressing Governor Mike Pence’s new HIP 2.0 program – which they claim represent parts of Obamacare with a few modifications. Pelath says that’s a good thing.

“I’ve said all along, if you get Mike Pence to embrace parts of Obamacare here in Indiana, if you can get the President to say that’s okay, Scott Pelath isn’t going to say that’s a terrible thing,” says Pelath.

Democrats are in the minority in the Indiana House.

Pelath also took time to criticize funds used to pad budget surpluses when some state programs are in need of additional funding.